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Timings : 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Pitalkhora Caves, Aurangabad Overview

One of the earliest caves in Maharashtra, Pitalkhora Caves are located in Chandora hills, near Bharmarwadi village, Aurangabad district. This 3rd-Century rock-cut Buddhist cave complex is the largest group of monuments belonging to the Satavahana Dynasty. Also known as Brazen Glen, the caves are made up of fourteen rock-cut structures which have fine architectural styles and paintings. Out of these fourteen monuments, four are chaityas and the rest are viharas.

The Pitalkhora Caves dates back to the 1st century BC to 5th century AD.  Discovered in 1853 and lesser known as compared to Ajanta and Ellora Caves, these exquisite caves boast of beautiful inscriptions of animals and statues of soldiers. They are cut in a variety of basalt rock. However, some of them are damaged due to climatic conditions. The caves are divided into Group I and Group II. Cave number 1 to 9 comes under Group I and 10 to 14 come under Group II. A flight of concrete steps has to be climbed past a beautiful waterfall which makes the sight even more fascinating. Pitalkhora Caves should be definitely in the bucket list of tourists looking for a historical expedition.

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Pitalkhora Cave Architecture

Pitalkhora Caves, also known as Brazen Glen, are one of the most stunning rock-cut structures of ancient times. The door guards or Dwarpal leads to the main entrance of the caves which has a large terrace balcony along with carvings of snakes and elephants. There is a flight of steps that connects the main door to Chaitya Griha. The cave complex consists of Viharas, two caves, Stupas and Viharas. Rare sculptures of Yaksha Figures are their inside. You can see various carvings like decorative animals, elephants, window designs and Mithunas.

Few old paintings, depicting the life teachings of Lord Buddha, dating back to the 5th century are there on some columns. Out of 14 caves, 4 are chaitya grihas, 1 stupa, 1 apsidal and a cell and the rest are viharas. The cave sculptures of Pitalkhora caves are similar to Sanchi Caves in Madhya Pradesh, Karla Caves in Lonavala and Pandavleni Caves in Nashik. Few structures and carvings in the cave are damaged due to ageing and climatic conditions. 

Historical Importance

Pitalkhora Caves are highly important historically as they have traces of both Mahayana and Hinayana sects of Buddhism. The inscriptions of these caves belong to the 3rd and 4th centuries. Most of these caves were carved out from Basalt stone on a mountain slope with no protection.

Best Time to Visit

The best to visit Pitalkhora Caves is between October and February since the hills look splendid after heavy downpours in the monsoon season. The refreshing nature around is a visual treat for the eyes.

How To Reach Pitalkhora Caves

Pitalkhora Caves are located near the town of Kannad on the Aurangabad-Chalisgaon Road and around 50 km away from the famous Ellora Caves. They can be reached by state buses from major cities. Alternatively, you can hire a taxi. The caves are accessible from Bhamarwadi village which is 9 km far. From here, buses and private taxis can be hired. You have to trek through a short distance to finally reach the caves. 

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