Ajanta and Ellora caves

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Ajanta and Ellora caves

The pride of India, Ajanta and Ellora Caves are truly a delight to the eyes. Located in Maharashtra, these are rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments depicting the incredible artistry and skills of the Indian craftsmen hundreds of years ago. Their architectural beauty has earned them the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site. History buffs and other travelers come from across the globe to see these caves.

Ajanta Caves (Closed on Monday)
Located in the Sahyadri hills of Ajanta, these caves are around 30 in number and the most arresting Buddhist caves in India. The history of the caves dates back to 1819 AD when a British officer accidently discovered these caves which were covered with dense forest. They were built in the middle of a gigantic rock. The wonderful painting on the walls of the caves narrates stories about Buddhism when it was in its evolution phase. Some paintings depict Lord Buddha and Bodhisattvas; some other depicts the incidents from Buddha’s life. The sculptures inside the caves are simply superb. The Archaeological Survey of India describes these caves as the finest surviving examples of Indian art, particularly painting. Caves like 8, 9, 10, 12, 13 and 15 belong to the Hinayana sect of Buddhism whereas cave number 1, 2, 16, 17, 19 and 26 are related to the Mahayana sect. The remaining caves consist of monasteries. The very purpose of building the caves was to provide a peaceful place for the Buddhist monks to pray and to stay.

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Ellora Caves (Closed on Tuesday)
These enchanting caves were built in the time period between 5th and 10th century AD by the rulers of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty. They were built out of the vertical face of the Charanandri Hills and are 108 km from Ajanta Caves. The cave complex consists of 34 caves representing the three different religions of the world- Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism which is a proof that religious harmony existed during that time. It is also a World Heritage Site. There are temples as well as the monasteries inside the cave complex. The Kailash Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva inside cave 16 is the largest monolithic structure in the whole world.

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