The Ajanta and Ellora Caves are a series of ancient cave temples located in the Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar district of Maharashtra, India. They are considered to be one of the most significant examples of Indian rock-cut architecture, and have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The entire cave complex was carved out of a single piece of rock, with only chisels and hammers.

Significance of the caves in Indian history and art (overview):

Ajanta caves

The Ajanta caves were discovered in 1819 by a group of British officers who were out on a hunting expedition. Ajanta caves consists of 29 caves. The caves at Ajanta are excavated out of a vertical cliff above the left bank of the river Waghora in the hills of Ajanta. Dating back to the 2nd century BCE, these caves are known for their intricate sculptures, carvings, and paintings that depict stories from Buddhist, Jain and Hindu mythology. The Ajanta Caves, in particular, are renowned for their mural paintings, which cover the walls of the caves and depict scenes from the Jataka tales.

Ellora Caves

Ellora are a complex of 34 caves, extending over more than 2 km. Dating back to A.D. 600 to 1000, these Caves are known for their magnificent sculptures, which range in size from small figures to grand sculptures of deities.

The caves have also been a subject of interest for historians and archaeologists. The detailed paintings and sculptures have provided valuable insights into the ancient Indian way of life. The caves have also been a subject of various excavations and research studies, leading to new discoveries and a better understanding of the past. Both Ajanta and Ellora Caves are a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of ancient Indian artisans and are a must-visit for anyone looking to explore the rich cultural heritage of India.

How to reach:

Ajanta caves & Ellora caves are located at a distance of approx.100kms & 30kms respectively from Chh. Sambhajinagar Railway station

By Train: Nearest Railway station is Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar. From station visitors can hire Taxis or buses to reach the cave complex.

By Air: Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar airport is located at Chikalthana, around 10 Km east of the town and has flights from Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Nagpur, Udaipur, Mumbai, Jaipur, Indore.

Best time to visit Sambhajinagar is during winter (November to march)