Ajanta caves are a group of 30 spellbinding Buddhist caves that have colorful paintings, murals, and sculptures associated with the life of Buddha. All these caves are carved out of a horseshoe-shaped rock face mountainous region overlooking Wagora River. Ajanta caves were hidden by thick forests and were unknown to the world for 1000 years till John Smith, a young British officer, spotted the caves accidentally during a hunting expedition. Along with paintings and sculptures of Buddha, there were several sensuous representations of famous princes, princesses, animals, palaces, jewelry, lovemaking and life. These caves were used as a retreat by the Buddhist monks and they have prayer halls (chaitya Griha) and monasteries (Vihara).
Ajanta Caves Aurangabad is one of India's top historical attractions and a masterpiece of Buddhist art in India. These caves have been a treasure trove of history and they date back to 2nd century BC and 6th century AD. Buddhist monks lived, studied and prayed here and the caves housed several Buddhist teachers and students. Ajanta caves were built during the Satavahana and Vakatakas periods. The lifestyle of the monks and the detailing of the life of Buddha and Buddhist tales are an integral part of the Ajanta caves. Caves 9, 10, 12, 13, and 15 were built during the Satavahana period. They are heavily influenced by the Hinayana group of Buddhism and their emphasis on stupa structure rather than sculptures. Caves 1 to 8, 11, and 14 to 29 were built during the Vakatakas period. These caves are influenced by the Mahayana group of Buddhism. This period started accepting women like nuns and it was open to desires between men and women. There are stunning paintings and sculptures which reflect these influences. These caves were abandoned after the sudden death of Harisena, the Vakatakas Emperor.
Every single painting has a story attached to it and the paints used are rare and expensive. The Satavahanas period caves lack precision and they focus mainly on the life of Buddha and laid emphasis on stupa structure. The Vakatakas period caves are more elaborate with stunning murals and sculptures. There are five prayer halls in these caves and the rest served as monasteries to Buddhist monks. The caves are numbered according to their relative arrangement along the horseshoe bend.
Ajanta tours Aurangabad mesmerizes visitors with their awesome beauty. They are a testimony to India's rich heritage and centuries-old art expertise. Many paintings and structures have been damaged over the years but the excellent craftsmanship shines through the defiled and blackened surfaces even today. The narratives flow unrestricted. From one cave wall to the next with effortless flexibility.
The pathway to Ajanta caves bestows a gorgeous view of caves on one side and valley on the other. The caves continue to attract archaeologists, historians, and tourists. Book a tour with us and we will help you plan a trip to Aurangabad and explore the enchanting beauty of Ajanta caves
Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad Timings: 9.00 A.M to 5.00 P.M. (open for all days)
Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad Entry Fees:INR 40 for Indian nationals and INR 600 for foreign nationals.