Tour the Ellora and Ajanta Caves

The Ellora and Ajanta caves are two outstanding cave complexes located close to the city of Aurangabad.

The Ellora Caves are a fine example of cave temples with almost 34 caves with intricate interiors and ornamental facades. Carved between 350 A.D. and 700 A.D., the rock temples and monasteries of Ellora represent the three major faiths of India — Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

The caves of Ajanta predate those of Ellora by nearly 1,000 years. They remained forgotten until as late as the 19th century when a party of British officers discovered the Ajanta caves on the banks of Vaghora River. Buried in the debris of time, these 30 caves were built to offer seclusion to the Buddhist monks, who lived, taught and performed rituals in the seclusion offered by the cave complex. Ajanta offers a rich tapestry of images that speak of palaces, royalty, cultures and tales of everyday life of ancient India. From images of the Buddha to nymphs and princesses and various other characters, the Ajanta engravings are an unmatched visual treat. These caves are made-up of largely Chaityas (prayer halls) or Viharas (places of residence for monks).

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