Although it’s been quite some time to our visit to Aurangabad, I just cannot, not share the details and pictures about this place. Usually, my vacation ideas remain limited to the tried and tested locations, resorts. But this time, Mukta, my wife clearly stated that if we are going for a vacation it has to be some new place which we haven’t yet seen. After some bit of research we decided upon Aurangabad in order to visit the Ajanta Caves & Ellora caves and for quite some time, I wanted to see the Lonar crater lake. So with these three places on our main list, we set off to Aurangabad. I prefer road-trips and so do Devansh (my kiddo) and Mukta. So we drove all the way to Aurangabad. We’d booked our stay with the Vits hotel which was good. Each day we would set out for one of the destinations and return back in the evening.
First up, we visited Bibi ka Maqbara. Many know it as a Mini-Taj-Mahal. It’s the Tomb of Rabia Durani, Aurangzeb’s wife. I’ll be writing more details about this place in a separate post, along with pictures.
For now I want to focus on the Ajanta Caves. These include 30 beautiful caves carved into the face of the mountains of north-east India. The moutains being shaped in form of a horseshoe, you can really get an awesome panoramic view of the whole setup. These beautifully carved caves date back from 2nd century BC to 480 or 650 CE. The caves derive the name from one of the nearby village which is named Ajanta. The village is located approximately 12-13 kms away.
There is this interesting story about the discover of the Ajanta Caves. A British cavalry officer named John Smith, spotted the mouth of a cave above the Waghora river. Seemingly the cave appeared to be man made and lead to uncovering of the ancient architecture which had remained buried under the greenery for more than 1000 years. Smith then entered the cave with a flaming torch and saw a large hall covered in faded paintings and a dome with a statue of Buddha in a praying pose. Almost all the caves are very dimly lit in order to preserve the paintings and carvings.
The caves lined up one after the other will require one whole day to completely view and also get more knowledge about the place. It would be best to hire a guide who can explain the significance of each cave in the most elaborate manner. I guess they take 2-3 families together and would charge anything in the range of 500-800 depending upon the number of people.
You can find more details about Ajanta caves on Wikipedia.
Entry Fee at Ajanta Caves
- ₹ 10 per person for Indian Tourists
- ₹ 250 per person for foreign tourists
- ₹ 25 per camera for photo/video camera
- ₹ 0 for kids below 15 years
Timings at Ajanta Caves
- Tuesday to Sunday – 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM
- Monday – Closed