Ajanta Caves

Exploring Aurangabad with Ajanta and Ellora Caves

Aurangabad City

  • Pune to Aurangabad – 230 km by road
  • Mumbai to Aurangabad – 327 km by road
  • Nasik to Aurangabad – 187 km by road

A big City in the Maharashtra State of India. Over the last decade, the City has grown a lot in terms of total population, the number of Businesses in this City and the way the commercialization is happening here. You must have heard about Ajanta Caves, which are near Aurangabad City.

Like all other places in Marathwada region of Maharashtra, this City also faces severe water scarcity during the summer months and provided this problem is addressed properly, this City can grow as a great place for Tourism.

Why a major Tourist Attraction?

The key reason for Tourists getting attracted to this City is the proximity to the World famous Ellora and Ajanta caves. There will be hardly any Travel portal or blog or website related to travel in India, which would not have covered these two locations. The best season to visit these places is winter (Oct to Jan)

There is a lot of information published on these caves on various other government and private sites also. People who have lived in India (especially Maharashtra) are well aware of these places and millions of tourists visit the caves each year.

I will only touch base both the Caves in this Blog. This could be a very good Winter Trip for you. The Aurangabad City and Ellora may be one trip and only Ajanta can be the second trip from Pune. If you can stay for 2 to 3 nights at Aurangabad, you can cover all places in a single tour. 

grishneshwar temple, MH
Grishneshwar temple near Aurangabad

The temple picture at the top of this Blog is of Grishnewar Temple which is Lord Shiva temple. There are 12 such important Lord Shiva temples in India (called as 12 Jyotirlinga) and Grishneswar temple is one of them. This is very near the Verul/Ellora caves and you can visit it during your Verul trip.

Bibi-Ka-Maqbara

Aurangabad attractions
Aurangabad replica of Taj Mahal Image Courtesy : Maps of India

This structure is a copy of the World famous Taj Mahal at Agra but never became popular like Taj Mahal due to the Architectural differences. The structure is built on a large square platform with a dome at the center and four minarets at the corners of the square.

This is a mausoleum of ‘Rabia-Ul-Daurani’, the wife of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. This is believed to be constructed by Azam Shah, the son of this Queen. The location of this place is great and the structure is a part of a large enclosure. One of the World heritage sites.

 

Panchakki (Water-Mill)

This is a monument located in Aurangabad City and one who would like to see the scientific attitude of medieval Indian architectural should definitely visit this place. This place has a mosque and a large water tank.  The water coming to this reservoir is reaching here from by an underground tunnel only with the help of gravitational force. The water falls on the water-mill from a height and makes it work without any manual efforts. An interesting place to visit.
ellora caves, MH
Ellora caves (Verul), Aurangabad

Ellora Caves (Verul Caves)

Aurangabad to Ellora Caves – 30 km

The Buddhist Caves excavated between A.D. 450 and 700. The followers and Buddhist monks have excavated these 12 marvelous caves just 30 km from Aurangabad. Cave number 1 to 5 is a group and another group is Caves number 6 to 12. The division is based on the date of excavations.
The Buddhist group of caves gives an idea of the extremely simple life the monks were living with the ‘chaityagriha’ and monasteries we can see here. The beds of these monks made up of large carved stones tells us the story mutely. The architecture, paintings, carving, stone statues, everything seems a miracle. A must visit during the Aurangabad tour. Kailash Temple is the largest excavation in these caves.
ajanta caves
Ajanta caves. MH

Ajanta Caves

Aurangabad to Ajanta Caves – 100 km

Large excavations were carried in the hills about 100 km from Aurangabad from 2nd century BCE to about 480 to 650 CE.  The caves are marvel pieces of Paintings, carvings, statues, temples, elephants and much more; everything carved in black stone. The monks and Buddhist follower artists must have spent their entire life in carving these caves. The worship halls with Stupa are great architectural monuments.
Being a World heritage site, you will see constant efforts to maintain and retain the heritage. Visiting the 30 Caves one after another is an experience by itself. The different poses of Buddha in each cave and the light effects take you to another World for a half day tour in the area of Caves. Ajanta and Ellora are wonders of the World.

Explore the City

If you have young children with you, you can visit the Siddharth Garden and Zoo adjacent to the State Transport / Central Bus Stand in Aurangabad. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University is a large center of Education in this City and a place to visit for students and researchers. Try visiting some good restaurants and taste the spicy food and do some local shopping J
 

Aurangabad, because of its proximity to two World famous heritage sites, has several hotels in the City. You can find multiple restaurants in the City. For foreign tourists, there are many luxurious hotels in the City. The City is famous for its spicy Veg and Non-Veg food. The best way to travel in this tour is using your own vehicle. Consider for Weekend Trips from Pune.