Explore The Historic Ajanta Ellora Caves: Timeless Treasures

“Looking for a great spot for a day picnic and weekend fun? Look no further than the amazing and historic Ajanta Ellora Caves. These ancient monuments and rock mountain architecture are a must-see for history enthusiasts. They are ranked among the top tourist attractions near Mumbai and are also featured in the Mumbai Darshan Guide for historic places.

The Ajanta caves are located in Jalgaon city, around 456 km away from Mumbai, while the Ellora caves in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, are about 360 km away. Start planning your trip now and experience the fascinating history and stunning beauty of these caves..”

Ajanta Caves Picture

About Ajanta Caves

Let’s focus on Ajanta Caves first to understand it better. These caves are located in the village of Ajintha in Jalgaon city, Maharashtra State, India. They are famous for their rock-cut architecture and have a total of 29 caves. The caves are surrounded by mountains and are known for their beautiful paintings and ancient Buddhist carvings. It is about 414 Km away from Mumbai city.

When you visit these caves, you will be amazed by the intricate carvings on the pillars and walls. Each carving tells a story of Buddhist wisdom that has stood the test of time. If you are a traveler looking for incredible experiences, this place is a must-visit. It is located near Mumbai and is a perfect spot for a day picnic, where you can explore the rich cultural heritage of India.

The Ajanta Caves are a renowned UNESCO world heritage site in the country. They are cherished by both history enthusiasts and art lovers. These rock-cut caves are a sight to behold, with masterpieces dating back to the second century BCE to about 480 CE.

Once bustling monasteries and worship-halls, these ancient caves, called Viharas and Chaityas, were meticulously carved into a towering 75-meter rock wall. Step into a timeless world as you admire the vibrant paintings that depict the Buddha’s past lives and rebirths. You will also come across captivating pictorial tales from Aryasura’s Jatakamala and be amazed by the rock-cut sculptures of Buddhist deities.

The Ellora Caves, on the other hand, contain a captivating combination of Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist caves, with the latter dating back to a similar time as Ajanta. Unlike Ajanta, the caves at Ellora display a mixture of Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain influences. Interestingly, the Ajanta style can also be found in other places such as the Elephanta Caves, Aurangabad Caves, Shivleni Caves, and the cave temples of Karnataka. The Ajanta and Ellora caves complex is a treasure trove of Buddhist monasteries, Hindu and Jain temples, as well as stunning sculptures, paintings, and murals.

This is because most people usually follow the same path to this historical site. However, if you’re an adventurous photographer looking for rare and breathtaking panoramic shots of the Ajanta caves, then you must visit the ‘Ajanta View Point’. To reach this point, keep an eye out for a signboard called View Point, which is located around 13 km before the parking area of the caves. Once you see the signboard, it’s only about 8 km from there.

The Ajanta and Ellora Caves are famous worldwide for their ancient rock-cut caves, which are decorated with beautiful sculptures, paintings, and frescoes. These caves are a testament to India’s rich cultural heritage and attract tourists from all over the world.

On the way to the viewpoint, you will pass through an old village and some rough fields before reaching the top. This viewpoint was discovered by ‘John Smith’ in 1819 while he was on a tiger hunt in the dense forests surrounding Ajanta caves. Since then, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has made it a special attraction, especially popular among photographers who are willing to go the extra mile to capture the best shots of these ancient caves.

Get ready to be mesmerized by the Ajanta Caves, a remarkable collection of history, spirituality, and artistic excellence that still fascinates people from all over the world.

There are some significant attractions near Ajanta Caves that many tourists overlook. One of them is the Saptakunda or Waghora waterfall, located on the opposite side of the cliff. Another attraction is the View Point for Ajanta Caves, which offers the opportunity to capture panoramic photographs.

Exploring The Ellora Caves

Ellora Caves Picture

The Ellora Caves in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India, are a prestigious addition to the list of world heritage sites. With a total of 34 caves, they showcase the rich cultural heritage of India by representing Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.

Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ellora Caves are an impressive collection of rock-cut temples and monasteries. These caves were meticulously carved from basaltic cliffs over a period of five to ten centuries, showcasing the architectural brilliance of ancient India. They are divided into three groups based on religious affiliations – Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain. Each cave provides a unique insight into the spiritual practices and beliefs of its respective faith.

