Your go-to guide to explore the five most famous caves in Aurangabad
Indian history has been decorated with legendary architecture that has been monumental in our epic battles or have been an integral part of our stories. And the remnants of these infrastructures invariably turned into historical sites. As far as India is concerned, there are around 40 recognised heritage sites that sweep people off their feet with its grandeur and rich history, but the ones that we are going to focus on are the caves in Aurangabad.
If you are someone who is constantly fascinated by good architecture, great historic monuments and greatest stories, then we have a list of five most famous caves in Aurangabad that would leave you fascinated:
The Ajanta caves is a synonym to Aurangabad; a trip to this city is incomplete without you paying a visit to the Ajanta caves. One of India’s oldest UNESCO Heritage sites, Ajanta caves will transport you to the 2nd century BC. The captivating combination of India’s authentic art and architecture is nothing but breathtaking. These caves are a cluster of 29 Buddhist caves that are jeweled with aesthetic paintings, mesmerizing sculptures, and extremely detailed carvings. While you marvel at the walls of these caves, you can’t help but wonder, if humans really did this. The sheer hardship and the skills to create something so beautiful is nothing less than inspirational. And that’s why Ajanta caves are the perfect epitome of classic architecture!
Ajanta caves are a mix of pristine chapels and monasteries that exhibit the importance of spirituality. Additionally, Ajanta was a testimony to Buddhist’s culmination of religious art, their core values and his teachings. And to contain its purity, the officials have done an amazing job preserving its authenticity.
Ellora Caves has its own charm; this heritage site is a standing testimony of what greatness our artisans can produce. It consists of around 100 rock-cut caves that gives it the reputation of the largest caves of India, and has few of the most beautiful motifs ever designed. The caves were built during the Rashtrakuta dynasty and Yadav dynasty and hence has a hint of both its religious ideologies. The caves are divided into different religious beliefs, 12 of them are dedicated to Buddhism, 17 to Hinduism and 5 to Jainism.
You won’t have enough time to explore all of the 34 caves, and if you do, you are in great luck! One of the things that is definitely worth visiting is the Kailash temple that is said to be carved from one single rock. Now that definitely makes it a perfect place to visit in Maharashtra, isn’t it?
If these reasons weren’t enough to tempt you to visit this place, we have one more - The Ellora Ajanta festival. This festival is held during the month of October at Soneri Mahal. It celebrates the culture and its traditions through dance and musical performances. I think it should definitely go on to your bucket list.
Situated near the Sihyachal ranges, the Aurangabad caves are a fascinating set of 12 Buddhist caves that are approximately dated back to the 3rd century AD. The Aurangabad caves are filled with several carvings and sculptures of Buddhist deities. In addition to the architectural marvel, the caves also offer you a beautiful view of the city that is simply breathtaking.
Carved in the 6th century, Ghatotkacha caves feature three Buddhist caves that consist of extensive prayer hall spaces. The interesting part of these caves are that you don’t have an easy way to reach them. You have to go down steep steps and walk through difficult terrain to reach the destination. One of the other incentives for all this hard work is that you can go take a dip in a nearby waterfall after you are done exploring this gem.
The last but not the least is our Pitalkhora caves. Laying amidst an off-the-beaten track, these caves are beautiful and insightful in nature. In addition to ancient paintings, you can also explore Yaksha and Nithuna figures that hint towards the influence of 2nd Century ideologies.
Geographically speaking these caves are primarily located in the Satmala range of Western Ghats and are a delightful experience for all nature lovers.
For anyone who thought Maharashtra doesn’t have a lot of interesting places to visit, you clearly were not aware of these architectural gems! Aurangabad is definitely one of the places that surprises you in more than one way, be it architecture, history, art, religion, it’s a culmination of so many things.