Breathtaking Ajanta Caves

8 min readSep 19, 2021


Jean-Pierre Dalbéra from Paris, France, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia CommonsColors of Ajanta
Colours of Ajanta

The art and love

Admire and enjoy it until sunset.

Yes! It is a daily routine in the world heritage site of Ajanta Caves. The magnificent and most beautiful Buddhist cave temple in India. The protected monument hosts roughly 30 caves which are carved during two distinct periods of Indian history.

The place beside the river Waghur hosts amazing rock sculptures and the most adorable paintings. Still many of them reflect with their original colours and gestures. A person who visits the Ajanta caves one time revisits it and enjoys one of the world heritage examples of human history.

Discovery and history

According to the old text given by the medieval era Chinese Buddhist traveller, they all have visited this monsoon retreat of Buddhist monks and praised its beauty. Mughal courts of Akbar also have some records describing this place but it is truly discovered by the colonial British officer captain John Smith in 1819. When he was on his hunting routine for the tiger. Captions Smith lost in Ajanta’s beauty when he first saw the ancient murals and their everlasting beauty.

World Heritage Site

The monuments of the Ajanta cave along with the Ellora Cave are protected monuments under the world heritage site in 1983. The classification and selections of Ajanta monuments meet the criteria: (i)(ii)(iii)(vi).

The criteria state that the sites represent a masterpiece of human creative genius and exhibit an important interchange of human values, over some time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design. The sites also bear exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization that is living or which has disappeared. The sites are also directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary work of outstanding universal significance.

Something unnoticed

I visited this place many times to complete my quest, yet with every visit, I found something new and something energetic. You should visit this world heritage site if you are a lover of history and historical places. If you are a lover of nature and its beauty. If you are a soul traveller. If you are the rider or trekker. If you are an art lover. If you are Indian, and of course if you are in love with someone.

You heard it right, it is truly inspiring. Apart from history, apart from nature, apart from art and apart from travelling destination hub the same Ajanta cave also gives us the most romantic story ever heard in the Deccan plateau. Nearly every single local person knows the love between major Robert Gill and local girl Paro. So when next time you visit, you would like to share your love with a partner. Maybe the same love story also gives the destinations one of the local honeymoon retreats over time.

Freakyyash, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
View of Ajanta Caves from View Point


The Hindu Satavahana Dynasty constructed caves consisting of caves 9, 10, 12, 13, and 15A. The Emperor Harishena of the Vakataka Dynasty later carved caves 1–8 and 14–29. All the caves are carved out of basalt rock of a cliff and house the most beautiful monastery in history. All the caves are carved by skilled persons.

Vihara halls have symmetrical squares planned within each of these; the small dormitory cells are created; some of these viharas have centre buddha statues. Some of the viharas are constructed in the multi-level like in Cave Number 6. The majority of the caves are established as the viharas

Chaitya Griha or worship halls are normally rectangular and have perfectly carved pillars in the opposite direction to support the ceilings. At the end of the hall there stood the chaitya who is considered to be a symbolic representation of the buddha. There are four complete chaitya griha in caves 9, 10, 19, 26 without any buddha statue while caves 19, 26, and 29 have buddha statues along with the chaitya.

Art and Sculptures

The Jataka Tales which are commonly heard in the Buddhist family throughout the generation is prominently used to decorate the walls and ceilings of Ajanta caves. The Jataka Tales are inscribed to give us the teaching of morality and dhamma representing Buddha in different births. The art of painting shows the effect of the art of Gandhara and Gupta art. Ajanta frescoes are considered to be classical paintings and many artists tried to impress with the same styles.

The main colours used were red ochre, yellow ochre, brown ochre, lamp black, white, and lapis lazuli. Many researchers noted that the painting techniques at Ajanta are similar to the European fresco technique. The painting is done in two layers, the first layer is a rough plaster of clay, cow dung, and rice husk used as a canvas, and then it is coated with lime juice for fine and smooth flow.


If you have visited other Buddhist sites then you can easily note that the styles and culture shown in the Ajanta caves share the same theme and major details as sites found in Bharhut, Sanchi, Amaravati, Ellora, Bagh, Aihole, Badami, and other Buddhist sites of India. The sites clearly show the shift in the worship culture from Hinayana towards the Mahayana.

Ancient world

If you recount the books of the history, you will find that all the Chinese Buddhist travellers have recorded the name of the Ajanta and its glorifying days but some painting from itself Ajanta shows the connection of another world with India like Greek, Persian, Saka, Palava, Kushan, and Huna. You cannot neglect the most famous fresco is in cave no 1 called the Persian embassy scene another similar reference is noted in cave no 17.


