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Ajanta Caves

The Ajanta Caves have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983.

The Ajanta Caves are the 30  rock-cut buddhist cave monuments located in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra state of India. The cave is dated from 2 century BCE to 450 CE. Paintings and rock cut sculptures are present in the caves that describes the finest surviving examples of ancient Indian art. The arr in the cave are the masterpieces of Buddhist Religious art that influenced Indian art that followed according to UNESCO. The cave were built in two Phases :

  • The first group starting around the 2nd century BC.
  • The second group of caves built around 450 AD

History

Generally the Ajanta Caves are agreed to built in the two phases as told earlier. It consist of 36 different identifiable foundations which were having the numbering from 1 - 29 rest of them were found later and have been suffixed with the letters of the alphabet, such as 15A identified between originally numbered caves 15 and 16. The cave numbering is a convention of convenience, and has nothing to do with chronological order of their construction.

  • Caves of First Period ( Satavahana Period ) : 9, 10, 12, 13 and 15A are the caves that were constructed in the first period. The grouping and the acves belong to the Hinayana  tradition of Buddhism. Of these, caves 9 and 10 are stupa containing worship halls of chaitya-griha form, and caves 12, 13, and 15A are vihāras. 
  • Caves of Second Period (Vakataka Period) : In the 5th century the construction of the second phase caves were started. Iw was thoght that the caves were build in the period 4 to 7 century, but studies by expert have argued that most of the work took place over the very brief period from 460 to 480 CE during the reign of Hindu Emperor Harishena of the Vākāṭaka dynasty. Caves of the Second period are 1–8, 11, 14–29. 19, 26, and 29 caves are chaitya-grihas, the rest viharas.

Climate

  • Temperature in Summer ranges from 20°C to 40°C.
  • Temperature in Winter ranges from 10°C to 30°C.

Best Time to Visit

  • October - March is the best time to visit the Ajanta Caves.

How to Reach

By Air – Chikalthana Airport of Aurangabad is the nearest airport.

By Rail – Jalgaon railway station is the nearest railhead to Ajanta Cave.

By Road – Ajanta is well connected with other major cities.