famous Ajanta and Ellora are cave shrines, cut out of rock by hand. Some of
the most outstanding specimens of ancient Indian architectural heritage is
found in the 34 caves at Ellora and the 29 caves at Ajanta. John Smith, a
British Army Officer, accidentally in 1819, discovered these caves during
his hunting expedition.
For a dreamer like me, Ajanta and Ellora caves were a maverick joint
where I could have spent days in isolation. The caves ozzes creativity and
can impress almost any body on earth. Only thing which I think is important
is that they need to be promoted well. said Alanis Phillpes.
The Ajanta group of caves, lying deep within the Sahyadri hills, above the
Waghora river depict the story of Buddhism (200-650 AD). The temples are set
into the rocky sides of a crescent shaped gorge. Considered as the nerve -
centers of the Buddhist cultural movement and seats of learning, the 29
caves were built as secluded retreats of the Buddhist monks, who taught and
performed rituals in the Chaityas and Viharas. Images of nymphs and
princesses are also beautifully cut out of stone. The excavations span a
period of about six centuries. The earlier monuments include both chaitya,
the halls divided into a central nave and side aisles by two rows of columns
and monasteries. These caves are believed to be built during 2nd to 1st
Maharastra State Tourism Development
Corporation in combination with Larsen and Turbo is giving making a
identical caves at Fardpur and road heading towards Ellora respectively.
Since the original Ajanta and Ellora Caves are located in low land , not
many people are able to visit them. The government came up with a plan of
carving identical Ajanta and Ellora Caves with Multimedia thereby giving
Virtual reality effect. The estimated money for Ajanta caves is 50 Crores
Rupee while 30 Crores Ellora. The Ajanta Caves work has already begun while
Ellora work is likely to begin shortly.
A natural pool fed by a waterfall adds to the beauty of the gorge. Built to
offer the Buddhist monks an undisturbed place to meditate the noticeable
thing is that they lie within the major trade routes.
The identities of the artists responsible for the execution of the Ajanta
Caves are still not known not only due to their extraordinary faith in the
Buddha, but also for the characteristic of Indian traditions of anonymity
and abnegation of self. Even today, these cave temples at Ajanta provide the
most complete illustration of Buddhist tradition.
The 34 caves, 30 km from Aurangabad, are the finest specimens of cave -
temple architecture. The sculptures represent three faiths-Hinduism,
Buddhism and Jainism. Carved out in the period 350 AD to 700 AD, the south-
caves are Buddhist (12), the centre-caves (17) are dedicated to Hinduism,
and north-caves (5) are Jain.
Housing images from the Buddhist faiths, the sculptures here convey
nobility, grace and serenity. With a seated Buddha placed in the stupa, the
Vishvakarma cave is both a Chaitya and a Vihara. It's two - storied,
sporting a colourful pageant of dwarfs, dancing and playing music.
Although built in the same time as that of the Ajanta caves the chaityas
and viharas of Ellora are architecturally and sculpturally different,
drawing elements from the Vajrayana School of Buddhism. Thus, the sculptures
deal more with magic and mysticism. The dwarapalas, the Boddhisattavas and
their consorts have a robust earthiness about them. '
The architectural skill is more pivotal in Ellora's success as an art form
rather than the sculptural aesthetics. The thin plain edifice of Tin Tala
with unadorned pillars and the sculptured panels are only on the inner
walls. Sculptured out of human hands it is hard to believe that the floors
and the ceiling are so smooth and leveled. The Tin Tala dates back to the
Rashtrakuta period in the middle of the 8th century.
Within the most not so remarkable sculptures, the magnificence of Kailasa
Temple or Cave 16 is surprising. It is a superb structure with both
architectural richness and artistic beauty.The Chhota Kailasa (Cave 30), a
miniaturized version of the stupendous Hindu Kailasa Temple and the
Indrasabha (Cave 32) are the most noteworthy among other caves. The
Indrasabha temple and the huge Dhwajsthamba are othe attractions in Chhota
Kailash temple that strikes the mind. The extraordinary fact at Ellora is
that all that richness of architectural majesty was fashioned by human hand,
without any special machinery, more than a millenium ago.
Ajanta and Ellora are Buddhist caves and hence are precious for those who
believe in Buddhism. Scroll through the Ajanta and Ellora caves and you
would love them.
The painting and the sculptures which were made on these walls
were just phenomenal. It is difficult to belive that early man were so
particular about the design they created. Minblowing ended
By Air :
Just 10 kms east of city, Aurangabad is
connected with a daily flights to Mumbai
and Delhi via Udaipur and Jaipur. From airport you can take auto rickshaw to
the nearest airport.
By Train :
The closest junctions is Manmad which is 113
kms northwest of Aurnagabad. There are majorly two trains which connect
Mumbai and Hyderabad to Aurangabad.
By Road :
State Roadways buses and private bus companies
connect Aurangabad from Pune
(5 hours) Indore.
Mumbai World of Beaches
- By Sandipan Ghosal