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Friday, January 22, 2010

Ajanta, Ellora Caves Aurangabad India

Let me give you all a flavour of my travel to Aurangabad,India at Ajanta & Ellora Caves.

If you wish to experience the flavor of ancient Indian culture you must visit Ajanta Ellora. For this you better opt for Ajanta Ellora tour package in India. The amazing & yet charming pictures and crafts of those days will make you creazy.

Ajantravelrainbow-elloracaves-Aurangabad-Indiata and Ellora Caves:

The Ajanta caves depict the story of Buddhism, spanning a period from 200 BC to 650 AD. The Ellora caves, 34 in number, are carved into the sides of a basaltic hill, 30 kms from Aurangabad. The finest specimens of cave - temple architecture, they house elaborate facades and exquisitely adorned interiors. These structures representing the three faiths of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, were carved during the 350 AD to 700 AD period.

They are completely Buddhist, exceptional in that they mingle three forms of Art - architecture, sculpture and painting. You can consider it as a heritage tour India. The fabulous frescoes and paintings describe episodes from the Jataka stories and the life of Lord Buddha. So, in Ajanta Ellora adventure tour you get taste of both the history and cultural of ancient India. Thus you have a learning experience from this particular India culture tourism package i.e. Ajanta Ellora cultural tourism package.


Ajantha Caves

The 30 caves here have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Set in a horseshoe formation the ancient caves are located on a high ridge above the gorge of the Waghora River. It was in 1819 that an officer of the Madras Cavalry John Smith, who was out hunting, saw the top of Cave 10 peeping over the thick undergrowth that had hidden them over time.

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The caves were home to monks, craftsmen and artists over this period, and also served as shrines during the rainy season. They featured the prayer hall (chaitya) and monasteries (viharas) wherein are large-scale Buddhas and smaller Buddha images.


Cave 1 (one of the seven Hinayana caves dating from the 5th century) : The most well known for its evocative murals including that of Padamapani the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Avalokilesvara, scenes from the Mahjanaka Jataka and the Miracle of Sravasti. The great mandala painted in the ceiling over the primary shrine.

Cave 2 is of particular interest. The vihar cave also features many Jataka tale panels linked to the birth of Lord Buddha.

In Cave 9, another Hinayana chaitya cave, the large Buddha images were added in the 5th century.
Cave 10 (whose chaitya griba dates to the 2nd century BC) is believed to be the oldest of Ajanta's caves.

In Cave 17, a vihar, is the largest number of paintings in a single cave at Ajanta. An bejewelled dark-skinned apsara is revealed in the midst of her make-up routine. Of particular interest is the minute detailing of the apsara standing in adoration of Buddha.
Cave 19, is a chaitya from where you can see the river might have been the original entrance to the cave complex.

In Cave 26 visitors encounter the most exuberant elements of the sculptural art of Ajanta. Of particular note here is the massive 23ft long reclining Parinirvana Buddha surrounded by mourning disciples.


After a look around at the caves, we headed for lunch at the MTDC Restaurant. It was time to get back to Aurangabad.

The guitravelrainbow-GrishneshwarTemple-Aurangabad-Indiaded tour to Ellora also included a visit to the Grishneshwar Temple, Daulatabad Fort, Bibi Ka Maqbara, and Panchaki. The first stop was the Grishneshwar Temple. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva in India.

The Daulatabad Fort is a majestic fortress built atop a rocky hillock. The fortress dates back to the 9th century when it was called Devgiri. It was Muhammad Bin Tughlaq who gave it the present name – Daulatabad, the “City of Wealth”. Tughlaq even shifted his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad for a short period of time.travelrainbow-DaulatabadFort-Aurangabad-India

Our next stop was the Ellora Caves, which are a group of 34 caves built in Buddhist, Hindu and Jain styles, demonstrating the religious harmony that existed in India even in those days.

Caves 1-12 are the Buddhist style caves and consist of Viharas and Chaitya Gruhas.

The most popular Buddhist cave is Cave 10, also known as the “Vishwakarma Cave”. It has a multi-storeyed entry and a central stupa. A huge statue of Buddha in the teaching pose is seated below the stupa. The roof of the cave is carved in such a way that it looks like it’s made of wooden beams.
Caves 13-29 are the Hindu Caves and the most popular of these is Cave 16, travelrainbow-ajantacaves-aurangabad-Indiaalso known as the “Kailashnath Temple”. This temple is the masterpiece at Ellora. It is a huge structure, consisting of a multi storeyed temple with a huge courtyard, which houses 2 gigantic “Dhwajastambhas”. There is also a massive Nandi in the courtyard. There are numerous other pillars, prayer halls and images of deities all around the complex. And all this has been carved out of a single rock. It took around a century to complete this temple complex.

Caves 30-34 are the Jain Caves and depict the Jain philosophy and tradition. These caves have exceptionally detailed carvings. The carvings of Mahavira are very aesthetic. The Jain Caves were the last ones that we visited and here ended our Ellora tour.
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The next stop on the way back was Bibi-Ka-Maqbara or the 'Mini Taj'. It is a miniature version of the Taj Mahal, but isn’t built entirely of marble. Only the first couple of layers are marble while the rest is white plaster. But nonetheless, it is impressive. This wound up our visit to Aurangabad and we made arrangements to board the evening train to Hyderabad.

9 comments:

USA Magazines said...

Awesome writing style .

Ricky Peterson said...

Very informative post. Ellora Caves, an extraordinary compound of Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain cave. Temples and ancient monument must visit. In total there are 34 caves out of them 12 are Buddhist caves, 17 are Hindu caves and 5 are Jain caves. Cave 32 is a small version of the Kailash Temple. Time to visit is for cave is vsunrise until sunset from Wednesday to Monday. For more details refer Ellora caves

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reshma M said...
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reshma M said...
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TouristSafari said...

Very well written post, thoroughly enjoyed it and your clicks are also awesome. Aurangabad Caves is really amassing place. You can also check my post at Aurangabad Caves Information at http://www.touristsafari.com/caves/aurangabad-caves