Aurangabad (Ajanta and Ellora Caves)
Do you want to experience the rich cultural heritage of ancient India? Then plan a trip to the popular tourist spot of Aurangabad to explore the majestic Ajanta and Ellora Caves. People from across the globe visit this destination to explore its captivating carvings and structures. Ancient architecture and beautiful carvings of this tourist spot attract travelers from across the world.
The Ajanta and Ellora caves are one of the main attractions to explore in the state of Maharashtra. Listed by UNESCO among the World Heritage Sites, it shall be a wonderful experience to explore the intricately carved caves of these tourist spots. Situated in the middle of the mesmerizing Sahyadri Hills, the cave temples of the Ajanta are known for its eye-catching paintings. Choose one of the best travel packages of Colourful Indian Holidays to visit the awe-inspiring Ajanta and Ellora Caves and explore the rich legacy of India.
Aurangabad – most-sought after tourist destination in Maharashtra
Blessed with so many historical attractions, Aurangabad is one of the most popular tourist places in Maharashtra. Named after the renowned Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, a lot of people visit this elegant city to explore its rustic charm. Also known by the name, ‘ City of Gates’, Aurangabad offers many tourist attractions to explore make it ideal for a perfect family vacation.
This majestic city is recommended for those who are interested in the rich culture and heritage of India. They can get glimpses of the golden history of the country by visiting this destination. The brilliance and history of this tourist place attract many travelers from across the globe. Take a look at the best tourist attractions to explore in this incredible vacation destination in Maharashtra.
Ajanta and Ellora Caves – A symbol of the architectural brilliance of the early Indians
There is no other better place to see the architectural intellect of the bygone Indians than the captivating Ajanta and Ellora Caves. The Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Maharashtra are not only outstanding tourist destinations or exploration sites, but also excellent pilgrimage sites. Make a trip to these destinations to enjoy the captivating artistry existed in the bygone era.
These exploration spots are among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and travelers to India add them into their bucket-list. Even if these two caves are mentioned as a single tourist attraction, they consist of two different cave group sets located at different parts of the state.
The amazing Ajanta group of caves is a stunning tourist attraction in Aurangabad located along the Waghora River in the core of the majestic Sahyadri Hills. Buddhists monasteries are the prime attractions of this group of caves.
There are 29 caves in Ajanta which were built by the Buddhist monks using tools like hammer and chisel. They built it as their private abode to teach and perform rituals. Buddhist monks made the walls of these caves attractive with imposing figures.
There are 34 caves in the Ellora Caves which is located almost 29 kilometers away from Aurangabad. Carved into the sides of a basaltic hill, beautifully adorned interiors and intricate facades make these caves more appealing. The Ellora Caves are a must-visit spot for those who admire the cave-temple architecture in India.
These caves are believed to be carved during the period between 350 AD and 700 AD. Although all the cave temples of the Ellora are captivating, the most spectacular among them is the Kailasa Temple. The largest monolithic structure in the world is the highlight of this temple.
Things to see in Ajanta and Ellora Caves
Visiting the Ajanta and Ellora Caves shall be a spellbound experience as both of them are two man-made wonders in India. These tourist destinations are not mere rock-cut caves, but you will be mesmerized to see its elaborate artwork and sculptures. These stunning cave groups attract travelers with its eye-catching rock-temples, elegant rock-cut monasteries and alluring structures that fascinate people with beautiful carvings and sculptures.
By watching these carvings and other artwork, you will get a deep idea about the ancient culture. These structures explain the costumes, jewelry, social activities and the man-woman relationship of that era. Some of the interesting activities that you can enjoy during your visit to the Ajanta and Ellora Caves include:
- Exploring the caves
Many souks are there surrounding these caves that are ideal for souvenir shopping. Travelers to these tourist spots love to buy different items like models of cave temples, handicrafts, paintings, apparels, jewelry, Buddha statues and footwear. A few forts, temples and other architectural splendors are also there near these caves worth exploring.
