The first cave one encounters at the Ajanta site, the so-called "Cave 1" happens to be among the most exquisitely decorated. It is one of the 'newer' caves in Ajanta, carved as a vihara (monastery) in the 5th century AD, during the Mahayana period in which the depiction of Buddha was common practice. Its façade consists of a colonnaded portico...more
In the middle of the hall is a stupa with an image of the Buddha in a sermon pose, seated as on a chair. Look up to the ceiling and admire the ribbed effect as on a human form. One painting of an expressive face of some celestial being is all that remains of the various painting on the ceiling.more
There are three entrance to this cave which has numerous statues of the Buddha, including a sleeping one of the left-hand side of the cave. In this statue, we see the figure of the Buddha lying on his right side with his right hand supporting his head. A little further on is the Temptation of the Buddha by Mara and his beautiful daughters. This is...more
This cave has a shrine with the statue of the Buddha in a teaching pose. There are two standing Boddhisatvas on either side of him, each with a flywhisk on their right shoulders. Only the chisel marks remain on the ceiling of the shrine as most of the murals have faded away. A small portion remains in parts of the cave, each as beautifully painted...more
This unfinished hall has a statue of the Buddha in the lotus pose with the arms at chest height as though explaining a point. Not to be missed are the images of two deer seated below him, again reminiscent of the Buddha’s first sermon after attaining Enlightenment at the Deer Park at Sarnath. On top of the shrine are smaller images of the Buddha,...more
This assembly hall is dated to be much later than the other chaityas but the older pattern, layout and ornamentation has been followed. Of special significance is the imitation of wooden rafters on the ceiling which resemble the ribs of a human body. There is a huge stupa in the centre of the hall with plenty of space all around. In the middle is a...more
Yet another shows a couple proceeding on a journey whilst a lady-in-waiting holds an umbrella over the head of the consort. The apsara with a bejewelled head gear is especially appealing. The ceilings of this cave are also full of detailed murals but are larger and more cohesive than in the other caves.more
This is yet another magnificent vihara not only for its beautifully carved pillars and sculptures but also for its sensuous murals of apsaras (nymphs), one of which was used (The Flying Apasara) during the Miss World Contest held in Bangalore, India in 1996. One detailed mural shows a king offering a cup of wine to his consort while a helper stands...more
Most of the paintings in this cave have been destroyed but the ones that remain speak volumes of the skill of the painters. One depicts the forcible conversion of Nanda, the half-brother of the Buddha while the others convey a few jataka stories showing the Solomon-like wisdom of Mahosadha.more
The Flying Couple sculpture in front of the main hall is truly eye-catching. This cave is one of the beautiful viharas (dwelling places or monasteries) of Ajanta. The front pillars, like the ones inside are richly carved while the paintings equals, if not surpasses others in the different caves of Ajanta.Of special importance is a huge statue of...more
The window above the entrance to this cave was first spotted by Capt. John Smith in 1819, over 1000 years after being hidden from view. This sighting led to the re-discovery of the astounding labour of love, faith, hope, religion and sedulity.The cave is the earliest assembly hall and may have been the first cave to be excavated from amongst the 30...more
There is a "beer bar" at the entrance of the site. Didn't visit though. I think you are better off carrying your own water and a bag of nuts to keep you nourished.
On the way back, I stopped at a small town for some sugarcane juice - being a local my guts appreciated it. But a definite "no" unless you are feeling adventurous
In the morning, after breakfast, I took an auto rickshaw from Hotel Shree Maya to the bus stand. It was 20 rupees (June 2010). At the bus stand I bought a bottle of water and then went to the bus. It was leaving 9.40 and I didn’t have to wait very long. In the bus I got a seat in the back of the bus, where it was very bumpy and dusty. The fare was...more
It is both easy and cheap to take a local bus from Ellora to Ajanta. The journey takes 3 hours and was described as "hot but ok".I paid for a car and driver. Had I arranged when I got to Ellora I could have got the car and driver cheaper. I stupidly arranged it through my hotel and certainly paid them kick-back! It was very expensive for the non...more
There are two gateways to Ajanta: the nearby town of Jalgaon located 60 kms north and the city of Aurangabad located 105 kms south-east of Ajanta. I chose the latter because it was also convenient for the Ellora Caves. Aurangabad is a provincial town with an airport, rail link to Bombay and a couple of modern hotels. The ride from Aurangabad takes...more
At the bus station - you will find a number of shops selling "curios". These vary from small brass statues, replica paintings on cloth or canvas, wood carvings, shells, beaded stone chains and such like. I am a souvenir hunter. I picked up some rocks - seemingly solid but hollow when broken. The beauty of the thing is the crystal formation inside. My friend says these are typical of the region.
What to pay: A couple of hundred rupees depending on size
Although the Ajanta caves were abandoned centuries ago, many Buddhist pilgrims make the journey here and worship at these temples and monasteries. The attached photo I took in the portico of Cave 21 of a group of a friendly Buddhist pilgrims. Seeing them really helped me visualise the Ajanta Caves in their heyday when they were inhabited by...more
At the entrance to the caves, you are told that you need to remove your shoes and leave them there. You may get confused (and I certainly did), believing that you need to leave your shoes there for the entire trip.This is not true.You do not need to remove your shoes for all the caves and definitely not true for the distance between the caves. This...more
To get to Ajanta, you take your car up to the taxi stand and then catch a local bus up. Beware of the hawkers lined up at the taxi stand at the bottom of the hill. These are over-priced and will cheat foreign tourists. It's better to buy what you want from the Government approved shops in Aurangabad. Do NOT go into a shop for tea etc as this is a...more
You'll find tour guides enticing you with a promise of showing you all there is to see. You pay Rs.450 ($10) and in about 1 hour he leaves you for the next set of tourists. Beware of a guy named "Sheik" - I am getting personal but this chap was the worst. He took us on for the amount specified and then picked up more tourists along the way (who...more
Very comfortable walking shoes... touring the caves will feel like walking a hiking trail.A hat to shield you from the sun.Light clothing as it gets quite hot in Ajanta. Tissues and disinfecting wipes in case you have to use the toilets.Sun block for those sensitive to the sun. A camera stand if you wish to take sharp photos of the dark...more
Small bag for accomodating the goggles,towel water bottle scarf of cotton small umbrella.. Only cotton trouses and long sleeve shirt .good quality sports shoes. Eectrical or vitamin D included glucose water. the camera with good aparture which can take photos in caves which are in dark.more
When u will visit Ajanta u will really astonish by its Stone Carvings and great paintings of the world heritage 900 hundred years old.
But u must see the nearby Jungle also which is full of the birds and all different types of trees and plantations and scare types of trees in the Indian continent.
1. Have a basic knowledge of the jataka stories.2. Good pair of walking shoes.3. Carry plenty of water & a few eatables.4. Carry a torch. See the necklaces glow.5. Take a tripod along as no flash allowed inside the caves. A shutter release cord is a bonus.6. Place camera on even surface of floor of the cave to click photos of ceiling. Put camera on...more