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Ajanta and Ellora Caves

Ajanta and Ellora Caves are one the famous tourist destination in the state of Maharashtra. Not very far away from Aurangabad lie the Sahayadri Hills that house the historical caves of Ajanta and Ellora. The history of Ajanta Ellora caves date back to 6th and 2nd Century BC and the only twin caves that stand as proof for Buddhist and Jainism in India. Ajanta and Ellora Caves were discovered by the British officer, John Smith in the year 1819. The rich heritage and culture of India is reflected in the paintings and writings about Ajanta and Ellora Caves. The secular nature of ancient India, a combination of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist beliefs are residing in these caves.
The Ajanta Ellora caves have 29 and 34 caves each and each one has a specialty about it which is seldom seen in other tourist attraction in India. the Ajanta Caves stand as retreat to the Buddhist culture which is considered that all the rituals & rites of Chaitanyas were performed there. These caves also housed the ancient learning of Buddhist culture and training to the monks. The Ellora Ajanta caves, on the other hand are a combination of three religions i.e. Hindu, Buddhists and Jains. Of the 34 caves, 17 are dedicated to Hindu culture, 5 for Jains and rest for Buddhists.

The history of Ajanta Ellora caves have mesmerized many people a and the current ambience exist in the surrounding river Wagura and mountain stream beneath that has made the caves a World heritage site. The Jain caves give the gist of the preaching of Mahavir Jain in a crisp and compact manner.

The Ajanta and Ellora Caves include paintings, monuments and carvings out of stone sculptures which are no less than a masterpiece. The architecture in Ajanta Ellora Caves makes one remind of the reminiscent Sigiriya paintings of Srilankan origin. The major attraction in Ellora Ajanta caves is the two storey structure of Lord Buddha on a Stupa that stands as a symbol for grace, serenity and nobility.
The Kailasa temple in 16th cave is another marvel which is considered as a replica of Lord Shiva’s abode, the Kailasha. The sanctum sanctorum, grand hall and the courtyard is much more in size than the Parthenon in Athens.

The experience of intricate carvings on stone that must have taken at least a century to complete can only be seen and experienced rather than reading on a website. The beautiful design of lotus flower on the ceiling of cave 32 reminds one of the Indra Sabha as described in Hindu mythological scriptures. Also seen is the Goddess Vakshi with the Lion beneath and the fruit laden Mango tree above. The visual treat is beyond the imagination of the words and how much ever one writes about Ajanta and Ellora caves, one is always short of words to describe them completely.

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