The wonderful country that we call home is a giant canvas that Mother Nature took extra time to paint wondrous details. The Ajanta and Ellora caves are two magnificent wonders that are also an inseparable part of the cultural history of India. They are the inspirations behind the Ellora Ajanta Festival, a festival of classical dance and music. Also known as Ellora Festival, it is an important cultural festival in Maharashtra.

The Ellora Ajanta Festival is celebrated against a backdrop of some of the most stunning art and architectural marvels the world has ever seen. The Kailash Temple at the Ellora Caves is carved from a single block of stone! The caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Promoted by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, it is not difficult to see why the Ellora Festival is a much-loved festival in Maharashtra.

One of the other reasons for its popularity is the amount of star power it draws. It is the biggest famous festival of Maharashtra where you will see the masters of their respective arts performing live. Since it is a festival of classical dance and music, attendees get to be a part of these phenomenal classical performances. If you’re excited about attending the most power-packed festival in Maharashtra, let’s go!

Ellora Cave Ajanta and Ellora caves

The Venue

The Ajanta and Ellora caves are a unique symbol of religious harmony. The Ellora Caves are home to over 100 caves which house Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain monuments. They are important pilgrimage sites. The sculptures within these caves have an astonishing amount of detail, which highlight their high level of craftsmanship. As different dynasties rose to power and waned, more caves were added to the complex over the following centuries.

These magnificent caves served as the venue for the famous festival of Maharashtra until 2003 when it was shifted to the nearby Soneri Mahal. It is a magnificent 17th-century palace built by Pahad Singh. It is a fitting venue for this culturally significant festival in Maharashtra, which is a living link to the cultural history of India. In addition to promoting performing arts, it  is a platform for artisans and craftsmen.

Ellora Ajanta Festival, a celebration of classics

The three-day Ellora Ajanta Festival is backed by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation. While Kathak and Odissi are the two dominant dance forms at the festival, other dance forms also share the spotlight. This is also the biggest festival in Maharashtra where bhajans, vocals, and instrumentals are equally in focus. Over the years, Ellora Festival has performances some of the biggest names in the world of classical dance and music.

But the fun doesn’t end there. Even if you are not a connoisseur of classical dance and music, you will have your share of fun at the Ellora Ajanta Festival in Maharashtra. It is full of marvels to explore and events to enjoy. It has stand-alone bhajan performances, mehndi events, cookery shows, games, and competitions. Ellora festival offers a dizzying array of regional and local delicacies that keep you fuelled.

classical dance and music Ellora Ajanta Festival in Maharashtra

You can explore a rich collection of traditional crafts and handicrafts and buy some beautiful souvenirs to take back home as a keepsake. It is one of the best showcases for promoting and championing Indian handicrafts. After enjoying three days of unadulterated classical dance and music, it is a soul-satisfying experience. Be sure to keep aside some leisurely time for exploring the historical city of Aurangabad and its surrounding attractions.

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Exploring culture and history at Aurangabad

After enjoying the Ellora Ajanta Festival in Maharashtra, it is time to explore the historical Ajanta and Ellora caves. Start with the actual caves themselves. 34 out of the 100 caves are open to public for exploration. As you enter the caves, it’s like stepping back in time. As you contemplate the sheer hard labour that went into carving these caves out of the rock the mind marvels human perseverance.

But the masterpiece of Ellora is the Kailash Temple. It is the biggest testament to the precision and ingenuity of the ancient master craftsmen. The massive temple has been carved out of a single piece of rock, and they started from the top. It is said that it took 7,000 labourers and artisans around 150 years to complete the temple.

traditional crafts and handicrafts

As you start circling out, you can explore the other nearby places of interest. But before you venture out of Aurangabad, try the local street food which is supposed to be some of the best in India. It’ll give you one more sensory memory of the amazing Ellora Ajanta Festival.

If you want to explore the most amazing cultural festival in Maharashtra, use your Club Mahindra membership to convert your outing into a magical holiday. A little taste of culture will spice up your vacation.

Related Article: Maharashtra Tourism – Your Travel Guide To Make the Most of Your Holidays in Maharashtra

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About Club Mahindra

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.

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