The Kailasa Temple, also known as Cave 16, stands out among these amazing caves. It is the biggest rock-cut monument in the world, showcasing incredible craftsmanship from ancient India. Its beauty and intricate design leave visitors in awe, making it a must-see destination for those who appreciate the splendor of Indian artistry.

The Ellora Caves hold a special place in the hearts of visitors worldwide due to their historical importance and architectural brilliance. Exploring these sacred caves is not only a journey into the past but also a unique spiritual and cultural experience that cannot be replicated elsewhere.

Visitors can have a wonderful picnic at these charming places and experience the fascinating stone-cut artwork and captivating paintings. These historic caves, located near the busy city of Mumbai, are a hidden treasure in India. Mumbai tourism proudly presents these caves as one of the best tourist attractions in the country. Get ready to be astonished as you explore the Ellora Caves and uncover the incredible wonders they hold.

1. Witness the grandeur of the Kailasa Temple, where a stone elephant proudly stands, resembling the mighty mountain it rests upon.

2. Take a leisurely walk along the southern walls and prepare to be mesmerized by breathtaking scenes from the epic Ramayana.

3. Get ready to be astonished by the incredible craftsmanship showcased in the stone carvings of Kailash temple. It is truly a remarkable sight.

4. Explore the depths of the caves and marvel at the extraordinary construction of this unique sanctuary. The impressive work began from the summit and the astonishing results were achieved through intricate stone carving.

5. Immerse yourself in history as you discover the 34 temples and monasteries, dating back to AD 600 to 1000. These ancient wonders proudly represent the rich heritage of Indian civilization and have rightfully earned a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1983.

The Ellora Caves, located in the Sahyadri hills, are a testament to the brilliance and artistic talent of ancient India. These caves, devoted to Lord Shiva, are not ordinary temples. They are extraordinary examples of rock-cut architecture, where the temple is carved directly from the rock it sits on. This distinctive method distinguishes the Ellora Caves from other religious buildings, highlighting the incredible skill and imagination of the craftsmen who meticulously crafted these stunning temples.

The construction of the Ellora Caves was a remarkable achievement. It took a hundred years to meticulously remove an incredible 250,000 tons of rock, resulting in a vast complex that is twice the size of the Parthenon in Athens.

When you visit the Hindu caves, you will be fascinated by the colorful bas-reliefs on the walls. These depict scenes from the Hindu scriptures, with Lord Shiva being the main focus. You will also discover depictions of Vishnu and his different forms, adding to the diverse religious artwork found within these ancient walls.

The Ellora Caves are not only known for their impressive architecture, but also for their stunning location. Situated among the Sahyadri hills, these caves offer a peaceful and beautiful setting for visitors.

As you explore the caves, you’ll be greeted by lush green surroundings and awe-inspiring vistas. This creates a feeling of amazement and calmness in the atmosphere. Whether you have a passion for history or simply admire the skill of ancient artisans, a trip to the Ellora Caves is something you shouldn’t miss.

Get ready to travel back in time as you admire the ancient rock-cut temples and fully immerse yourself in India’s vibrant cultural heritage.

Kailasa Temple

Experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with Ellora tour packages and uncover the enchanting charm of Maharashtra’s Ellora, home to the grandest rock-cut ancient Hindu temple.

Cave 16, famously known as the Kailasa Temple, is a remarkable testament to human creativity. This breathtaking monument, carved out of rock, not only holds the title of being the world’s largest of its kind but also serves as a sacred homage to Lord Shiva. Among the 34 cave temples and monasteries in the Ellora Caves, the Kailasa Temple stands out as a true masterpiece of sculptural brilliance.

This temple stands out from traditional architectural designs as it was skillfully sculpted from the rock itself. It’s truly amazing to consider that 250,000 tons of rock were carefully removed to bring this temple into existence. The level of dedication and craftsmanship involved in this project is truly astonishing.

The Kailasa Temple took a hundred years to build, showing the dedication of those involved. When you see its magnificence, you realize that this temple is twice as big as the Parthenon in Athens. This enormous structure proves the talent and imagination of the artisans who created it.

