Ajanta and Ellora Caves

Key Points
  • Ideal Duration: 1-2 days
  • Best Time: Jun-Mar
  • Nearest Airport: Aurangabad

The Ajanta and Ellora Caves are two prominent archaeological sites located in the state of Maharashtra, India. These caves are renowned for their ancient rock-cut architecture and are recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

  1. Ajanta Caves: The Ajanta Caves are a group of 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments situated in the Sahyadri hills of Aurangabad district. These caves were carved out of solid rock during the 2nd century BCE and 5th century CE. The caves were rediscovered in 1819 and are known for their exquisite paintings and sculptures, depicting various scenes from the life of the Buddha and Buddhist mythology. The artwork at Ajanta showcases the evolution of Indian art and the influence of Buddhist ideology. It is a significant site for understanding the history of Buddhism in India.

  2. Ellora Caves: The Ellora Caves are an extensive complex of 34 rock-cut temples, monasteries, and chapels dedicated to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. They are located near the city of Aurangabad, not far from the Ajanta Caves. The construction of these caves took place between the 6th and 10th centuries CE. The Ellora Caves represent an integration of the three major religions of India and showcase a remarkable feat of engineering and artistic expression. The caves include elaborate sculptures, intricate carvings, and awe-inspiring architecture. The most famous cave at Ellora is the Kailash Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, which is a massive monolithic structure carved from a single piece of rock.

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