LOTUS & GEMS TRAVELS , BODHGAYA!

AJANTA ELLORA CAVES

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Description:

The Ajanta Caves are at a distance of 100 km from Aurangabad in the state of Maharashtra India. After being in oblivion for centuries, the caves were discovered by chance in 1819 by a British hunting party. The remarkable Ajanta cavesare listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A tour of the Ajanta caves will make you marvel at the architectural and artistic capabilities of that period. The total number of caves including the unfinished ones is 30, out of which Caves No. 9, 10, 19, 26 and 29 are chaitya caves and the rest are viharas or the monasteries. The caves are hewned out of granite cliffs on the inner side of a 20 m long ravine along the Waghora River.

Culture and history

The Mayan civilization was among the original cultures of the New World and spanned more than 3,000 years. The Mayans lived mainly on the Yucatan Peninsula in the eastern one third of Mesoamerica and at its peak had one of the most densely populated and culturally dynamic societies in the world. Mayan culture is known for its spectacular art, impressive architecture, and sophisticated mathematical and astronomical systems which were all way ahead of their time.

About Ellora Caves

History:  Ellora caves were excavated between 5th and 10th centuries under the reign of powerful dynasties like Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas and Kalachuri. These are 34 caves carved on the face of Charanandri Hills.

Types of Caves: Out of the 34 caves, 12 belongs to Buddhism (Caves 1-12), 17 to Hinduism (13-29) and 5 to Jainism (30-34). The main highlights of these caves are the elaborated carvings and sculptures depicting various Hindu deities and different incarnations of Lord Buddha as well as the Jain devotional carvings and shrines.

Must-visit Caves

  • Cave 16: None of the Ajanta Ellora tours are complete without visiting this cave which is also known as Kailasa Temple and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed that the cave was excavated in more than 200 years and boasts of spellbinding sculptures with intricate details.

 

  • Cave 15: Also called The Dashavatara (10 incarnations), this cave temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and his various incarnations. Huge sculptural panels showcase some very engaging themes.

 

  • Cave 32: This Jain Cave flaunts some awesome lotus carvings and is known as Indra Sabha. Sculptures of Yaksha Matanga and Yakshini Ambika are truly remarkable.

 

  • Cave 10: Vishwakarma Cave, as it is famously called, this Buddhist cave is a Chaityagriha with 15-foot high Buddha statue and carved ceilings that astonishingly imitate wooden beams.