Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ajanta Ellora Caves

The Ajanta and Ellora Caves of Maharashtra are amongst the most visited Buddhist sites of India. The Ajanta caves are around 110 km from Aurangabad while the Ellora caves are only 30 km away. Aurangabad itself is around 380 km NE of Mumbai, the commercial capital of India and capital city of Maharashtra.

At Ajanta, there are 30 Buddhist caves that were dug when Buddhism was thriving in India. Today, not all are in a good state. Cave 16 and 17 are exceptions, they are well preserved. The paintings here are inspired by the jatakas. A reclining Buddha image in Cave 26 is also worthseeing.

The Ellora Caves are not just Buddhist, there are also some Hindu and Jain Caves here. Cave 16 again hogs the highlight here. Known as the Kailashnath Temple, the cave temple was carved out of a single piece of rock top down. The Buddhist caves (1-12) of Ellora are the oldest one here. Most of the Buddhist caves are viharas.

Both MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) and ITDC (Indian Tourism Development Corporation) offer pacakges to tour the Ajanta and the Ellora caves. There are private tour opeartors as well who offer packages for Ajanta and ellora. Staying options are better in Aurangabad, hence most of the visitors on a trip to these caves put up in the city itself.

Check out the link here to find out more details on the Ajanta and Ellora Caves. There are also information on the various nearby tourist sites that can be visited after exploring the caves.

1 comment:

Just a person said...

thank you...

quite a few important points in a nut-shell

i am leaving for a vacation and your blog was a nice at-a-glance guide