#1 of 14 Places to Visit in Ajanta Caves
At a distance of 350 m from Ajanta Foot Cave Bus Stop, Cave 1 is one of the best preserved and the most popular of the caves at Ajanta. It is situated on the eastern end of the horse-shoe shaped bend of rock surface and is the first cave the visitor encounters.
Cave 1 is considered to be the most splendid Buddhist vihara in India and possibly created to be an imperial cave of king Harishena. The monastery, consists of a hall sided by 14 cells, vestibule, sanctum sanctorum, an open verandah flanked by a cell on each side and an open courtyard with two cells on the sides, datable to 4th - 5th centuries AD. There are three doorways: a central doorway and two side doorways. Two square windows were carved between the doorways to brighten the interiors.
The facade of the cave is adorned with elaborate and exquisite carvings depicting scenes from life of Buddha. The porch still contains few mural paintings which once covered most of the spacious porch. Main hall is about 6 m high .....
#2 of 14 Places to Visit in Ajanta Caves
At a distance of 400 m from Ajanta Foot Cave Bus Stop, Cave 2 is situated just beside Cave 1 in Ajanta. It is one of the famous and must visited caves in Ajanta.
Cave 2 is known for the paintings that have been preserved on its walls, ceilings, and pillars. Its architectural plan is quite similar to the neighbouring Cave 1 and is in a better state of preservation. This cave consists of cells, sanctum sanctorum and two pillared sub-shrines datable to 6th century AD. The facade of this Mahayana monastery cave shows the kings of Naga and their followers.
Cave 2 has a porch quite different from Cave 1. The cave is supported by robust pillars, ornamented with designs. The front porch consists of cells supported by pillared vestibules on both ends. The paintings on the ceilings and walls of this porch have been widely published. They depict the Jataka tales that are stories of the Buddha's life in former existences as Bodhisattva. The porch's rear wall has a doorway in the center, .....
#3 of 14 Places to Visit in Ajanta Caves
At a distance of 450 m from Ajanta Foot Cave Bus Stop, Cave 4 is situated near Cave 2. This is one of the popular and most visited caves in Ajanta.
Cave 4 is the largest vihara planned on a grandiose scale but was never finished. An inscription on the pedestal of the Buddha's image inside the shrine mentions that it was a gift from a person named Mathura. This cave consists of a hall, sanctum sanctorum, pillared verandah and is datable to first half of the 6th century AD. The verandah which is supported by eight octagonal pillars with bracket-capitals has a cell at either end. The rear wall of the verandah contains the panel of Litany of Avalokitesvara.
The hall has 28 pillars arranged in a square, which are similar to those in the verandah. On the three sides of the hall are hewn a number of cells, many of which can be seen at different stages of excavation. The hall has one main entrance and two side-doors with wide windows in between. Flying figures, guardians, images of .....
#4 of 14 Places to Visit in Ajanta Caves
At a distance of 650 m from Ajanta Foot Cave Bus Stop, Cave 16 is one of the popular caves situated in the middle of the Ajanta complex. Some of Ajanta's finest paintings can be seen in this cave and is one of the later Vihara caves.
Cave 16 is called the Welcome Gate of Ajanta. Two elephants are at the doorway to welcome the visitors. It also contains some renowned paintings like in Cave 1, 2 and 17. According to an inscription found here, the excavation of this cave was caused by Varahadeva, the minister of Vakataka king Harishena (circa AD 475-500).
The cave consists of a central hall surrounded by 14 cells on three sides, vestibule and a sanctum for Buddha image. Two elephant statues at the base of stairway lead to the cave. The inner shrine has a giant statue of Buddha seated on a throne in the abhayamudra or teaching gesture. Lions and other active animals support the throne. Bodhisattvas stand behind him. This cave gives a good view of the ravine.
The cave chamber .....
#5 of 14 Places to Visit in Ajanta Caves
At a distance of 700 m from Ajanta Foot Cave Bus Stop, Cave 17 is one of the popular caves in Ajanta and is situated just beside the famous Cave 16.
Cave 17 is a Mahayana monastery covered with many well-preserved wall paintings. A Brahmi inscription found here records the excavation of this cave by a feudatory prince under Vakataka king Harishena. This monastery consists of a spacious hall surrounded by 17 cells on three sides, a vestibule and a sanctum containing the image of Buddha. The porch doorway of cave 17 is similar to that of cave 16, with which it is contemporary. The panel above the doorway depicting the seven Manushi Buddhas (Buddhas in human form) together with the Maitreya or future Buddha seated under their respective Bodhi trees.
The plan of this cave is simple and severe. The pillars in both the porch and interior are arranged in a strict order. The pillars near the shrine have intricate carvings. The Buddha in the shrine is seated in Dharmachakra mudra, or .....
#6 of 14 Places to Visit in Ajanta Caves
At a distance of 710 m from Ajanta Foot Cave Bus Stop, Cave 19 is one of the popular caves in Ajanta and is situated just beside the Cave 18.
