In continuation to our series on historical places, we review Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Maharashtra.
Located in the hills near the city of Aurangabad in northern Maharashtra (400kilometres from Mumbai), Ajanta and Ellora caves are the most stupendous specimens of ancient Indian architectural inheritance. These amazing caves are accidentally discovered by John Smith, a British Army Officer with his group on their expedition in 1819. They illustrate the story of Buddhism, spanning over a period from 200 BC to 650 AD. There are 34 caves at Ellora and 29 caves at Ajanta.
The most unbelievable fact about these caves is that they were crafted by hand, with only a hammer and chisel. While the Ajanta caves are rich in paintings and sculpture, the Ellora caves are popular for their unique architecture.
They are placed in a horseshoe shape. The river Wagura, a mountain stream flows along the underside of the narrow valley. This river falls from a height of 200ft making a series of splendid waterfalls. The sound of the waterfalls can be heard in the caves also.
How to Reach
Air: Nearest airport is Aurangabad, that is108 km away. Aurangabad’s Chikalthana airport is 10 km from the city center. There are several flights to Aurangabad from Mumbai on a daily basis.
Rail: Jalgaon is the nearest station, which is 58 km away.
Road: State transport buses run from Jalgaon to Ajanta.