Must-visit Caves in Aurangabad: It is no surprise that India has always been an abode of culture and heritage. And you can see the remnants of these cultures and their heritage in various monuments and historical sites spread across the country. While there are countless marvels of art, culture, and heritage, the caves in Aurangabad definitely top everyone’s bucket list. Well, they have every right to be! Connected with religious and spiritual strings, the caves in and around Aurangabad tell stories about the rich culture, impressive artistry, and religious harmony of ancient India. If you have an innate fascination for art, architecture, and history, book your flights to Aurangabad as an indelible experience awaits you!
We did not want you to spend time researching and that is why we have listed down the top 5 caves in Aurangabad that you must visit at least once in your life.
You will not find the remarkable Ajanta Caves in any travel guide to Aurangabad. In fact, a trip to Aurangabad is synonymous with visiting the Ajanta caves. One of the oldest UNESCO heritage sites in India, the Ajanta Caves will take you back to the 2nd century BC. It will not be an exaggeration to place them among the most fascinating masterpieces of Indian art and architecture. The group of 29 Buddhist caves is adorned with stunning paintings, sculptures, elaborate carvings on the ceiling and walls, and huge pillars. It’s surprising how much work it would have taken to carve them by hand! And this is the reason why the Ajanta caves are a symbol of craftsmanship and artistic brilliance.
With an extraordinary collection of chaityas (chapels) and viharas (monasteries), these caves are also notable for their religious significance. Ajanta, considered a triumph of Buddhist religious art, describes the life and stories of Lord Buddha. Amazingly carved and well preserved, the Ajanta Caves are undoubtedly one of the most important and largest caves of Aurangabad.
Standing as a testament to the splendid artistry of Indian history and bygone eras, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most fascinating archaeological wonders of the country. The seamless sequence of 100 rock-cut caves has earned it the reputation of one of the largest caves in Aurangabad. That being said, remember, only 34 are accessible to the public. Out of those 34 caves, 12 are dedicated to Buddhism, 17 to Hinduism, and 5 to Jainism. If you look closely, you will find beautiful motifs and intricately carved figures on the stone walls. Partly built during the Rashtrakuta dynasty (Hindu and Buddhist caves) and Yadava dynasty (Jain caves), the Ellora caves are truly one of the best wonders of the world.
Honestly, there is so much to explore and see that you cannot have enough of this place! But the main attraction of Ellora caves is Cave 16. Why? Because there is a Kailash temple in Cave 16. Carved out of monolithic rock, this temple is a grand architectural marvel, representing Mount Kailash, the Himalayan abode of Lord Shiva. And surprisingly, the temple was built from top to bottom with hammers and chisels. Trust us, you will be impressed by the craftsmanship of the Ellora Caves, the longest caves in Aurangabad. Oh, we almost forgot to talk about the Ellora Ajanta Festival held in the month of October at Sonari Mahal. The festival celebrates the Indian classical form of art through dance and musical performances. This is really the best time to experience the true glory of these historical places.
Get ready to be amazed by the ancient architecture and religious significance of the exquisite Aurangabad Caves! They are a fascinating group of 12 Buddhist caves dating back to the 3rd century AD. Nestled amidst the protective cover of the Sihyachal ranges, it is one of the best places to visit in Aurangabad. The influence of Tantric Buddhism here is truly remarkable. While exploring the magnificent caves, you will be able to examine the many carvings and sculptures of Buddhist deities, some of them belonging to the Tantra tradition. According to various historians and experts, Caves 3 and 7 are the most interesting and should not be missed.
Apart from the architectural marvel, we cannot boast enough about the splendid panorama view of the city place, which you can enjoy from here. Situated behind the famous Bibi-ka-Maqbara, these are among the most popular caves in Aurangabad.
Off-the-beaten-track, Pitalkhora Caves ranks high in the list of important caves in Aurangabad. Comprising 14 rock-cut cave monuments, the caves date back to the 2nd century BC. Here, you can find ancient paintings, sculptures, animal motifs, Yakshas, and Nithuna figures. While the architectural brilliance is a delight for history buffs, the pristine place treats nature lovers. Due to its position in the Satmala Range of the Western Ghats, the Braskhora Caves are located in a deep gorge. This means one has to descend steep stairs, cascade down cascades, and pass through dense greenery to reach there! Doesn’t that sound so exciting!
Well, there’s more! Daulatabad Fort in Maharashtra is located close to the caves among other popular attractions. So, you can take a day trip and visit the fort after exploring the caves!
Another historical gem in Aurangabad district, Ghatotkach Caves, is the final destination in our list of biggest caves in Aurangabad. These caves, built in the 6th century, consist of three Buddhist caves, two of which are viharas and one is a chaitya. The Buddhist caves stand out because they have the widest prayer hall in the region. But, the best part is a visit to these caves which is a delight for adventure lovers. To witness the architectural magnificence of this place, you have to descend the steep stairs and pass through the rough terrain.
Once you reach the caves, explore whatever you want. Then, walk to the nearby waterfall. If you ask us, we would suggest that you visit the caves during monsoons. Because at that time the waterfall and the surrounding environment are at their peak.
Now you know why Aurangabad is one of those places that history lovers and culture lovers always look forward to. You will have a fun time too! So, wait no more and start preparing your itinerary for the unforgettable cave tour of Aurangabad.