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 Home > Discover Mumbai > Sight Seeing > Maharashtra > Other Places
 
.........................................................................................Other Places
 Ajanta 

AjantaEarly in the 19th century, a group of British officers climbed the thickly wooded slopes of the Sahyadri Hills and discovered Ajanta caves. The caves were a secluded retreat for Buddhist monastic orders and also offered easy access to trade routes

The 30 caves of Ajanta, some unfinished, span a period of 800 years and contain numerous images of Buddha. Although tucked deep within the folds of the hills, the sanctuaries are illuminated by natural light for some part of the day.

The flat surface of the hill opposite the caves provides a grand view of the horseshoe shaped gorge of Ajanta.

Getting there

Aurangabad is central to both Ajanta (104 kilometres away) and Ellora (28 kilometres).
By Air: Indian Airlines has daily flights to Aurangabad from Mumbai.
By Rail: The railhead for Ajanta is Jalgaon, which can be reached from Mumbai by convenient overnight broad-gauge trains. From Jalgaon one can charter taxis to the caves.
By Road: The route network is Jalgaon-Ajanta-Aurangabad. Buses also run on the 76-kilometre route from Ajanta directly to Ellora.†††

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Sleeping Buddha Ajantha Ajantha
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 Ellora 

Ellora CavesThe cave temples of Ellora (about 20 kms from Aurangabad) are impressive in terms of architectural splendour. Around 34 caves are carved on the slopes of the low hills of which 16 are Hindu, 13 Buddhist and five of Jain faith. These rock temples and monasteries were constructed between the 5th and 8th Centuries A.D.

The most interesting of the Jain caves is Cave 32, with a beautiful lotus carved on the ceiling of the shrine and a magnificent yakshi (angels) seated on her lion under a mango tree laden with fruit. This is a double-storied cave with paintings in a fair state of preservation on the ceilings.

Getting there

Aurangabad is central to both Ajanta (104 kilometres away) and Ellora (28 kilometres).
By Air: Indian Airlines has daily flights to Aurangabad from Mumbai.
By Rail: The railhead for Ellora is Chalisgaon and the station can be reached from Mumbai by convenient overnight broad-gauge trains. From Chalisgaon one can charter taxis to the caves.
By Road: The route network is Chalisgaon-Ellora-Aurangabad. Buses also run on the 76-kilometre route from Ellora directly to Ajanta.

Click to enlarge...
Ellora
Ellora
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 Aurangabad 

AurangabadAurangabad was a temporary capital of the Mughal Emperor, Aurangazeb, in the Deccan. The fort wall surrounding the city is a poignant reminder of its ancient history. Though the splendour of the 16th and 17th centuries found its finest expressions in the royal monuments of Delhi and Agra, there is enough in Aurangabad to reward the curious visitor.

Tourist attractions

Bibi Ka Maqbara: Bibi Ka Maqbara is the tomb of Begum Rabia Durani, wife of the Emperor Aurangazeb, built by her son as a tribute.

Pan Chakki: It is an intriguing water-mill dating back to the 17th century. Indigenous engineers channelled and brought down water from a spring on a hill some distance away to generate energy to turn the large grinding stones, which served as a flour mill in times gone by.

Aurangabad Caves: Hidden in the hills just outside of the city is a cluster of caves probably excavated in the early sixth century. There are tantric influences evident in the iconography and architectural designs of the caves.

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 Excursions 

Daulatabad

DaulatabadThis fortress, which has a Hindu stronghold was captured and plundered in the 13th Century. A hundred years later, it was made the second capital of the Delhi Sultanate and Daulatabad was held as a fine fortress by successive dynasties in the Deccan.

Khuldabad
A few kilometres from Daulatabad is the austere, plastered masonry monument, Khuldabad, which commemorates the memory of Aurangazeb.

Ghrishneshwar Temple
Less than half a kilometer from Ellora is the Ghrishneshwar Temple, which is one of the five Jyotirlingas of Maharashtra.

Pithalkora
Seventy eight kilometres from Aurangabad, on the ancient trade route linking Ajanta and Ellora and progressing to the coast, is a group of 13 cave sanctuaries, chaityas and viharas, dating back to the second century B.C. with additions in the fifth and sixth centuries.

Paithan
The ancient city and pilgrimage centre of Paithan is situated on the banks of the Godavari, 56 kms south of Aurangabad. The Marathi poet-saint Ekanath lived here and several centuries ago, Paithan was famous as a seat of learning. It is also well known for the beautiful Pathani silk sarees with intricate zari borders.

Getting there

By Air: Aurangabad Airport is 10 kms from the city and air-linked directly to Delhi and Mumbai.
By Rail: Aurangabad is a section on the Manmad-Kachiguda line. Passengers from Mumbai and Delhi change at Manmad railway Junction, 114 kms away from Aurangabad. Mumbai-Aurangabad (via Manmad) 375-kms. Delhi-Aurangabad (via Agra, Gwalior, Jhansi, Bhusawal, Manmad) 1395 kms.
By Road: State Transport buses run from Mumbai, Pune, Ahmednagar, Jalgaon, Shirdi, Nasik & Dhule to Aurangabad and from Jalgaon to Ajanta. Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) operates daily bus services and conducted tours from Mumbai to Aurangabad.




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Ajanta
Ellora
Aurangabad
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