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Aurangabad

Ajanta and Ellora Caves – A UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The World Heritage Site of Ajanta stand out distinctively because of their architectural splendour, Buddhist legacy and artistic masterpieces, including narratives painted on the walls of ‘chaityas’ (prayer halls) and ‘viharas’(residential cells). The caves are decorated with fascinating fresco paintings that arethe finest surviving examples of Indian art, particularly pai Buddhist religious art with figures of the Buddha and depictions of the Jataka tales, where the expressions come alive even after centuries.

Ajanta is located on an ancient trade route known in ancient literature as ‘Dakshinapatha’. Most of the donors at Ajanta, especially of the earlier caves, were traders. Evident from 100 inscribed and painted inscriptions narrating stories of these donors that also included monks, kings, ministers, and others.

Ellora Caves and Kailasa Temple

One of our favorite and the most fascinating archaeological site is the Kailasa Temple in Ellora, dating back to the Rashtrakuta dynasty, about 1,500 years ago, and is the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture. The 34 caves are actually structures excavated out of the vertical face of the hills, where we will see the evidence of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain ‘viharas’ and ‘mathas’, which tell the story of how social and economic order was often represented through religion. The intricacy and the accuracy of the architecture illustrates the spirit of extreme compassion and perseverance that was characteristic of ancient India.

Best time to visit: Autumn, Fall & Winter – September till March

 

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