Day 1 : Mumbai - Aurangabad
Travel Mumbai - Aurangabad by an evening flight. On arrival transfer to your hotel Lemon Tree or the charming Meadows Resort for overnight.
Day 2 : Aurangabad - Ajanta - Aurangabad
Depart on a full day excursion to see the world famous frescoes at the Ajanta caves - a complex of 24 monasteries and 5 temples set in a secluded hillside, about 100 km away. Return to your hotel via the Bibi-ka-Maqbara (replica of the Taj Mahal). Overnight Aurangabad.
Day 5 : Ellora - Aurangabad - Mumbai
Take a sight-seeing tour of the Ellora temple complex, Daulatabad Fort, Aurangzeb's tomb and Aurangabad city. Evening transfer to the airport for flight to Mumbai where your tour ends.
Ajanta Ellora - Package
Tour cost Prices start from US$ 425 per person and include Meet & Assist on arrival and departure; 3 nights’ accommodation in a deluxe hotel on twin sharing; Daily breakfast; Private a/c car for airport transfers and sightseeing; English speaking guide for specified sightseeing.
Exclusions: Airfare; Meals - other than daily breakfast; Personal expenses like telephone calls, laundry, beverages etc.; Entrances & camera fees at monuments; Tips & gratuities to drivers, guides and hotel staff.
Note: The Ajanta caves are closed on Mondays and the Ellora caves on Tuesdays.
This tour can also be done by taking an early morning flight to Aurangabad on Day 1 and returning by a morning flight on Day 3.
Early in the 19th century a party of British officers scrambling over the thickly wooded slopes of the Sahyadri hill, discovered these caves buried under debris and screened by foliage. Strung out in a sweeping horseshoe shape in an inner fold of the hills, the caves were a secluded retreat for Buddhist monastic orders and yet offered easy access to the trade routes that swung past here to the coast.
The 30 caves of Ajanta , some unfinished, span a period of 800 years and contain numerous images of Buddha. The sculptures in cave 26 are elaborate and beautiful: highlights here are the panel of the temptation of Buddha and the Parinirvana depicting the breaking of earthly ties and Buddha's passing into nirvana -- a wonderful recumbent figure amid people in attitudes of mourning and sorrow.
The caves are in the state of Marathas, Maharashtra, 100 kilometers from the city of Aurangabad. The caves are by the river Waghora, in the midst of the Sahyadri hills burried by thick forest all around. The Ajanta Caves were discovered by a British Captain, John Smith in 1819, while on a hunting expedition.
The Ajanta caves are important mainly to see the fine line of transfer of the Hinyana and the Mahayana sect, as for the fact he Hianyana did not worship any god or goddess but they used stupas, and other rock forms to represent Buddha. Mahayana on the other hand, used idols of people they worship. Interestingly, the caves include both Chaitya (Prayer Halls) and monasteries and have both types of architecture and art besides paintings and scriptures, of the two sects Hinyana and Mahayana. Caves numbered 8,9, 10, 12, 13 and 15 are of the older sect, Hinayana. Mahayana related vcaves are numbered 1, 2, 16, 17, 19 and 26 where, 19 and 26 are Chaityas.
Ellora caves :Ellora has 34 caves with fantastic rock cut sculptures and is in the same district with that of Ajanta namely, Aurangabad. The caves are always rhymed with the Ajanta Caves for the architectural similarity and location. The cave is a symbol of representation of high tolerance of India from the ancient days, as well as pointing towards the common thread running through Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The 12 Buddhist Caves depict Lord Buddha in various poses. The 17 Hindu Caves embody carvings of the Hindu Gods- Shiva, Vishnu, Durga, Parvati and animals. The 5 Jain caves include figures of the Jain saints.
Aurangabad is well connected by road, train and air from Mumbai. There are daily flights from Delhi as well. The caves are a fascinating study of three different faiths – Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism and all three are represented in the exquisite shrines and rock carvings. The caves are also of great interest to the Buddhist scholars and a spiritual and cultural experience for all tourists.