September 5, 2011

 ***** Ajanta Caves (Ajintha leni) ***** 

Quote of the Post: "Sacred sounds in stone have gained international fame and re-designated as World Heritage Sites". - Quote about 'Ajanta and Ellora' - Sachin Kumar Gupta

Since 1983, The Ajanta Caves have been world's greatest historical monument recognised by UNESCO located just 40kms from Jalgaon city of Maharashtra, India. It is 100 Km from Ellora Caves, and 110 Km from Aurangabad. After covering Ellora caves, We follow the route from Pune as: 
Pune - Ahmadnagar - Shani Shingnapur - Aurangabad - Daultabad - Ellora - Sillod - Ajanta.
The same can be covered by the path directly from Pune as: Pune - Ahmadnagar - Aurangabad - Sillod - Ajanta 

Ajanta Caves Timings:
9:00 am to 5:30 pm; Note: Ajanta Caves are closed on Monday. 


Ajanta Caves Ticket Charges:
1. For Indians below 15 years : FREE of Charge
2. For Indians above 15 years : Rs. 10/- per head 
3. For Foreigners : US $5 or equivalent in Indian rupees per head 
4. For Photo Camera/ Video Camera: Rs. 5/- (Camera to be used without flash)



Some points about Ajanta Caves:

1. Why name Ajanta? As the place was unknown to the public (Janta) since long time, so as the name, A-Janta.
2. Ajanta Caves, excavated between the 2nd century B.C. and the 6th century A.D. are renowned for Buddhist paintings. 
3. Ajanta represents the most perfect example of Indian wall paintings. 
4. For a thousand years, Ajanta lay buried in the jungle-clad slopes of the western mountain range, until in 1819, It was discovered accidentally. 
5. Ajanta Caves made an ideal site of horse-shoe shaped rock rising over a ravine alongwith the "Waghora river". 
6. There are 30 caves, some of them are uncompleted and negligible. Best work can be found in caves 1, 2, 16, 17 and 19. The best sculptures are in caves 1, 4, 17, 19, 24 and 26. [Info consolidated through various sites, and after own interpretation] 
7. Cave No 9, 10, 19, 26 and 29 are chaitya halls and rest monesteries are vihars. 
8. Caves 1, 2, 16 and 17 are fitted with spotlights, available for use on payment. 
9. The central theme on the walls comes under two heads - narrative scenes from the Buddha's life and illustrations of Jataka fobles pertaining to Buddha's previous incarnation.
10. The paintings inside the caves, include geometric designs, floral and ornamental motifs, flying figures of celestial beings, animals, birds, plants. 

  
Some Tips to Enjoy/Note about Ajanta Caves as per our experience:
  • 1. To start early in the morning, stay nearby Ajanta caves area, and reach at night to Ajanta village. 
  • 2. Try to start early in the day, so that It wouldn't be exaustive. 
  • 3. During peak season, There is long queue for tickets, also for the bus drop from Ajanta Parking place to the base of Ajanta caves. 
  • So try to be early in the morning, We got our bus sharp 9 A.M. 
  • 4. Bring ample snacks and water before starting for the Ajanta caves, as you wouldn't get anything up the hills. 
  • 5. There are some small waterfalls during monsoon season, that can be enjoyed. 
  • 6. When you finish all the caves, explore another little big waterfall, follow the path that connects to the bridge.  
  • 7. To have different views of the Ajanta caves, You have to follow bridge root, not the same root while coming back. 
  • 8. You can have a guide for the whole Ajanta caves visit, or you can choose to have different guides at some specific caves, and pay some small tokens to them. 
  • 9. It will take 4-5 hrs to cover all the caves, depending on how you are traversing the caves from the base area.  
  • 10. Nearby Ajanta parking area, There is an ATM, and many shops that have been commercialized. Bargain as much as you can, while purchasing the souvenirs.



Thanks to all my amdocs friends - Tarachand, Anish Bapna, Dhiraj Masodgi, Jatin Wadhwa, Avnish Garg, Sagar Ambastha to make this trip more happening and enjoyable.


Visit other World Heritage Site - "Ellora Caves" [100 Km away from Ajanta Caves] in Maharashtra. 
***** Ellora Caves (Ellora leni) ***** 

Quote of the Post: "Sacred sounds in stone have gained international fame and re-designated as World Heritage Sites". - Quote about 'Ajanta and Ellora' - Sachin Kumar Gupta

Ellora caves are 30 Km away from Aurangabad. The road passes by the base of the Daultabad Fort, We follow the route from Pune after visiting Shani Shignapur:
Pune - Ahmadnagar - Shani Shingnapur - Aurangabad - Daultabad - Ellora. 

