The world-renowned mystical caverns of Ajanta and Ellora are proof of human skill and endurance. The caves at Ajanta were unknown after the fifth century for close to 1,400 years. They were accidentally rediscovered in 1819 by a young British cavalry officer, John Smith, who was on a tiger hunt Being one of India’s most preserved sites and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, these 64 caves are said to be the inspiration for the famous Jataka Tales. Ajanta consists of 30 caves filled with the artistic flair of the artisans who worked in these caves.
Not only paintings and sculptures, several huge statues of the Buddha were also found. Five of the 30 caves are sanctuary halls or chaityagrihas, while the others are monasteries or viharas. The 34 caves of Ellora are diverse. Buddhist, Hindu and Jain architecture can be found here. They are divided into 17 Hindu, 12 Buddhist and five Jain caves. Spread over a larger area than the Ajanta caves, it is seemingly impossible to explore them in a day.
• Visit Cave No. 29 in Ajanta, which is the highest cave amongst all.
• See the five sanctuary halls [chaityagrihas] at Ajanta.
• See the Waghora stream descending from Cave No. 16 in Ajanta.
• Cave No. 10 at Ellora is a fine example of a Chaitya temple.
• Walk along the ancient trade route (dakshinapatha) at Ellora.