FRONTIERS BEYOND BLOG
Once upon a time, in the heart of India’s Maharashtra state, nestled within the rugged terrain of the Western Ghats, lie the exquisite rock-cut caves of Ajanta and Ellora. These magnificent creations, each with its own unique story, transport you to an era when India was at the pinnacle of architectural wonders. Join us, as Frontiers Beyond, your trusted travel guide, takes you on a journey through time, revealing the secrets of Ajanta and Ellora.
In order to begin your adventure you need to arrive at Aurangabad also now known as the Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar, a bustling city that serves as the gateway to these ancient wonders. Located 340 kms away from the financial capital of India- Mumbai, Aurangabad is very well connected via rail or by roads. From here, you have two primary options to reach Ajanta and Ellora – by road or by rail.
To reach Ajanta Caves, it’s a scenic drive of approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Aurangabad. Along the way, you’ll pass through picturesque villages and lush green fields, getting a taste of rural India. The journey itself is an experience, with local vendors offering fresh fruits, spicy snacks, and chai by the roadside.
If you prefer a more relaxed journey, you can take a train from Aurangabad to the nearby town of Jalgaon. From Jalgaon, you can hire a taxi to reach Ajanta and Ellora.
Let’s help you dive into the heart of this adventure – exploring the Ajanta and Ellora Caves:
Ancient Art: The Ajanta Caves, dating back to the 2nd century BCE, are adorned with beautiful paintings and intricate sculptures depicting the life of Buddha. Be prepared to be mesmerized by the artistry that is waiting to be explored.
In the Cave Monasteries, you can wander through the 30 rock-cut caves, each offering a unique narrative of Buddhist life, meditation, and devotion. A lot of the work was lost but due to sincere conservation efforts by the Archaeological Survey of India, now tourists can see the paintings which are some artefacts worth beholding. This marvel did not happen in one single era, it received patronage from royals, monks and ordinary people in various stages spanning through centuries and now it stands tall.
Take a moment to soak in the breathtaking view of the Waghora River from the viewpoint near the caves. It’s an excellent spot for photography and the rays of a dimming Sun post-afternoon can be adding to the magic.
Jumping now to the Multi-Faith Marvel-The Ellora Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, house a remarkable fusion of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain temples and monasteries, spanning over 600 years. It might be a good idea to spend one day each at the two sites, but if you are running short of time it can be squeezed in a single day since the distance is 96 km and it’s a smooth ride.
The Kailash Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is the highlight of Ellora. It’s the world’s largest monolithic structure, carved out of a single rock and you may be wondering in awe as you walk around that how did they even perceive this idea.
Explore the fine carvings and sculptures that narrate mythological stories and historical events.
While at Ellora, don’t miss the nearby Grishneshwar Temple, one of the twelve Jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Your journey to Ajanta and Ellora with Frontiers Beyond will leave you with a deeper appreciation for India’s rich history and artistic heritage. As the sun sets on these ancient caves, you’ll carry the memories of your visit as a cherished treasure.
Frontiers Beyond believes that a great travel experience is not complete without savoring the local cuisine. In Aurangabad, you’ll find a delightful blend of traditional Maharashtrian and Mughlai flavors. Don’t miss out on some of the mouth-watering culinary delights which we absolutely recommend for your trip.
Try the “Naan Khaliya” which is a rich and spicy mutton dish and a local specialty for all the meat lovers. In the land of Mughals, Aurangabad (associated with the austere Mughal king Aurangzeb), you cannot leave without tasting the quintessential Biryani. Indulge in aromatic and flavorful biryani, made with fragrant spices, tender meat, and long-grain Basmati rice.
A sweet flatbread stuffed with lentils and jaggery known as Puran Poli is worth to cater to your sweet tooth, this dessert is a true delight.
The streets of the city are teeming with chaat, vada pav, and samosas. Enjoy these snacks from street vendors for a truly authentic experience.
Come, embark on this extraordinary adventure history, culture to unlock the stories hidden within the rock walls of Ajanta and Ellora, and taste the flavors of Maharashtra along the way. Frontiers Beyond is here to make your exploration unforgettable.