Ellora Caves Timings:
6:00 am to 6:00 pm; Note: Ellora Caves are closed on Tuesday.
Jain Caves
Our Group near Cave 29 - Ellora Waterfall
Some points about Ellora Caves:
  1. Ellora Caves, spanning during the period 5th and 11th A.D. comprise Buddhist monasteries, and temples of the Hindu and Jain faiths.
  2. Ellora, is famous for its architectural design and outstanding sculptures. 
  3. The 34 "caves" – The 12 Buddhist (caves 1–12), 17 Hindu (caves 13–29) and 5 Jain (caves 30–34) caves, built in proximity, demonstrate the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history.
  4. Among these, the most notable ones are cave 5, 10, 15, 16, 21, 29, 32. 
  5. Most famous of the Buddhist caves is cave 10, a chaitya hall (chandrashala) or 'Vishvakarma cave', popularly known as the "Carpenter's Cave".
  6. Kailasha (Cave 16) is designed to recall Mount Kailash, is a splendid artwork, not to miss. 
  7. In the brahmanical excavations, the imagination and poetry of the various concepts was reflected in artwork which attained a new visual grace, power and fame.
  8. All Jain caves [30-34] belongs to Digambara sect. Jain caves reveal specific dimensions of Jain philosophy and tradition.
  9. Many of the structures had rich paintings in the ceilings – fragments of which are still visible.
  10. One aspect a typical visitor overlooks is the geological background of Ellora. In fact the most defining factor why Ellora was ever made and that too at this location is the geological peculiarity of the place. 

12 Buddhist Excavations: [1-12]
Caves 1-9 are monasteries.
Cave 10: Most famous one, A Chaitya hall(chandrashala) or Vishvakarma cave, also known as "Carpenter's Cave"
Cave 11 - Do Tal
Cave 12 - Tin Tal (Three stories)

17 Brahmanical Excavations: [13-29]
Cave 14 - Ravan ki Khai
Cave 15 - Dashavatara [Ten avatars of lord Vishnu]
Cave 16 - Kailasanatha Temple, the center masterpiece of Ellora. Multi storeyed temple complex.
Cave 21 - Rameshvara
Cave 22 - Nilkantha
Cave 29 - Dhumar Lena [Impressive]
Inside Cave No - 29

Caves Pillar at no 24
Ellora Waterfall: The waterfall can be enjoyed during monsoon season in full flow. It can be seen easily in between caves 28 and 29. There is a bridge that connects between caves 28 and 29. You can reach just below the waterfall through the bridge. During high monsoon season, It remains closed due to rock sliding.
Inside Cave No - 21

Ellora Caves View
5 Jain Excavations: [30-34]
Cave 30 - Chota Kailash
Cave 32 - Indra Sabha
Cave 33 - Jagannath Sabha
In front of Kailashnath Temple - Cave 16

Near Cave 1-2

Some Tips to Enjoy/Note about Ellora Caves trip as per our experience:
  • 1. To start early in the morning, stay nearby Ellora caves area, or Aurangabad.
  • 2. The best time to visit Ellora caves is, in the winter months October to February. But During monsoon season, It can be enjoyed more, caves covered with lush greens. Ellora waterfall and some more small waterfalls can be enjoyed. 
  • 3. Try to start early in the day, so that It wouldn't be exaustive.
  • 4. The taxi parking ground faces Cave 16, and visitors are used to make this their starting point. But, It is advisable to walk down, and begin with Cave 1, if you are by foot. If you own the vehicle, Start with to take the vehicle 1.5 Km up the road to another part of the hillside to visit the last 5 Jain caves [30 - 34]. It will save the time, then the middle series Hindu caves [13-29], and at the last finish the buddhist caves [1-12].
  • 5. Bus and vehicle can go to caves no. 21, 29, 34 only. Save your time reaching these points by your vehicle.
  • 6. Bring ample snacks and water before starting for the Ellora caves, as you wouldn't get anything up the hills.
  • 7. It will take 4-6 hrs to cover all the caves, depending on how you are traversing the caves. 
  • 8. There are many meditation halls to sit calm and relax for some time. 
  • 9. Just opposite cave 16, A big garden can be enjoyed from top of Kailasha. 
  • 10. If you have very short time, Cover the most notable one caves - 5, 10, 15, 16, 21, 29, 32.
Thanks to all my amdocs friends - Tarachand, Anish Bapna, Dhiraj Masodgi, Jatin Wadhwa, Avnish Garg, Sagar Ambastha to make this trip more happening and enjoyable. 

Visit other World Heritage Site - "Ajanta Caves" [100 Km away from Ellora Caves] in Maharashtra.

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