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Ajanta Ellora Caves

Ajanta Ellora Caves

The prominent Ajanta Caves lying in the district of Aurangabad, of the Indian state of Maharashtra are 30 rock-cut cave monuments, dates back to the 2nd century BCE to the 600 CE. Seated profoundly in the Sahyadri hills of Ajanta exhibits one of the rock cut monuments, boasting the rich history and culture of India. There are around 29 Ajanta caves and these caves hold the honor of being titled as one of the world heritage sites by UNESCO since 1983.

These legendary Ajanta and Ellora are created out by the cutting of rock and were given its shape by hand, ranking as one of the most stupendous specimens of ancient Indian architectural heritage. The 34 caves at Ellora and the 29 caves at Ajanta, were remained covered in anonymity for over a millennium, till John Smith, a British Army Officer, by a coincidence chanced upon these caves, while on a hunting tour in 1819. The caves have preserved their artistic legacy and are dedicated Lord Buddha.

An exceptional characteristic about these Ajanta caves is the paintings on its great fortifications, narrating the stories about Buddhism, during the phase of evolution. It is believed that the Caves that are numbered as 8, 9, 10, 12, 13 and 15 belong to the Hinayana sect of Buddhism, whereas the caves that are numbered as 1, 2, 16, 17, 19 and 26 are related to the Mahayana sect of Buddhism.

These paintings and sculptures are the masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, which represent the Jataka tales as well as wall paintings which act as the reminiscent subject of the Sigiriya paintings in Sri Lanka. The caves have been built in two phases, having its initial beginning in around 2nd century BCE and the second group of caves built around 600 CE. The monument is a protected one under the Archaeological Survey of India.

The Ajanta and Ellora caves are situated about 99-kms away from Aurangabad district in the state of Maharashtra. These caves are regarded as a world heritage site and were carved out from the 2nd century BC to 6th century AD. The caves are rested in the form of a horseshoe at an about 3.5 m away from the village. The river Wagura, a mountain rivulet flows at the bottom of the narrow valley. This river drops down from a height of about 200 ft, makes a series of waterfalls. The resonance of the waterfalls can be heard in the even in the caves.

The monument celebrates a four day festival, which is known by the monument’s very own name as Ajanta Ellora Festival and is held at Sonehri Mahal, the Golden Palace, which is an historic 17th century architectural marvel in Aurangabad near Ellora. Thid celebration is held annually, in the last week of November. The MTDC organizes the famous Ellora Festival of classical dance and music at the monument annually in the end of March.

The nearest airport from these caves is situated in Aurangabad, which is at a distance of 15 km. you can also have a rail journey to reach the place as the nearest railhead is at Jalgaon at a distance of 60 km as well as can avail bus services and the city of Aurangabad also ply inter-state buses to reach the destination.

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