Shaped during the span of 2nd century BC and 8th century AD, the Ajanta and Ellora caves are the most alluring destinations of the country. The caves of Ajanta Ellora were discovered by John Smith the Briish Army Officer on the group expedition in the yar 1819 which has been carved on the Sahyadri hills over the Wagora river.
There are 29 caves which has been built as retreat of the Buddhists monks who performed the rituals and rights in the Chaitanyas and Viaharas which were the ancient learning centers of Buddhists. The saints carved the marvelous pictuires on the walls with the help of hammer and chisel. There are number of caves that explains the stories from Jhatkas- which are better known as tales of several incarnations of Lord Buddha.
At the distance of 30 kilometers from Aurangabad is the Ellora caves which are 34 in numbers. These Ellora caves are carved in 350 AD to 700 AD and is dedicated to three faiths Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. The 17 in the center is dedicated to Hinduism, 12 caves in the south is dedicated to Buddhists and the rest 5 caves in the north are for the Jains.
The Kailasa Temple in the cave that stands is the best example of the architectural wonder of the entire composition of the monument. This mountain is believed to be the holiest abode to Lord Shiva and is probably the world’s largest monument. The assembly hall, gateway, pavilion, sanctum and the tower are all in the single block.
Like all the other temples, the constructions which are starting from the base but the sculpture here starts from very top and the sides. The temple is massive in its size and is also very delicate work of art. The Dumar Lena Cave is the most popular cave which is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is built on the resemblance of Elephanta.
The caves made for Jains is around a mile ago from the Kailasa temple which is among 32 caves with the beautiful shrine decorated with the exquisite lotus flower on the roof. In the cave 32 and 34 there is the majestic statues of Parasnath. The other Jain caves is having the illustrations of Tirthankaras and even the seated figure of Mahavira.
Reaching Ajanta Ellora Caves:
By Air: The closest air base from Ajanta Ellora Caves is Aurangabad which is around 99 kilometers from Ajanta Caves and 30 kilometers from Ellora Caves. Jalgaon is also the newest developing air base which will provide assistance to visit the Ajanta Ellora Caves.
By Rail: Jalgaon is the nearest railway station from Ajanta Ellora Caves at the distance of 59 kilometers. It also provides the easy transportation and connectivity to the people.
By Road: Regular bus service is operated from Mumbai, Pune, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar, Ahmedabad, Shirdi, Nasik, Dhule, Hyderabad and Bijapur to Aurangabad and also from Jalgaon to Ajanta.