Top Monuments of India

Ajanta and Ellora caves, considered to be one of the finest examples of ancient rock-cut caves are located near Aurangabad in the state of Maharashtra, India. Adorned with beautiful sculptures, paintings and frescoes, Ajanta and Ellora caves are an amalgamation of Buddhist, Jain and Hindu monuments as the complex includes both Buddhist monasteries as well as Hindu and Jain temples. Declared as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1983, The incredible Kailasa Temple (also known as the Kailash Temple), which forms Cave 16 at Ellora, is undoubtedly the most famous attraction. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his sacred abode at Mount Kailash and are quite popular among travellers from all over the world.

The paintings and sculptures in the caves of Ajanta and Ellora, inspired by Buddhism and its compassionate ethos, unleashed a surge of artistic excellence unmatched in human history. These Buddhist and Jain caves are ornately carved, yet seem quiet and meditative and exude a divine energy and power.

Location

Northern Maharashtra, around 400 kilometers (250 miles) from Mumbai.

When to Visit

The best time to visit the caves is from November to March, when it's cooler and dry.

 Opening Hours

The Ellora caves are open from sunrise until sunset (around 5.30 p.m.), daily except Tuesdays. The Ajanta caves open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., daily except Mondays. Both caves are open on national holidays. However, try to avoid visiting them then (as well as on weekends) as the crowds can be overwhelming and you won't have a peaceful experience.

Festivals

A three-day Ellora Ajanta International Festival is organized by Maharashtra Tourism each year. It features some of India's most distinguished musicians and dancers.