Ajanta Ellora Caves: Designated as a World Heritage Site

Ajanta Caves situated near the city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra, India containing paintings and sculpture considered to be masterpieces of both universal pictorial art and Buddhist religious art. The Ajanta Caves have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983.

The famous Ajanta and Ellora are cave shrines cut out of rock, by hand, and rank amongst the most outstanding specimens of ancient Ajanta CavesIndian architectural heritage. The 29 caves at Ajanta and 34 caves at Ellora were remained shrouded in obscurity for over a millennium, till a British Army Officer, John Smith accidentally stumbled upon them while on a hunting expedition in 1819. Ajanta has been designated as a World Heritage Site.

Ajanta Caves

The Ajanta group of caves, lying deep within the Sahyadri hills, cut into the curved mountain side, above the Waghora river, were discovered in the 19th century. They depict the story of Buddhism, spanning a period from 200 BC to 650 AD.

The 29 caves were built as secluded retreats of the Buddhist monks, who performed rituals in the Viharas and Chaityas, the ancient seats of learning, and nerve- centers of the Buddhist cultural movement. Images of princesses and nymphs amongst others, are also portrayed.

Ellora Caves

The Ellora caves (34 in number) are carved into the sides of a basaltic hill, 30 kms from Aurangabad. The finest specimens of cave house facades and adorned interiors. These structures representing the three faiths of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, were carved during the 350 AD to 700 AD period. The 12 caves to the south are Buddhist, the 17 in the centre dedicated to Hinduism and the 5 caves to the north are Jain.

I hope you would like Ajanta Ellora Caves once you visit there.

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