Cave 19 is a chaityagriha datable to 5th century AD and could be the gandhakuti. The same donor as cave 17, a feudatory prince under Vakataka king Harishena, patronized this cave. This is a small cave but singularly well-proportioned chaityagriha and is one of the most perfect specimens of Buddhist rock-cut architecture at Ajanta.
Though separated in date from the earlier chaityagrihas by several centuries, it traditionally maintains the older plan with the only innovations that the image of Buddha is now introduced on the votive stupa. The imitation of wooden beams still persists in the stone ribs of the vaulted ceiling. Of the seventeen interior pillars, thirteen resemble those of Ajanta Cave 1, both in workmanship and design, their capitals having the seated figures of Buddha at the center and the projecting brackets being occupied .....
#7 of 14 Places to Visit in Ajanta Caves
At a distance of 750 m from Ajanta Foot Cave Bus Stop, Cave 26 is a chaityagriha situated beside the Cave 25. This cave belongs to Mahayana school of Buddhism and is one of the most popular caves to be visited in Ajanta.
Cave 26 is quite similar to Cave 19, but of a larger dimension and with more elaborately and exquisitely carved sculpted figures. An inscription (AD 450 - 525) found on the wall of the front verandah records the gift of this chaityagriha by a monk Buddhabhadra, a friend of Bhavviraja, a minister of the king of Asmaka (Vidarbha).
The chaityagriha consists of a hall, side aisles (pradakshina) and a rock-cut stupa with an image of Buddha. The facade, inner pillars, triforium (between pillars and roof), and side walls are extensively carved with images and decorative designs. The cave contains a stupa with an image of Buddha seated on a lion throne. He is flanked by riders and flying attendants.
However, the most striking and prominent image of this cave .....
#8 of 14 Places to Visit in Ajanta Caves
At a distance of 450 m from Ajanta Foot Cave Bus Stop, Cave 5 to 8 are situated beside Cave 4 at Ajanta in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra.
Cave 5 is an unfinished vihara in Ajanta group of Caves. The richly-carved doorway and the female figures standing on makaras are the main attractions of this cave. The design of frescoes are intricately done and portrays are some of the best designs in Ajanta.
Cave 6 is a double storeyed vihara consisting of a hall, sanctum sanctorum and a pillared hall in the lower storey and a hall with cells, subsidiary cells and sanctum sanctorum in the upper storey. Buddha in preaching attitude is housed in both the shrines. The depiction of Miracle of Sravasti and Temptation of Mara are the important paintings in the lower storey. The upper floor of Cave 6 has many private votive sculptures, and an unfinished Buddha Shrine. Besides the main shrine, there are two more chapels containing images of Buddha. The cave has a profusion of carved figures .....
#9 of 14 Places to Visit in Ajanta Caves
At a distance of 550 m from Ajanta Foot Cave Bus Stop, Cave 9 to Cave 11 are situated beside Cave 8 at Ajanta in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra.
Cave 9 is an apsidal chaityagriha datable to 2nd century BC and belongs to the Hinayana phase of Buddhism. The chaityagriha consists of an entrance door, two side windows, central hall, nave flanked by side aisles (pradakshina) on either side separated by a row of 23 pillars and a stupa, the object of worship.
The chaityagriha exhibits reproduction of wooden architectural styles, in the form of inward tapering octagonal pillars, evidence of fixing wooden beams & rafters, etc. The chaitya was in use during later period also as indicated by the sculptures of Buddha on the facade and side walls facing the court. The cave consists of two layers of paintings, the earlier dating back to the second half of 1st century BC and the later to 5th - 6th centuries AD.
Cave 10 is also a chaityagriha datable to 2nd century BC and belongs .....
#10 of 14 Places to Visit in Ajanta Caves
At a distance of 600 m from Ajanta Foot Cave Bus Stop, Cave 12 is situated adjacent to Cave 11 at Ajanta in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra.
Cave 12 is a Hinayana vihara which was excavated in the 2nd century BC and it is probably one of the earliest excavations at Ajanta. The facade has collapsed and reveals the plain interior square hall. It has 12 cells and each cell having two stone-beds. The skillfully carved sleeping berths in the cells. An inscription on the back wall of the monastery records the gift of this cave by one merchant Ghanamadada and paleographically datable to 2nd - 1st century BC perhaps slightly later than Cave 10. The walls of the hall above the cell-doors are ornamented with chaitya-window motifs.
Cave 13 is an incomplete vihara belongs to Hinayana phase of Buddhism. This is a small monastery and consists of an astylar hall with seven cells on three sides. The cells are provided with rock-cut beds.
Cave 14 is an unfinished monastery and was .....
#11 of 14 Places to Visit in Ajanta Caves
At a distance of 750 m from Ajanta Foot Cave Bus Stop, Cave 20 is situated just beside the Cave 19. Caves 20 to Cave 15 are unfinished viharas and less popular than other caves at Ajanta.
Cave 20 is a pillar less vihara consists of hall, cells, sanctum sanctorum and a pillared verandah datable between 450 AD and 525 AD. A Brahmi inscription in the verandah records the gift of the mandapa by one Upendra. Buddha in preaching attitude is housed in the sanctum. The sculpture of seven Buddhas accompanied by attendants is another important sculptural panel in this cave.