The uniqueness of Ajanta and Ellora Caves
|Carved in a horse-shoe shaped rock||Scattered randomly|
|Built between 200 BCE and 680 CE||built between 5th and 10th century|
|Buddhist monasteries and viharas||Mainly religious centers for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains|
|104 km from Aurangabad||29 km away from Aurangabad|
Best time to visit
One of the great features of the Ajanta Ellora Caves is that it can be visited throughout the year. Since Maharashtra is a destination with extreme summer with high humidity, you can enjoy exploring the caves more if you visit these tourist spots during the winter season. Being an outdoor activity, you can avoid the chances of dehydration with a lot of exploration and walking if you choose to visit these destinations during winter months.
So, choose any time between July to March to explore the astonishing Ajanta and Ellora Caves. Monsoon in Aurangabad starts in July and ends in September. Most of the travelers do not prefer to explore the caves when they are drenched. But if you are on a photographic tour, you can choose this time to visit the caves as the rain washes out these places make it more appealing in photographs. The pleasing climate, less humidity and seldom rains make the winter time more appropriate to visit these caves.
How to reachLocated in the Aurangabad in the Maharashtra state, the Ajanta and Ellora Caves are among the most popular tourist attractions in the country. The Aurangabad airport is almost 100 kilometers away from these tourist spots.
This airport is well-connected to almost all the major cities in India. The nearest railway station to reach this destination is the Jalgaon Railway Station which is about 60 kilometers away. Aurangabad is well-connected via road to many neighboring cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Hyderabad.
Other tourist spots in AurangabadEven though the prime attractions of Aurangabad are the Ajanta and Ellora Caves, this destination is also blessed with several other tourist spots.
People who plan some Aurangabad holidays ensure visit those attractions for a mind-blowing vacation in this city. Here are the other popular attractions in Aurangabad other than renowned Ajanta and Ellora Caves.
Bibi Ka Maqbara - Another symbol of love in India
Like the well known Taj Mahal, the historic monument in Aurangabad, Bibi Ka Maqbara is also a symbol of love. But it is not as famous or large as the Taj Mahal. Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb constructed this historic monument for his wife, Dilras Banu Begum. Adorned with exquisite marbles and decorated with intricate carvings and designs, this mausoleum on an elevated platform also has good resemblance with the charming Taj Mahal in Agra.
Four minarets are there on its four corners to guard it. Include this ancient monument also in your travel itinerary while you plan a trip to the renowned Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Aurangabad.
Grishneshwar Temple - An ancient temple with a pre-historical architectural style
A trip to the sacred Grishneshwar Temple makes your trip to Aurangabad more blessed. This ancient temple is an important pilgrimage center for the Hindu community. Located in a serene village, near the Ellora Caves almost 30 kilometers away from the Aurangabad City, the main attraction of this temple is its pre-historical architectural style.
Visitors shall be delighted to watch the different Hindu Gods carved on the red brick walls of this shrine. This temple is believed to be the last ”Jyotirlinga’ on earth. Pay a visit to this temple during your holidays in Aurangabad to purify your mind and soul.
Daulatabad Fort - a popular fort in Aurangabad
People who visit Aurangabad ensure to visit the famous Daulatabad Fort to see its stunning structure. Compared to the other forts in and around this region, it has a strong structure. Since it has a narrow bridge to reach inside this fort, it was difficult for intruders to conquer the fort. Daulatabad Fort in Aurangabad stayed glorious forever since its construction without conquered by anyone.
This fort has three defensive walls, and a subterranean passage made out of solid rocks makes it strong. Three important structures, ChiniMahal, Chand Minar, and Baradari are great features of this fort make it more captivating.
Hazur Sahib Nanded - a sacred place for the Sikhs
Being one of the five takhts, the Hazur Sahib Nanded in Aurangabad is a great pilgrimage center for the Sikh community. This renowned Gurdwara was built to commemorate the death of their Guru, Guru Gobind Sahib.
A lot of people visit this holy place to offer prayers to the gurdwara and to explore the rich history of the Sikhs. Travelers will be delighted to hear the glorious tales of this great Sikh Guru. Visiting the Hazur Sahib Nanded shall be a beautiful experience for each traveler to Aurangabad.
