The Ajanta Caves, together with the Ellora Caves are a spectacular must visit in Maharashtrian, west India. The caves, like the Ellora caves are rock-cut cave monuments dating from the second century BCE and contain paintings and sculptures of very high artistic level.
The caves are located 100 km north of Aurangabad. It's not a bad idea to spend the night here.
Although the caves are a major tourist attraction they're also part of UNESCO World Heritage since 1983. They're a must visit. Don't limit yourself to the most famous caves but take time to explore some of the lesser visited caves too. They might be a little less spectacular but still contain beautiful remains some which are 2000 years old.
The caves date back to the second century. As amazing it might be, in the 5th century the jungle took back what was hers. For more the 1300 years the caves were lost until in 1819 the British officer Captain Smith re-discovered the caves. Since then they regained interest and became UNESCO World Heritage in 1983.
Over the centuries, the art produced in the Ajanta cave proved to be influential, even though the temples were lost in the jungle. The caves are like the Ellora Caves a must visit for everyone who has an interest in India's history and culture.
The two main caves have painting everywhere, except on the floors. Some of the paintings are in bad condition. The scenes depicted are mostly didactic, devotional, and ornamental. The themes are of the Buddha's former existences as Bodhisattva), the life of the Gautama Buddha, and those who devoted their lives to Buddhism.
Getting there and stay in Ajanta
Most people visit the Ajanta caves as a daytrip together with the Ellora Caves from Aurangabad (106 km away). However, it is worth to spend more time in the caves then just an hour or two. If so, you may want to stay at the Ajanta Travelers Lodge, one of the few places to stay here.
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Caves 10 and 16 are the most spectacular in the Ellora Caves, a man made structure in the rocks.
The temples of Khajuraho
The temples of Khajuraho belong not only to UNESCO's World Heritage, they are also some of the most beautiful and vivid ancient examples of sandstone carving.
Aurangabad and surrounding might have the spectacular cave temples, Hampi has most certainly one of the most extensive temple cities. Much is still in use and much is preserved. I loved it as much as I loved Aurgangabad