The Kailasa Temple visit is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the exquisite beauty and remarkable architecture. It serves as a reminder of humanity’s endless ingenuity and unwavering resolve across generations.

This cave temple is truly exceptional, distinguishing itself from other remarkable temples worldwide with its enormous size, breathtaking architecture, and detailed sculptures. The sanctuary’s structure is an astonishing 32.6 meters (107 ft) tall above the courtyard, despite the temple’s rock face sloping downwards from the back to the front. Interestingly, archaeologists speculate that this entire temple was carved from a single rock.

The temple’s design combines elements from the Pallava and Chalukya dynasties. In addition to its impressive architecture, the temple features many large sculptures. However, only faint remnants of the original paintings that once decorated it can still be seen.

The Kailasa Temple is unique because it is carved from a single volcanic rock found in the Charanandri hills. This incredible structure is not only famous as the biggest monolithic masterpiece in India, but it is also the largest in the world.

Furthermore, the temple’s distinctiveness expands to its detailed architectural style, embellished with beautiful sculptures portraying Hindu gods, and decorated with relief panels that capture the essence of the Hindu epics – Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Diverging from the traditional techniques used in constructing ancient rock structures, the temple complex was carefully constructed from the top to the bottom, challenging the usual practice of building from the foundation upwards. This unconventional method enhances the temple’s charm and makes it a definite destination for history enthusiasts and admirers of architectural wonders.

Cave 14 is Ravana Ka Khai

Cave 14, also called Ravana Ka Khai, is a holy Hindu cave situated near Cave 12 in Ellora. This cave, initially a Buddhist vihara, was built in the early 7th century AD.

Within the cave, there is a beautiful courtyard with pillars, a mandapa decorated with 16 kumbhavalli pillars, and a shrine that holds a linga surrounded by a wide pradakshinapath. When you enter, you will be welcomed by the divine figures of the river goddesses Ganga and Yamuna, standing watch at the entrance.

The mandapa’s walls are beautifully designed, with pilasters topped by kalasa dividing them into five sections. The walls of the courtyard’s aisle are adorned with stunning sculptures representing both Saiva and Vaishnava beliefs.

On the northern wall, you will find sculptures depicting Bhavani, Gajalakshmi, Varaha, Vishnu, and Lakshmi. Meanwhile, the southern wall showcases captivating images such as Mahisasuramardini, Lord Siva and Parvati playing chausar, Nataraja, Ravana shaking the mighty Kailasha Mountain, and Andhakasura.

Cave 14 is a treasure trove of history and breathtaking artwork. It provides a window into the ancient Hindu traditions and showcases the incredible artistic talent of the early 7th century.

On the southern wall of the circumambulation, you will discover a remarkable collection of sculptures. One of the highlights is the Saptamatrikas, also known as the Seven Divine Mothers. Each of these divine beings is accompanied by a unique animal companion. Chamunda proudly stands with her wise owl, while Indrani is accompanied by a majestic elephant. Varahi, on the other hand, is depicted alongside a powerful boar.

Lakshmi, the goddess of riches and success, sits gracefully with her faithful garuda. Kaumari, the powerful warrior goddess, is adorned with a splendid peacock. Maheshwari, the representation of divine feminine energy, is shown next to a mighty bull. Lastly, Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and creativity, is beautifully depicted with her graceful hamsa. These detailed sculptures truly breathe life into the sacred atmosphere of the temple.

Cave 10 is Viswakarma Cave

The Buddhist Caves in Ellora are well-known as the Carpenter’s hut or Sutar-ka-jhopra among the locals. However, Cave 10, also known as Viswakarma Cave, is particularly remarkable. It is a true masterpiece with its two-story structure, beautifully carved pillars, multi-tiered shrines, and intricate detailing.

This stunning cave, built in the 7th century AD, is a tribute to Lord Shiva. Upon entering, a gate carved into the natural rock greets you and leads you into a peaceful courtyard. The courtyard is adorned with cells on two levels, giving it a majestic feel. As you explore further, you will come across the shrine of Lord Buddha, a serene chaityagriha that exudes tranquility and spirituality.