You Can visit anytime in the year it is always full of surprises and mystery in him. I once had a job in the Aurangabad metro city and visited Ajanta every month without any mistake.

The trip to Ajanta and Aurangabad city is not costly nor is it hard to access. You may have other plans for your vacations but let me advise you, whether you have vacations of 2 days or 7 days you will enjoy your stay in Aurangabad. There are many places where you can spend quality time of the day with your love and with your family.

I met many foreigners who fall in love with it most truly and also met with many Indians who seek this amazing art and enjoy it. One day I met a German person named Elias and his girlfriend Emilia. They told me that they are visiting Ajanta for 7 years regularly just as they challenge each other to find something new in the painting every time. I also met a young boy named Prashant who has another story. He says this Ajanta reminds him that the world cannot remember the people yet they will fall in love in their works.

Another day I ran into a beautiful local couple from the same state Maharashtra. They said they opted for Ajanta for their honeymoon. This place serves the most romantic love story which discriminates against the racial structure of the society, the love story of Robert Gill and Paro.

So are you ready for the challenge? Visit Ajanta, meet with visitors, enjoy the art, and tell me a new corner of the place and I owe you dinner and a gift.

Planning Trip

The caves are located in the Aurangabad district of the Maharashtra state. The Aurangabad city is well connected with Indian railway networks and also hosts an air runway so it is easy to land here. Ajanta has located 104 km, say 3 hours of journey from Aurangabad and 1.5 hours of journey from Bhusawal, another major Indian railway junction connecting all the Indian continents.

Small activity for kids with large benefits

Let your kids meet with foreign personality

Ask them to count the number of buddha statues

Ask the kids to measure the number of steps

Request the kids to complete their autograph book with other people

You can become friends with strangers

Ask your kids to identify the mudras of buddha in paintings


INR 35 for Indians, SAARC and BIMSTEC countries.

INR 550 for other Foreign countries.

The entry is free for kids under the age of 15.


A week off: Monday closed.

Visiting hours: 09.00 AM to 05.00 PM.

The nearest bus stand: Ajanta Foot Cave Bus Stop and Jalgaon and Aurangabad.

Nearest railways station: Aurangabad, Jalgaon, and Bhusawal.

The nearest airport: Aurangabad Airport, a domestic airport.

Camera Flash is not permitted in some caves.

No scratching and touching to the painting.

No climbing on the statues.

No footwear in the holy place.

No alcohol or tobacco is permitted on the premises of the caves.

Paintings of Ajanta

Cave no. 1

  • A lady reclining on a couch (Sundarananda Kāvya)
  • Princess Mālini and Buddha (Mahāvastu Avadāna)
  • King Śibi (Mahābhārata)

Cave no. 2

  • The mythical world of Nāgas (Mahāvastu Avadāna)
  • Purna Avadāna (Divyāvadāna)

Cave no. 6

  • A bhikshu (A Brahmin Upāsaka)
  • Buddha figures (Mahayana tradition)

Cave no. 10

  • The arrival of the king (Aśoka) to worship the Bodhi tree (Edicts of King Aśoka)
  • Elephant with six tusks (Chaddanta-jātaka, Mahāvastu Avadāna)

Cave no. 16

  • Hasti Jātakam (Jātakamālā (a text is written in pure Sanskrit))
  • A dying princess (Sundarananda Kāvya)
  • Conversion of Sundarananda (Sundārananda Kāvya)

Cave no. 17

  • Group of six heretics (Divyāvadāna)
  • A toilet scene, Princess Sundari (Sundarananda Kāvya)
  • Prince Sundarananda, bewildered (Sundarananda Kāvya)
  • The Buddha with Yaśodharā and Rāhula (Mahāvastu Avadāna)
  • Sinhala Avadāna (Divyāvadāna)
  • Enigma of flying horse (Valāhaka jātaka, Mahāvastu Avadāna)
Ajanta Caves, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Bodhisattva Padmapani


If you had reached the caves in the mornings and already explored the amazing arts and sculpture then you should trek back to the Ajanta cave bus stop from caves on the feet, you will experience the landscapes and natures in the monsoon periods.


It is always of kind adventure you have wanted for a lifetime. The place is for the family as well as for the sweets couples. The monuments exhibit our rich cultures and a long history of Buddhism and India with the outside world.

Even now I am going to visit the Ajanta caves next month, and I am excited to make some more unique friends so maybe we meet there.