(9:30 AM to 6:30 PM IST)
I want Holiday Itinerary in:
Ajanta Ellora Tour Package
The Ajanta and Ellora caves are always rhymed together for their architectural similarity and location, as both are masterpieces of a unique artistic blend and bear testimony to the versatility of ancient artists, as their murals are chiselled with exquisite carvings adorning the ceilings and walls, depicting a remarkable synthesis of Buddhist, Jain and Hindu temples. This is the place where you can touch history, painted in glowing plant and mineral colours, marveling at their mammoth excellence! All these factors would be enough to tempt you on board the Ajanta and Ellora Holiday Package!
The caves are inspired by Buddhism and its compassionate ethos, unleashing 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.
About 107 km from the city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra, are the rock-cut caves of Ajanta, nestled in a panoramic gorge, in the form of a gigantic horseshoe. A set of 29 caves, seem to be the finest examples of some of the earliest Buddhist architecture, cave paintings and sculptures. There are some unsurpassable paintings in the caves 1 and 2, mainly depicting the Jataka Tales. Buddha preaching in sitting position is the other common example of sculptures, as these historical manmade caves comprise of beautiful paintings on the walls and ceilings that depict the life of the Buddha and visiting them is like travelling back to the past. The caves comprise Chaitya halls or shrines, dedicated to Lord Buddha and Viharas or monasteries, used by Buddhist monks for meditation and the study of Buddhist teachings. The paintings that adorn the walls and ceilings of the caves depict incidents from the life of Lord Buddha and various Buddhist divinities. Cave monasteries full with images of the Jataka tales, illustrating diverse stories relating to the previous incarnations of the Buddha as Bodhisattava, a saintly being who is destined to become the Buddha. Child and youth of Buddha, the Sravasti tales, are good examples of architecture. These elaborate sculptures and paintings stand in impressive grandeur in spite of withstanding the ravages of time. Amid the beautiful images and paintings are sculptures of Buddha, calm and serene in contemplation. Treat your eyes with this amazing spectacle on the Ajanta and Ellora Holiday Package!
Your next destination would be Ellora which has 34 caves with fantastic rock cut sculptures, and the cave temples and monasteries creating elaborate rock carvings were excavated out of the vertical face of an escarpment, located 26 km north of Aurangabad. These were designed by sculptors, who were influenced by Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism.
Extending in a linear arrangement, the 34 caves contain Buddhist Chaityas or halls of worship, Viharas or monasteries and Hindu and Jain temples. The 12 Buddhist Caves depict Lord Buddha in various poses, the 17 Hindu Caves embody carvings of the Hindu Gods- Shiva, Vishnu, Durga, Parvati and animals and the 5 Jain caves include figures of the Jain saints.
The most imposing excavation is, without doubt, that of the magnificent Kailasa Temple (Cave 16) which is the largest monolithic structure in the world. Known as Verul in ancient times, it has continuously attracted pilgrims through the centuries to the present day. The Kailash temple epitomizes the zenith of ancient rock-cut architecture, and an awe-inspiring edifice with its massive proportions! This enchantment is surely eclectic on the Ajanta and Ellora Tour Package!
Declared as a World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, the paintings and sculptures of Ajanta and Ellora, considered masterpieces of Buddhist religious design, have had a great influence in the development of art in India. These caves are considered the greatest masterpiece of Buddhist art and architecture and contain plenty of other specimens to support their uniqueness and importance in archaeology as well as history, which is enough to endorse their authenticity. The creative use of colour and freedom of expression used in depicting human and animal forms makes the cave paintings at Ajanta one of the high watermarks of artistic creativity. The Ellora, is preserved as an artistic legacy that will continue to inspire and enrich the lives of generations to come. Not only is this cave complex a unique artistic creation and an excellent example of technological exploit but also, with its sanctuaries devoted to Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, is illustrative of the spirit of tolerance that was characteristic of ancient India, which is more than enough to stun the spectators touring the complex!
All the paintings appear to be the work of painters at least as used to decorating palaces as temples, and show a familiarity with, and interest in details of the life of a wealthy court. The compositions are not laid out in horizontal compartments like a frieze, but show large scenes spreading in all directions, from a single figure or group at the centre. The ceilings are also painted with sophisticated and elaborate decorative motifs, many derived from sculpture.
Besides these caves, you could take a short trip around the other sites in Aurangabad as the curves of a bygone era enhance the youthful flush of this tourist driven economy, which could take you to the rambling fort of the city or the sun-bleached dargahs that promise to be the retainers of its prodigious history that sustains the city in its pride and honour! The important tourist sites in the town are the Bibi-ka-Maqbara, an elegant structure, locally called the twin Taj Mahal, Panchakki, which is a water wheel and Daulatabad, a coveted stronghold of its times.
You could find a blend of fabrics, saris, puneri and nav vari saris, dresses, handbags, slippers, shoes, clips, silver jewellery including artistic silver nose pins, cane shops with canes for the elderly, batons for policemen, long sticks for school masters, diversity of dresses and head ornaments for your idols at home. There are plenty of magnets of the caves, paintings, and posters as well as statues of Buddha and sculptures in stone, metal and wood, to be carried as gifts or souvenirs.
Although tourists could take a stay inclusive of meals, you could find eateries serving you thalis with roti, dal, sabzi, and also biryani, besides, Asian, Indian and Continental fare accompanied with cold beer on request. There are bakeries around that serve patisserie and savouries.
Recommended for a visit throughout the year, be it summer, winter, rain or sunshine, as the glory would keep the tourists spellbound even in the toughest of weather conditions, returning back with the desire of going back again on the Ajanta and Ellora Holiday Package!