The chaitya once had a grand wall, but unfortunately, it is now in ruins. This holy temple is an impressive 81 feet long, 43 feet wide, and 34 feet high. Inside, there are 28 beautiful octagonal pillars that are 14 feet tall, dividing the hall into a nave and side aisles. At the far end of this large space, there is a magnificent stupa that stands nearly 27 feet tall and has a diameter of 16 feet.

This stupa is truly remarkable to see. It has a circular base, a dome that curves like a half-circle, and a square top. The front of the stupa is decorated with a stunning piece that is about 17 feet tall. It also has an incredible 11 feet tall Buddha statue sitting in a preaching position, emanating wisdom and calmness. And to make it even more special, there is a beautifully carved Bodhi tree at the back, adding a sacred atmosphere to the area.

Enter the grand hall with its arched ceiling, where the rock has been expertly sculpted to resemble wooden beams. Take a closer look and you’ll see that even the stone joints imitate the wooden pins that hold the beams and lintels in place.

As you look upwards, the friezes above the columns come alive. Naga queens, symbolizing the monsoon, elegantly decorate the walls, while dwarfs entertain with their vibrant dances and musical shows.

The Viswakarma Cave is the only chaitya among the remarkable series of caves. Its intricate architecture, decorated with sculptures of Hindu deities, and relief panels illustrating the epic tales of Ramayana and Mahabharata, make it truly one-of-a-kind. Exploring Ellora would be incomplete without visiting this architectural masterpiece.

A real good collection of these caves photos can be seen on this blog.

How to Reach These Cavea

The Ajanta Caves are situated around 100 km from Aurangabad and 414 km from Mumbai. If you’re coming from Delhi or Mumbai, you can easily reach Aurangabad through its well-connected airport. Another option is to take a regular bus service between Aurangabad and Ajanta caves. To make your visit to the stunning ‘PANORAMIC VIEW POINT’ more convenient and enjoyable, it is suggested to hire a private taxi from either Aurangabad or Jalgaon.

When you travel from Aurangabad, you’ll come across the Ajanta View Point (Waghora Waterfall) in Balapur, which is only 8 km away. This short distance offers a breathtaking view.

The Ajanta and Ellora Caves are located around 105 km apart. Both of these UNESCO World Heritage Sites are highly recommended for those interested in history and art.

By Road From Mumbai: If you’re interested in visiting the stunning Ajanta Caves from Mumbai, you’re in for a treat. These historic marvels are conveniently close by, only about 414 kilometers away if you take National Highway 3 or 462 kilometers if you opt for the scenic route via NH3 and major state highways.

No matter which route you decide to take, you can be confident that both will guide you to the captivating caves. If you’re curious about the specific directions, you can visit the Mumbai Ajanta Caves Distance page for a comprehensive road map. Enjoy your journey.

By Rail: If you’re going to the caves, the closest station to get off at is Aurangabad. From Mumbai Central and CST, you have different choices of trains like express, superfast, and mail trains. When you reach Aurangabad, you can easily find buses and taxis to take you to where you want to go.

By Air: Discover the breathtaking caves close to Mumbai during an exciting day trip by arriving directly at Aurangabad, which has its own airport. 

Best Time To Visit Ajanta and Ellora

The Ajanta Ellora Caves, located in Maharashtra state, are best visited in winter. The summer heat can make it difficult to navigate the rocky terrain, and the monsoon rains can make it slippery and unsafe. Winter in India lasts from November to February, with mid to late-March also being a good time to visit.

Apart from considering the weather, there are a few other things to keep in mind for a successful trip. Wear sturdy shoes as there will be a lot of walking involved. It’s also important to carry enough water bottles to stay hydrated during your exploration.

Lastly, let’s all be responsible visitors and help preserve the heritage site by not littering. Our future generations deserve to experience its beauty just like we do.

See More in    Picnic Spots Attractions Travel Guide

Greetings, I am Deven, the founder of Mumbai77. With immense passion, I have dedicated my full-time efforts to continuously learn and update important information about Mumbai city. Currently, I am a full-time blogger residing in Mumbai. Since its establishment on July 7, 2007, Mumbai77 has attracted millions of pageviews. Our website aims to provide valuable information, including my personal reviews and experiences, to assist individuals worldwide in their search for updated information about Mumbai city.

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Give us 2024 bus timing for all rout .remove old time table
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