Lonar Crater Lake – A beautiful lake with stunning surroundings
Another not to miss tourist spot in Aurangabad is the Lonar Crater Lake. Travelers can reach this place within 3-hour’s drive from the Aurangabad City. People include this lake in their travel itinerary because of its fascinating surroundings.
Surrounded by rich greeneries and a few low-lying hills, each visitor to this region gets mesmerized by the captivating charm of this oval-shaped lake. Another interesting factor about this lake is that it was created because of the impact of a meteor. People who visit this lake also prefer to witness the temples around it.
Jayakwadi Dam –one of the largest irrigation dams in Maharashtra
Maharashtra is home to several beautiful rivers and some of them have captivating dams constructed mainly for agricultural and irrigation purposes. Jayakwadi Dam is one such tourist attraction in Aurangabad on the Godavari River in a small hamlet named Jayakwadi. It is among the largest earthen dams in the Asian continent which also largely contribute to meet the drinking water requirements of the surrounding areas like Aurangabad, Jalna and many other places. Jayakwadi Dam located in the Paithantaluka region with a bird sanctuary and a garden.
People who visit the dam ensure to visit this bird sanctuary where they can watch more than 200 species of rare local and migratory birds. The abundance of food, favorable conditions and shallow water make it a haven for many exotic bird species. You can watch some of the avian species like the brahminy duck, flamingos, cranes and wigeons in this picnic spot.
Himayat Bagh – a verdant garden in Aurangabad
Sprawling across an area of around 300 acres, visiting the enchanting Himayat Bagh shall be a refreshing experience for each visitor. Earlier known as the ‘Mughal Garden’, this beautiful tourist spot reminds a glorious past. Lush and verdant, this marvelous garden houses the Fruit Research Station and Nursery. This 17th -century garden was established during the reign of Aurangzeb, a famous Mughal Emperor.
With many exotic plant species, rich greenery and pleasant ambiance, visiting this garden make the body and mind of each visitor refreshed. Each of you will be delighted to take a walk through its well-manicured lawns and to get glimpses of the glorious bygone Mughal Era.
Zainuddin Shirzai's Maqbara – a sacred place for Muslims
The most attractive feature of Aurangabad is its rich and diverse history. Exploring the ancient monuments of this destination will provide an idea about the rich past of this destination. This city is not only famous for monuments and majestic cave attractions but also for pious saints. Syed Zain-ud-Din is one among them who dedicated his life for preaching and improve the life of people. Born in a small village, Shiraz in Hijri, he went to Delhi to become the disciple of a great saint named, MaulanaKamaluddin.
But after a few years, he came back to Daualtabad along with his teacher. A cenotaph was built in Khuladabad to commemorate the great contribution by this saint to the society. People who visit the Aurangabad city ensure to visit this maqbara to offer prayers to this great saint and to enjoy its beauty.
Parli Vaidhyanath Jyotirlinga Temple - a sacred pilgrimage site for Hindus
This temple is a significant pilgrimage destination for the Hindus where thousands of devotees visit every year. Parli is an ancient village located in Aurangabad on the panoramic slopes of the renowned Naganarayana and Meru mountains.
It is the place where the Vaidhyanath Jyotirlinga Temple is located which houses the fifth ‘jyotirlinga’. An attractive feature of this temple is that it is situated near three beautiful rivers, Brahma, Saraswati and Venu. Since the abundant thickets and the nearby mountains around this temple have medicinal qualities, this temple is known by the name ‘Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga Temple’.
Prozone Mall – for a mind-blowing shopping experience
If you are a shopping lover, ensure to visit the horizontally Prozone Mall in Aurangabad. It is one of the largest malls in Aurangabad where travelers can shop many national and international brands.
This shopping hall has more than 150 retail stores to enjoy excellent shopping opportunities. Besides, it has a large family entertainment center and a 5-screen cinema complex. The shopping mall also offers ample space for parking for the convenience of the visitors.
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