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Ajanta and Ellora which is Better

Discussion in 'Maharashtra' started by J More, May 23, 2016.

  1. J More

    J More New Member

    I will be near the famous Ajanta Ellora caves, which I would love to see, but unfortunately due to the short amount of time I have I can only visit one of the two caves.
    I need to know which cave I should see and I need to know out of Ajanta and Ellora which is better?

    How long would it take to explore the cave?

    Are cameras allowed inside the cave?

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello and welcome to the forum!

    Both the Ajanta Caves and the Ellora Caves are worth seeing. They showcase intricate carvings that are truly magnificent. It's hard to choose one between these two. But to give you a brief overview, here are some of the similarities and differences between them:

    Ajanta Caves
    • Located in the Aurangabad District of Maharashtra, about 104 kms from Ahmedabad.
    • Has about 30 rock-cut caves dedicated to Buddhism.
    • These caves date as far back as the 2nd Century BCE (Hinayana Phase) to about 480 CE or 650 CE (Mahayana Phase).
    • Considered as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    • Laid as a crescent shape next to the Waghora River.
    • The Hinayana Phase was built by the Satvahana Dynasty. The Mahayana Phase was built by the Vakataka Dynasty.
    • Only houses Viharas Halls and Chaitya Halls carved beside a cliff.
    • Famous for the murals and paintings inside the caves that have withstood the test of time.
    • Rediscovered by John Smith of the 28th Cavalry.
    Ellora Caves
    • Located in the Aurangabad District of Maharashtra, about 29 kms from Ahmedabad.
    • Has about 34 rock-cut caves dedicated to Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.
    • These caves date back to the 5th Century and were built until the 10th Century.
    • Considered as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    • Laid without any form of shape.
    • The 12 Buddhist Caves, 17 Hindu Caves and the 5 Jain Caves were built by the Kalachuri, the Chalukya and the Rashtrakuta dynasties.
    • Has Viharas, Chaitya halls, Temples and Edifices carved on the sloping side of a hill.
    • Numerous accounts of other people visiting the place years and years ago, so it has never been rediscovered as it's never been lost.
    It depends really upon you. Are you a person who loves architectural masterpieces? Then, you might enjoy the Ellora Caves for its depiction of different architectural styles of Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. Aside from that, these caves are known for their intricate craving details. Keep in mind that these majestic caves/temples were made only using a hammer and a chisel.

    The Ajanta Caves have some beautiful murals and paintings. If you love such art forms, then this might be the place for you. It's amazing to see the still vibrant colours of the paintings despite these caves being years old already.

    For each of them, I'd say a minimum of at least 4 hours and a maximum of 5-6 hours. It depends as well on how many pictures you take or how much time you spend on one cave. Both caves need at least a day for you to fully explore and understand them. You can of course, cover them in a much shorter time than that but for me, you won't do them justice if you visit them in a rushed time table.

    Avoid visiting Ajanta Caves on Mondays and Ellora Caves on Tuesdays as they are closed. Weekends can be crowded as well. Your best option is from Wednesday to Friday, when it isn't as crowded and you can explore the caves peacefully.

    Yes, you can take your camera with you for a fee of Rs. 25. Flash Photography isn't allowed on Ajanta Caves though it is allowed in Ellora Caves. Entry fees are:
    • Entrance Fee for Foreigners at Rs. 25o for both caves
    • Entrance Fee for Indians at Rs. 10 for both caves
    • No entrance fee for children younger than 15 years old
    I hope this helps!