“A perfect picnic spot and weekend fun for those who love historic monuments and rock mountain architecture, Ajanta Ellora Caves is one of the top listed tourist attractions near Mumbai and is also listed in Mumbai Darshan guide for historic places near Mumbai. Ajanta caves are located in Jalgaon city (Maharashtra) at about 456 kms and Ellora caves (Aurangabad) in Maharashtra state is at about 360 kilometres from Mumbai..”
About Ajanta Caves near Mumbai
Although we are talking about both Ajanta Ellora Caves, Lets take them one at a time to understand better.
Specially know picnic spot for it rock cut architecture, Ajanta caves is located in Ajintha village at Jalgaon city (Maharashtra State, India) have 29 varieties of rocky caves in mountain location famous for its paintings and old Buddhist carvings. One can find carving art work on pillars and walls that speaks the decades old Buddhist thoughts till date. If you are an tourist, this place near Mumbai is a must place to be seen which an ideal day picnic spot recognized by UNESCO as one of the best world heritage in India.
Some important attractions most tourist misses when visiting Ajanta caves are the Saptakunda Or Waghora waterfall which is on other side of the cliff and the View Point for Ajanta Caves from where a single view Panoramic clicks are possible. This is because generally people follow the regular route to this heritage spot. If you are a real adventurous photographer and believe in getting some rare great panoramic pics of Ajanta caves, then you must visit the ‘Ajanta View Point’. To reach this point, one needs to keep a note of a sign board named ‘VIEW POINT’ which is actually 13 km before the parking area of caves. Once you reach the sign board then its about 8 km from their. You will pass through an old village and some rough fields and then reach the peak. This view point was discovered by ‘John Smith’ in 1819, while out for Tiger Hunt in deep forest around Ajanta caves. Maharashtra Tourism (MTDC) made it a special point of attraction since then and is much liked by those photographers who like to travel some extra miles to get best clicks of such old caves.
How to Reach Ajanta Caves
- Distance of Ajanta Caves from Aurangabad is 100 Km. (Aurangabad also has Airport that connects well with Delhi and Mumbai city). Regular buses are also available that are running between Aurangabad and Ajanta caves. Recommended is private taxi from Aurangabad or Jalgaon if your planning to visit to ‘PANORAMIC VIEW POINT’.
- Balapur Distance till the Ajanta View Point (Waghora Waterfall) is 8 Km.
- Distance between Ajanta and Ellora Caves is 105 km.
By Road : At distance of about 456 kilometers (Via National Highway 3) and 462 Kilometers ( Via NH3 and major state highway) road distance from Mumbai, You can reach caves via these 2 different routes. For more to see the road map, visit Mumbai Ajanta Caves Distance page.
By Rail : The nearest station being Aurangabad, You can board on available express, super fast and mail trains starting from Mumbai central and CST and once reached, you can get Buses and taxi to reach the caves.
By Air : Again, Aurangabad has its own airport to land directly inside city and explore those caves as your one day picnic near Mumbai.
About Ellora Caves
Ellora caves are also on famous list of world heritage, located in Aurangabad city (Maharashtra State, India) with total of 34 caves inside. The speciality being that these caves are all based on Indian religions like Hindi, Buddhist and Jain religion. The astonishing stone cut art work and paintings is what one can enjoy during picnic to such destinations. Its among one of the rarest historic caves in India quite near to Mumbai city. The caves are covered by Mumbai tourism as one of the best sightseeing attractions of India. Some major attractions to be seen inside ellora caves are :
- Kailasa temple’s elephant’s made of stones resembling the whole mountain was holded over by them.
- Some epic scenes of Ramayana when you walk towards south side walls.
- Carving work done on stones of Kailash temple is just Amazing.
- The depth view of caves is to be seen as the caves when built was started from top and was made by digging inside stones.
- The 34 temples and Monasteries since AD 600 to 1000 which shows ancient Indian civilization which is now listed on UNESCO World heritage Site since 1983.
How to Reach Ellora
By Road : Ellora caves is about 359 kilometres from Mumbai (Via National Highway 3) and about 321 to 346 Kilometres (Via NH 3 and State Highway 30). To get the exact driving directions and road map, visit Mumbai Ellora distance page. Main routes are Mumbai to Igatpuri to Kopargaon to Ellora at Aurangabad which takes about 5 to 5 and half hours
By Rail : Same as Ajanta caves, Just get down at Aurangabad city via available Express, Mail or Passenger trains and reach the caves via private vehicle or rental cars or tourism buses available there. Some trains to check for are Devagiri Express trains, Nandigram, Tapovan, Janshatabdi Express.
By Air : Nearest airport for both ajanta and ellora caves is Aurangabad.
Best Time To Visit These Caves
Since, Ajanta Ellora Caves are at ancient rocky locations of Maharashtra state, Winter is most preferred season. Reasons being the summer heat may put you off in rocks and monsoon rain may make this rocks slippery. Winter in India is from November to February and mid or March. Few more things to keep note of is to carry Good tough shoes as their will be lots of walking, Water bottles to be enough to keep you hydrated and finally take care of our Heritage site and do not litter, Our Future generation will also like to see it as it is.
Stay / Accommodations Near Caves
There are couple if resorts and hotels near Ajanta Ellora Caves which can be a good option if you planning you travel picnic for more then one day. And since these destinations are on world heritage list, Hotels and resorts in near around locations should not be a problem.
Cheap Budget Stay : Hotel panchavati, which is about 10 km from Aurangabad Airport, and 2 km each from Railway station and Main Bus station. It has restaurant and overnight stay option with all other facilities required, You can contact them on +91-0240-2328755 ,+91-0240+2338124.
Cheap to Costly (Mid Range Hotel) : Keys Hotels is a best for medium cost hotels with mid-luxurious facilities. At a distance of 35 km from Ellora and 90 km from Ajanta caves, 10 km from Aurangabad Airport and 2 km from station, is in mid of city. Contact for booking at : +91-240-6654000. Please note that this accommodation options falls at and below 3 star level.
High End Luxurious Hotel : One of the best when is comes to luxurious stay option is by Taj Group of Companies, and Hotel Vivanta is where you get best facilities and services (5 to 7 star level treatment). Vivanta by Taj is located at 8-N (12), CIDCO Rauza Bagh, Aurangabad and you can contact them at +91-0240-6613737.