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Ajanta Ellora Caves

The world famous Ajanta Ellora Caves are situated in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. The caves have amazingly fine statues and wall paintings mostly related to the life and teachings of Lord Buddha, Hindu deities and Lord Mahavira. The sculptures and painting of Ajanta Ellora Caves were made between 2nd century BC to 10th century AD. Ajanta and Ellora Caves are UNESCO declared World Heritage Sites which are visited by numerous tourists and pilgrims round the year. Ajanta caves are situated 59 km from Jalgaon and about 104 km from Aurangabad. Ellora caves are situated 29 km North West of Aurangabad.

The rock cut caves are representative of the excellence in Indian rock cut architecture. Ajanta caves are 30 in numbers while Ellora caves are 34. The caves have Buddhist Viharas, Mathas, Jain and Hindu temples. The paintings and sculptures of the caves make us wonder at the skill and workmanship of the artisans of ancient times. The halls, facades, porch, paintings, murals and sculptures of the caves will not only leave you amazed but also spiritually uplifted. The caves are visual delight for the tourists where you can spend the whole day transfixed by the beautiful images that you will find everywhere in the world famous caves of Ajanta and Ellora. The caves are maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Ajanta Caves

A trip to Ajanta caves will transport you back to bygone era. Ajanta Caves have numerous paintings, sculptures and murals related to Buddha and Buddhism. You need to take torchlight with you to grasp the essence of the lifelike sculptures and paintings created by the great artisans of the time. Guided tours are available for the tourists in which your guide will explain the story behind the pictorial themes of the caves. Your tour will start with Cave 1, which have two impressive paintings of seated Boddhisattvas, called Padmapani and Vajrapani. Cave 2 has beautifully painted ceiling and there are many murals and frescos in it. Most of the paintings of Ajanta caves are inspired from the legendary Jataka Tales related to the life and times of Buddha. Fine detailing and exquisite carvings of the sculptures will catch your attention immediately. Caves number 17, 19 and 26 need special mention which are abound with astounding sculptures of aesthetic beauty.

Ellora Caves

Ellora Caves are hewn out of volcanic rocks and are a great draw for the travelers to the region. First 12 caves of the total 34 Ellora Caves are Buddhist caves which have several elaborately carved murals and wall paintings related to Buddha. The paintings have been richly colored and make one amaze at the quality of natural colors used by the artisans which appear very lively even to date. Cave numbers 13 to 29 are Hindu caves which have several statues of Hindu gods and goddesses. Last five caves viz. caves number 30 to 34 are Jain caves which have paintings and sculptures of Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jain religion. Cave number 16 is worth mentioning which has statue of Lord Shiva sitting in his mountain abode of Himalayas.

Ajanta Caves remain open for tourist visits from 9.00 AM to 5.30 PM every day except on Mondays. Ellora Caves are closed on Tuesdays but are open on remaining days of the week from 09.00 AM till the sunset. Best time to visit Ajanta and Ellora Caves is from October to March as the weather during this time around of the year remains balmy and good for travels into the darker environs of the world renowned caves.

How to Reach Ajanta Caves?

By Air : Nearest airport to Ajanta caves is at Aurangabad which is 108 km off the historically significant caves.

By Train : Jalgon Railway Station is just half an hour's drive from the caves. Jalgon is well connected with other parts of Maharashtra and India.

By Road : Daily bus service is available from Aurangabad for Ajanta Caves. Private taxi service is also available for the tourists.

How to Reach Ellora Caves?

By Air : Aurangabad Airport is just 30 km away from Ellora Caves.

By Train : Aurangabad Railway Station is 59 km from Ellora Caves. Aurangabad is well connected with the rest of India through broad gauge railway lines.

By Road : Regular and daily bus service is available from Pune and Mumbai for Ellora Caves. You can also rent private cabs, taxis or jeeps to reach Ellora Caves.

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