The Ajanta and Ellora caves are one of the most well known popular tourist attractions in India. They are specimens of the rich cultural heritage of ancient India. Hundreds of tourists from various parts of India and abroad come to the caves to experience the awe-inspiring structures and carvings. Tourists will be able to witness the grand architecture and carvings and experience the rich cultural heritage of ancient India.
The Ajanta and Ellora caves are listed among the World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO. The cave temples are situated near the city of Aurangabad in the state of Maharashtra. Most of the caves were constructed in the period ranging from 2nd century BC to 6th century AD. There are 29 caves in Ajanta while Ellora has 34 caves. The British Army discovered the caves in the year 1819. Since then, the caves draw tourists and historians from all over the world.
The Ajanta Caves are located amidst the Sahyadri Hills and are made by carving into the mountain side. The Ajanta cave temples are known for beautiful paintings. They date in the period between 200 BC and 650 AD and depict the story of Buddhism and the Jatakas. The Ajanta caves were used as the shelter of the Buddhist monks who were teachers in various Buddhist rituals. Various stories of the Jataka tales are depicted in the form of beautiful paintings. The paintings were made with herbal colors which make them more attractive and environment friendly. There are also some statues and sculptures of Lord Buddha. The sculptures were constructed with simple tools like hammers and chisels.
The Ellora Caves temples are located around 30 km from the city of Aurangabad. There are 34 caves in total and are carved into the sides of the hill. Unlike the Ajanta caves, the Ellora Cave temples are home to various monuments, carvings and sculptures relating to Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The caves were made in the period between 350 AD and 700 AD. There are 12 Buddhist caves while 17 caves and 5 caves are related to Hinduism and Jainism respectively. The Kailash Cave Temple is the most famous temple which consists of magnificent sculptures of Lord Shiva. It is one of the largest monolithic structures of the world. The Ellora Caves also consist of magnificent sculptures and monuments dedicated to Lord Buddha, Lord Vishwakarma, dwarfs, dancing girls, yakshas and musicians.
The Ajanta and Ellora caves are easily accessible from various parts of the country. The nearest airport is at Aurangabad. Buses, cars and autos ply between Aurangabad and the caves. Aurangabad is also connected by railways and roadways.