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Ajanta and Ellora caves, considered to be one of the finest examples of ancient rock-cut caves are located near Aurangabad in the state of Maharashtra, India. Adorned with beautiful sculptures, paintings and frescoes, Ajanta and Ellora caves are an amalgamation of Buddhist, Jain and Hindu monuments as the complex includes both Buddhist monasteries as well as Hindu and Jain temples. The Ajanta caves are 29 in number and were built in the period between 2nd century BC and 6th century AD whereas the Ellora Caves are more spread out and 34 in number and dates to the period between 6th and 11th Century AD.
Ajanta and Ellora caves are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are quite popular among travellers from all over the world. Ajanta Caves, located around 99km north of Aurangabad are mostly Buddhist sites and were used as a retreat by Buddhist Monks. Ellora is just 15 km west of Aurangabad and have a better mix of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist sites. These hand-carved caves were built and sponsored by the Indian rulers of those periods and are almost buried by thick forests all around. One of the most famous sites in the entire Ajanta and Ellora Caves is the Kailash Temple, which is also the single largest monolithic structure in the world. These rock-cut caves containing carvings are some of the best examples of ancient Indian architecture and sculpture.
Visiting these caves should ideally be a two day trip. It takes around 6 hours by road from Mumbai, after which exploring the caves (and all the walking involved in between) can get tiring. The paintings of Ajanta and sculptures of Ellora used to be marvellous many years ago, and they still retain this beauty, but they seem to have deteriorated in terms of maintenance. However, it remains a must-visit destination for its beautiful illustrations and reminder of a regal Indian era. I would advise avoiding visits in the summer because the caves become incredibly hot and it is hard to enjoy the experience. Instead, come in the later months of the year from August and September onwards.
- Ajanta caves face the east so visit them in the first half of the day as there is no light inside by the evening.- Ellora caves face the west so visit them in the second half of the day.- This trip has to be well planned. Covering Ajanta and Ellora caves in one day is very very difficult considering the distance and walking to do. Best is schedule 2-3 days.- Don't go to the corners of the caves as there are lots of bats.- Keep a torch with you when you visit the caves.
It is one of the Jothirlinga. It is a Holy place. You can touch the Jothirlinga and pray to God.
The beautiful sculptures, frescoes and paintings from the bygone era. Depicts the rich heritage and culture of India.
Difficult to visit during the summer season (April-June) because of the extreme heat. Also, the caves are located outside of the main city of Aurangabad and needs atleast two days to cover.
Must visit for history buffs, explorers, architecture and archaeological enthusiasts. People interested in Buddhishm and Hinduism will also find it interesting. Good for people of all ages. Great place if you are travelling solo or with family or in a big group.
Aurangabad is the closest city to Ajanta and Ellora Caves. It is about 100 km away from Ajanta and 30 km away from Ellora. Aurangabad Airport is the nearest airport which is well connecte... (Read More)
Answer: Amazing sitaphal (custard apple) available along the western ghats!
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