Information On Ajanta and Ellora Caves

Entry of Ajanta Ellora Caves
Entry of Ajanta Ellora Caves

Ajanta and nearby Ellora caves are one of the most bewildering archaeological places in India. located in the Maharashtra, the site is about 300 kilometers northeast of Mumbai, has been designated as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. These caves are not natural but man-made, built by cutting huge granite hillside. It is said that caves were built by Buddhist, Hindu and Jain monks, who worshiped and meditated in the caves.

On the walls and the pillars of caves elegant status are carved, in addition there are separate places in the caves believed to be as a meditation rooms. The caves were discovered by a British army officer in 1819, John Smith till it was enshrouded in oblivion. Ajanta and Ellora caves upholds an artistic legacy that will be an educative lesson for the generation to come.

Buddhist Statues in Ajanta Caves
Buddhist Statues in Ajanta Caves

Ajanta caves are the relics of Buddha’s two phases, separated from each other by good four hundred years. The architectural marvels concurred with two school of thoughts in which one thought says of older Hinayana, which represent Buddha in pillar, stupas, footprints or throne. Another thought known as Mahayana gives lord Buddha a human form. There are 29 caves those were reclusive place for Buddhist monks who used simple chisel and hammer to carved elegant figures on the walls of caves. Carved paintings are depicting the story of Jatakas, stories of various avatars of Lord Buddha. There are beautiful images of nymphs and princesses well portrayed. Among various Hinayana caves are those of number 9, 10 both chaitayas(stupas) and 8, 12, 13 and 15 are of only viharas (old Buddhist monasteries). the carved figures are dressed that resemblance of the Sanchi and Barhut stupas. The caves are not numbered chronologically, for example Mahayana monasteries comprise of 1,2,16 and 17 and chaitayas are in the caves 19 and 26. Here the paintings and sculptures depicts the Lord Buddha’s life as well as several tales of incarnations.

Beautiful ancient paintings on Ellora caves
Beautiful ancient paintings on Ellora caves

The major difference between Ajanta and Ellora caves is that the latter were never ‘lost’. These are 34 in numbers and carved into sides of basaltic hill. It is situated kms away from Aurangabad. This caves preserves some of the finest specimens of ancient times also houses detailed facades and beautifully graced interior. The structure depicts the life of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism were built during 350AD to 700 AD period. There are 12 caves that are dedicated to Buddhism , 17 dedicated to Hinduism and 5 dedicated to Jainism. Caves 6 and 10 are especially unique as it house both the images of Buddhist and Hindu faith. The most illustrated structure of Ellora caves is the Kailasha temple, it is the largest monolithic construction in the world. It is in the cave 16 and considered one of the greatest excavated architectural wonder of the world. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and named after his home ‘Kailash mountain’. The corridors have been carved into mountains and studded with small bays, sculptured figures telling the epics of Hindu mythology decorated the whole of corridor.



This mausoleum was built by Aurangzeb in the memory of wife Rabia-ud-Durrani in 1679. This masusoleum was modelled after the Taj Mahal.

Aurangazeb Caves

There are another caves that is nine kilometers from Auranagabad. Although it is less illustrated than Ajanta and Ellora but still these are worth a see.

Panchakki (WaterMill)

Panchakki or watermill was built during the Mughal era named after a water powered mill grinding corn for military and poor people. This was basically built to commemorate a Muslim saint Baba Sha Muzaffar.


Route Map Ajanta & Ellora

Ajanta is 99 km from Aurangabad, 487 km from Mumbai (via Jalgaon), 487 km (via Manmad) and 499 km via Pune. While Ellora is about 30 km from Aurangabad.

Air :

Nearest airport is Aurangabad that 108 km away. Aurangabad's Chikalthana airport is 10 km from the city center. There are several flights fly daily to Aurangabad from Mumbai

Rail :

Jalgaon is the nearest station, which is 58 km away.

Road :

State Transport buses run from Jalgaon to Ajanta.

Next Post Previous Post
No Comment
Add Comment
comment url