Cave 21 is also a vihara and is the first cave behind periodic waterfall. This cave consists of a hall with 12 pillars, 12 cells, a sanctum sanctorum, and a pillared verandah. Out of 12 cells four are with pillared porches. The sanctum houses a seated Buddha in preaching attitude. The pillars are well carved and the remains of plaster show that there were paintings .....
#12 of 14 Places to Visit in Ajanta Caves
At a distance of 770 m from Ajanta Foot Cave Bus Stop, Cave 27 is a vihara situated beside the famous Cave 26.
Cave 27 is could have been part of Cave 26 and it consists of two storeys, the upper one partially collapsed. The monastery consists of a hall with four cells, antechamber and sanctum sanctorum. Buddha in teaching attitude is housed inside the sanctum. There is a Naga dwarpala on the outer flank of the shrine. The porched doorway of Cave 27 is derived from the shrine doorway of Cave 2.
Cave 28 is an unfinished monastery of which only the pillared verandah was excavated.
Cave 29 is an unfinished chaityagriha in its first stage of excavation and located at the highest level, located between Caves 20 and 21. Here starts a waterfall of Waghur River with seven cascades (sat-kund).
Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM on all days except Mondays.
#13 of 14 Places to Visit in Ajanta Caves
At a distance of 28 km from Aurangabad, 98 km from Ajanta Caves, 104 km from Shirdi, 176 km from Nashik, 253 km from Pune, and 344 km from Mumbai, Ellora Caves are ancient historical caves locally known as 'Verul Leni'. The caves are located near Verul on the Aurangabad-Chalisgaon road to the northwest of Aurangabad in Maharashtra. The Ellora Caves were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. Ellora is the most visited ancient monument and also one of the top Tourist places in Maharashtra. Ellora is also one of the top tourist places near Mumbai.
Ajanta - Ellora Caves are one of the most visited ancient monuments in India. The caves at Ellora were carved out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills between the 6th and 10th centuries AD. The carving work began around .....
Distance (From Ajanta Caves Bus Stop): 98 Kms
Trip Duration (From Ajanta Caves Bus Stop - Including Travel): Full Day
#14 of 14 Places to Visit in Ajanta Caves
At a distance of 108 km from Shirdi, 181 km from Nashik, 232 km from Pune, 350 km from Mumbai, 482 km from Nagpur and 534 km from Hyderabad, Aurangabad is a historical city and the administrative headquarters of the Aurangabad Division or Marathwada region in Maharashtra. In 2010, the Maharashtra Tourism Minister declared Aurangabad to be the tourism capital of Maharashtra. It is one of the top places to visit near Pune and also one of the top places to experince Maharashtra tourism.
Popularly known as City of Gates, Aurangabad city was founded in 1610 AD by Malik Ambar, the Prime Minister of Murtaza Nizam Shah of Ahmadnagar and his son Fateh Khan changed the original name Khadki to Fatehnagar. The areas around Aurangabad were under the control of Delhi Sultanates, Bahamani Sultans, Nizam Shahis, Mughals and Hyderabad Nizams. .....
Distance (From Ajanta Caves Bus Stop): 98 Kms
Trip Duration (From Ajanta Caves Bus Stop - Including Travel): 1-2 Days
Most Asked Questions on Ajanta Caves
Post Monsoon and Winter are the best seasons to visit Ajanta Caves. This is also the best time to explore western ghats in lush greenery with waters flowing from various streams are at their full glory. Winter is the busiest season in Ajanta Caves and hotel prices are also very high during this season.
Ajanta Caves usually takes full day to visit the most important places. Several tourists usually prefer visiting Ajant Caves along with Ellora Caves which requires an additional day. Ajanta Caves can be mixed with near by wonderful destination like Aurangabad, Shirdi and Nashik by adding few additional days to your trip.
Budget of Ajanta Caves trip depends on the trip duration and category of hotel you choose for your stay along with the kind of vehicle you prefer. Ajanta Caves tour packages offered by Trawell.in start from as low as INR 6850 per person for a 2D/1N trip and from INR 8700 per person for 3D/2N vacation.
Yes, one must hire a guide to explore the ancient caves and its historical beauty of Ajanta. A guide can only explain to you the true life details of Lord Buddha’s life, before he attained moksh (salvation) that inscribed on the walls of Ajanta Caves.
Normally, it takes 6-7 hours to see all the caves in Ajanta.
Top 5 Ajanta Caves Packages
|Ajanta and Ellora Caves in 2 Days||2D/1N||₹ 6850||View Details|
|Ellora, Ajanta and Aurangabad in 3 Days||3D/2N||₹ 8700||View Details|
|Shirdi, Ajanta and Ellora Caves in 3 Days||3D/2N||₹ 9600||View Details|
|Nashik, Shirdi, Ajanta and Ellora Tour in 4 Days||4D/3N||₹ 11700||View Details|
|Nashik, Shirdi, Ajanta, Ellora & Aurangabad in 5 Days||5D/4N||₹ 13800||View Details|
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