Visit Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad: A Must-Visit For Those Who Love To Know More About Ancient Architecture (2023)
Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad are one of the most popular tourist locations in India. The caves are a destination of historical and cultural importance.
The Ajanta Caves are a must-visit for those who love to know more about ancient architecture and to know more about India’s history.
The origins of the Ajanta Caves date back to the 2nd BC. The caves have a history as well. In the late 1800s, a British Officer discovered the caves while on an expedition. Image Source
The Ajanta Caves Experience
The Ajanta Caves are 20 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments that have paintings, sculptures, and carvings that denote Buddhism. The Caves have structures that could be monasteries and worship halls.
The Ajanta Caves spread out along a U-shaped cliff, overlooking a valley. In the caves, you see various sculptures of Lord Buddha, both big and small. You will see intricate carvings on the pillars of the caves.
A culturally important aspect of the Ajanta Caves is the paintings. While you will see sculptures and carvings in several other Temples in India, the Ajanta Caves is one of those rare locations that have cave paintings from a bygone era. Interestingly, they have creative colors, showing the kind of expertise the artisans of those times had.
The biggest Cave is also the most formidable to look at, with pillars on both sides leading a path to a large statue of Gautam Buddha at the end. The Ajanta Caves have a rich history and are steeped in culture. Only a tour guide would be able to do justice and tell you everything about Ajanta Caves and what you will see there.
The most visible aspect in Ajanta Caves here is the sculptures that depict the lives of Gautama Buddha, including his rebirths. These are the Jataka Tales, which have become popular folktales today.
The Ajanta Caves are 100 KM away from the city of Aurangabad, and it takes you about one and a half hours to reach the caves.
Most of the tourists who visit Aurangabad are on their way to visit Ajanta and the Ellora Caves. You will see that every hotel and tourist business offer you cabs, buses, and private vehicles to and from Ajanta to Aurangabad City.
One misconception is that Ajanta and Ellora Caves are together. Both are quite far from each other, as Ellora Caves is about 40 KM away from Aurangabad. This misconception arises because many tourist centers spell it out as Ajanta and Ellora, making it seem that both the places are near each other.
Also, while it is technically possible to explore both Ajanta and Ellora in one day, it will be a rushed affair if you do it in reality.
Places to Visit Near Ajanta Caves
The Ajanta Caves are near Aurangabad, and if you have a couple of days with you, you can visit the other places of tourist interest in and around Aurangabad. For example, you can go to the Daulatabad Fort, the Ellora Caves, and the Pannchakki. The Ajanta Caves are closed to tourists on Monday.
All these places make Aurangabad a destination that is of tourist as well as historical and archaeological interest, making it one a must-visit destination in India.
The Daulatabad Fort and Ellora Caves are near Aurangabad, while Panchakki is within Aurangabad. You also have the Siddharth Gardens, a local garden here where you can spend a quiet afternoon. In Aurangabad, you also have the Bibi ka Maqbara, which experts say is the Taj Mahal of the West when it comes to Indian places of tourist interest.
Ajanta is in the interiors of Maharashtra, and the weather here is very harsh. You will have a headache if you spend the entire day in sunny Aurangabad. So, make sure that you plan your itinerary so that you are not out in the sun for long. Also, make sure to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, etc. It’s also a good idea to pack some drinking water and snacks for your journey from Aurangabad City to the Ajanta Caves.
Aurangabad is a tourist city, so you will find several hotels that offer you accommodation for all budgets. But if you are booking the rooms online, make sure you check the services and amenities that are on offer. For example, some hotels in Aurangabad don’t allow singles to share the rooms, don’t allow pets, so on and so forth. So, make sure that you book a hotel that best fits your requirements.
How to Reach Ajanta Caves?
Aurangabad connects well with the cities in India, like Mumbai, Pune, Delhi. You take about seven hours to reach Aurangabad from Mumbai, via road as well as via train. Aurangabad has an airport, and there are regular flights between the cities. From Pune, you will take about two hours to reach Aurangabad.