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Ajanta and Ellora Caves Travel Guide

    Ajanta Caves

    Ajanta Caves

    Ajanta and Ellora Caves

    About Buddhist Culture

    About Buddhist Culture

    Ajanta and Ellora Caves

 

Ajanta and Ellora Caves Travel Guide


Lying close to the city of Aurangabad, the Ajanta and Ellora caves is an eminent tourist destination which attracts tourists not only from India but, from all over the world. The date of its origin spans from 2nd century B.C to the 8th century A.D. It is a common saying that your tour to India is considered incomplete without a visit to these alluring caves known for its historical and architectural significance. There are 34 caves at Ellora known to have been built between the 6th and 11th century AD and 29 caves at Ajanta built between 2nd century BC and 6th century AD. The caves lie embraced in the Sahyadri hills and above the Waghora River thus, rendering a spectacular view of the surroundings. They are cave shrines carved out of rocks with the help of simple instruments like hammer and chisel and this is where the grandeur of the place lie immersed. The impressive figures that grace the walls of the caves provide an awe-inspiring sight to the tourists.

The Ajanta and Ellora caves remain undiscovered till the year 1819, when John Smith, a British Army Officer inadvertently noticed them while he was on his hunting expedition. The caves speak volumes about the glorious Buddhism, stories of the numerous reincarnations of Lord Buddha and various tales from the Jatakas while also enriching the Indian architectural splendour. The Buddhist monks used to perform a number of rituals and religious ceremonies within the precincts of the caves.  

The temple caves of both Ajanta and Ellora exhibits intricate and elegant carved designs and interiors that are breathtaking. They have been rightly acclaimed as the world heritage site. Of the 29 caves at Ajanta there are five prayer halls commonly known as the Chaitya and the rest are monasteries commonly known as the Vihara. It was the retreat and meditation place of a large number of Buddhist monks. It is said that the Ajanta caves depicts distinctly the two phases of architecture the Hinayana phase and the Mahayana phase. The cave reflects the development of Buddhism in all its minutiae.

The Ellora caves on the other hand have been carved out of the side of the Basaltic hill which lie at a distance of 30 kms from Aurangabad. The elaborate structures at the Ellora cave stands as a perfect representation of the three faiths of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. The 17 caves at the centre are dedicated to Hinduism, 12 caves at the south are dedicated to Buddhism and 5 caves to the north are dedicated to Jainism. The most splendid of all the structures is the Kailasha temple in cave 16, carved out of a monolith. This massive structure reveals the most delicate and intricate work of art.

Ajanta and Ellora caves can be reached by road, railways or airways. The nearest airport and railway station is at Aurangabad which lies at a distance of 99 kms, and through roads it is well connected with Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bijapur and Dhule. 

Last Updated: 29/03/2012




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