India, the magical attraction for tourists from all over the globe, is as famous for its historical and archaeological marvels as for its natural beauty. A visit to one of the talked-about destinations and you are sure to be eager for more. One such destination is Ajanta and Ellora caves, one among the best places to visit in India for a history-filled outing. Don’t miss a chance to visit Ajanta and Ellora caves from Mumbai, next time you travel to India.
Basic Ajanta and Ellora Caves Information
It is always wise to gather basic information before visiting any archaeological site. Without any information, you will be reduced to an ignorant spectator. So here are some facts for you.
- Ajanta and Ellora are a set of cave temples which have been entirely carved out of rocks. Granite hillsides of Deccan plateau have been sliced to make way for this enormous structure.
- These caves date back to 2nd century BC and find a place in UNESCO Heritage List. Ajanta caves are older than Ellora.
- The set of 29 caves of Ajanta and Ellora are properly numbered and each one opens a new door to history. The intricately designed sculptures and colorful murals on the walls of caves are proofs of artistic talent of the olden days. In those days, when man had nothing but his own hands and some raw tools to assist him, he carved out such magnificence out of nothing!
- Ajanta Caves are remnants of Buddhist culture and traditions. The sculptures here depict stories from the early life of Buddha.
- Ellora Caves preserve monuments from Hindu, Buddhist and Jain traditions. Chaitya Hall Cave or the Carpenter’s Cave, is the most popular cave of Ellora. This shrine-like cave has a huge statue of Buddha in the center, blessing devotees who throng the place.
- Cave 16 of Ellora has the largest single monolithic rock excavation in the world, the Kailash temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is an enormous, awe-inspiring structure carved out of a single rock.
- The surprising part is that though dating back to centuries, these caves had totally faded from public memory until some British officers rediscovered the place while roaming through Deccan jungles. Even today, the caves are well preserved by Mother Nature’s protective covering of greenery.
- Being located within easy reach of Mumbai, it is ideal to plan a weekend trip to Ajanta Ellora caves from Mumbai. A day or two with history shrouded with mystery!
Be armed with Ajanta Ellora Caves’ information before you head to the place so that you are not at the mercy of the guides who are the ubiquitous presence of the area.
Best time to visit Ajanta and Ellora Caves
The state of Maharashtra is blessed with reasonably good climate throughout the year. As for your trip to Ajanta and Ellora Caves from Mumbai or other parts of India, it is best to choose monsoons. From June to September, the area receives good rainfall and will be thick with green cover. It is a pleasure to watch the streams and brooks en route, while the destination just takes your breath away. Ajanta Caves face the east and provide ample opportunities for photographers to capture early rays of sun falling on the rock structures.
For those desirous of a cultural outing, there is the Ajanta Ellora Festival organized by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, between the months of November to March. Here you get to enjoy traditional performances in the backdrop of the amazing structures. So winters could also be the best time to visit Ajanta and Ellora Caves, depending on your tastes.
How to reach Ajanta and Ellora caves
Being one of the most popular places to visit in India, Ajanta and Ellora caves enjoy good connectivity.
By air: Aurangabad airport, located at a distance of around 100 kms, is the nearest for air travel. Aurangabad is connected to other Indian cities.
By train: Jalgaon and Aurangabad are the nearest railway stations from where one can travel to Ajanta and Ellora.
By road: Road travel is the best solution to the question, how to reach Ajanta and Ellora caves. If you are planning a tour to Ajanta and Ellora Caves from Mumbai, a road trip is advisable for it lets you travel in your own pace.
So all nature lovers, don’t write off this place as only for history buffs, there is nature also aplenty waiting for you there. A single trip for a lifetime of memories!
Author: E Jey
Just a passionate traveler who loves scribbling his expeditions @ www.jauntmonkey.com, www.outonroads.com, and www.blogthatall.com