Ajanta Ellora Caves - A Masterpiece
Ajanta and Ellora consists of 64 rock-cut caves and is considered as the gems that show case the Indian history and are a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ajanta Ellora Caves History
Ajanta caves are estimated to be built around 2nd Century BC to 650 CE. According the famous history scholar, Walter M. Spink, these caves were built in two phases (Satavahana Period and Vākāṭaka Period), while Ellora caves are comparatively younger, estimated to be built around 5th to 10th century.
Ellora caves consists of three parts – Hindu caves, Jain caves and Buddhist Caves.
Ajanta caves were abandoned and was later found by British officer in 1819.
What is the difference between Ajanta and Ellora Caves?
Shape of the caves: Ellora caves are scattered randomly while Ajanta caves have a horse-shoe shape.
Types of caves: Ajanta Caves has viharas and Buddhist monasteries. Ellora Caves consists of religious centers for Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain
Construction Period: Ajanta Caves were built in the period between 200 BCE and 680 CE. On the other hand, Ellora Caves are way younger and were built between 5th and 10th century
Distance: Both the caves are 100 km away from each other. Ajanta Caves is 104 km from Aurangabad, while Ellora Caves is 29 km away from Aurangabad
Main attractions of Ajanta Caves
Ajanta has 30 caves all displaying beautiful sculptures and paintings.
Cave 1: All the painting in this cave are original. The great entryway is enhanced with Bodhisattva wall paintings and the sidewalls portray two significant periods of Buddha's life (minute before his enlightment and when he transformed himself into numerous pictures)
Cave 2: The main highlight of this cave is its roof, which has complex abstract designs of devils, birds, fruits and flowers.
Cave 4: This is one of the largest monasteries in Ajanta and still sparks the magic, in spite of being an incomplete creation.
Main attractions in Ellora Caves
Cave 1: The cave is a simple vihara and features 8 monastic cells.
Cave 2: Cave 2 has 12 ornate square pillars. Lord Buddha seated on a lion is yet another attraction. The doorway features an impressive carving of Maitreya Buddha, along with Padmapani holding a lotus.
Cave 16: One of the highlights of Ellora Caves, Cave 16 or Kailash Temple also happens to be an important pilgrimage spot for the followers of Lord Shiva. The gopurams of this architectural marvel signify Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva.
Best Time To Visit Ajanta Ellora Caves
June to March is the best time to visit Ajanta Ellora Caves
Ajanta Ellora Caves Timings And Fee
Timings: 9 am to 9:30 pm (Mondays closed)
Entry fee: INR 10 per head (Indians) | INR 250 per head (foreign tourists) | INR 25 per camera | INR 0 for children below 15 years old
Timings: From sunrise to sunset
Entry fee: INR 10 per head (Indians) | INR 250 per head (foreign tourists) | INR 25 per camera