400AD-1400AD-Middle Ages 500BC-400AD-Ancient times Asia India Archaeological sites, ancient temples Churches, Cathedrals, Basilicas, Monasteries UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Ajanta Caves – 30 Buddhist rock-cut temples and monasteries

Photo: VgBingi / Pixabay
Frescoes, elaborately carved façades, intricate rock carvings. Come to India and visit Ajanta Caves, the finest examples of early Buddhist civilization build starting with 2nd century BC.
TypeCaves, Temples, Monasteries, Archaeological site
Year2nd century BC
Age2200 years
Getting thereNearest Airport: Aurangabad Domestic Airport (100 km)
Nearest Railway Station: Jalgaon Railway Station
Nearest Bus Station: Ajanta Foot Cave Bus Stop

Bus, flight, and trains for Aurangabad.
400 km from Mumbai
Hiring a local taxi /local guide is the most preferred way of making a day trip to Ajanta.
What to shopFabrics, silver, semi-precious stones, hand-carved sculptures of Buddha
Visiting Days / HoursTuesday – Sunday 06:00 am – 05:00 pm
Monday – Closed
Tickets7 E / adult
Book your online ticket HERE
Travel tipsBring a flashlight with you to the caves as many of them are quite dark and lighting is poor.
Try to reach the caves before 10 am to skip the crowds and tour buses.
Wear a hat
Use plenty of high SPF sunscreen
Bring water
Bring some snacks with you.
Wear comfortable shoes.
When to goThe best time to visit is from November to March. During this time it is not so hot and is dry season.
Avoid weekends and national holidays as the site is very busy.
LocationAurangabad District, Maharashtra State, India
What to see

Ajanta Caves were cut into the mountainside in two distinct phases: 2nd century B.C. and 650 A.D.

The painting techniques at Ajanta are similar to European fresco technique.

In 1983, UNESCO World Heritage Center added Ajanta Caves to the list.

The Caves are among the finest examples of early Buddhist civilization.

Five of the caves (9, 10, 19, 26, and 29) are chaityagrihas (prayer hall) and the rest are viharas (monastery).

Cave 1 is one of the largest caves and has one of the most elaborate carved façades.

Cave 2 is best known for its feminine focus, intricate rock carvings and paint artwork. It is full of all kinds of decorative themes such as human, animal, vegetation, and divine motifs, with many carvings dedicated to the Buddhist goddess of fertility, Hariti.

Cave 4 houses a colossal statue of Buddha in preaching pose flanked by bodhisattvas and celestial nymphs hovering above. This monastery is the largest among the Ajanta caves.

Cave 5 – is an incomplete monastery. Seems that the workers abandoned the work here in order to start Cave 6

Cave 6 – is two-storey monastery. Only the lower floor of cave 6 was finished.

Cave 7 – is a monastery and has a grand facade with two porticos.

Cave 9 – is a worship hall from the 2nd century BC

In Cave 10 there is an inscription that is the oldest of the Ajanta site. This cave is the oldest one. Is dated to 2nd century BC

Cave 16 has two elephant figures placed on either side of the entrance. Here are frescoes depicting mythological events.

Cave 26 is a worship hall. Cave 26 is full of stone sculptures depicting Buddhist legends. The major artworks include the Mahaparinirvana of Buddha (reclining Buddha) and “Temptations by Mara”. At the center is a rock-cut stupa that has an image of the Buddha in front. On top of sculpture is a nine-tiered harmika, a symbolism for the nine heavens in Mahayana cosmology.

Photo: sasi sutrala / Pixabay
Ajanta caves buddhism
Photo: Took / Pixabay
Where to stay and eat

Accommodation in Ajanta

MTDC Holiday Resort – 5km from the caves

 Ajanta T Junction Guest House 

Ajanta Tourist Resort in nearby Fardapur

MTDC’s Kanhaiya Kunj  situated near the bus station

Vihara Restaurant, a multi-cuisine restaurant near Holiday Resort, Fardapur.