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AURANGABAD SIGHTSEEING

 

Aurangabad has a number of attractions and it was known as Khadke. Bibi-ka-Maqbara : It is an interesting building and the only example of Moghul architecture on the Deccan plateau. Panchakki : It is a cool, relaxing and serene place. Aurangabad Caves : They are a couple of km north of the Bibi-ka-Maqbara. The 10 caves are all Buddhist; five are in the western group and five about a km away in the eastern group. Western Group - cave 1 to 5 Cave 4 is fronted by stupa. Cave 3 is square and is supported by 12 highly ornate columns. It has an interesting series of sculptures depicting scenes from one of the jatakas. Eastern Group - Cave 6 to 10 Cave 6 has a large Buddha figure and Ganesh figure. Cave 7 is the most interesting of the Aurangabad caves, particularly for the figure and sculptures.


AURANGABAD-GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY The cave group at Ajanta and Ellora are off the railway lines and are usually approached from either Aurangabad or from Jalgaon. Air The Indian Airlines office is on Dr. Rajendra Prasad Marg next to the Aurangabad Ashok. Indian Airlines flies from Bombay to Aurangabad daily, and these flies continue on to Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur and Delhi. It is a popular tourist route and the flights can be booked up several days in advance. BUS There are bus connection between Aurangabad and Pune, Nasik, Indore and Bombay. Several luxury buses are available to Bombay. TPH Tours and Travels at the Hotel Rajdhani, Station Rd, go daily to Bombay. MTDC offers daily luxury buses to Bombay. To Ellora and Ajanta Caves : Aurangabad is good base for visiting either the Ellora or Ajanta caves. TRAIN Jalgaon is 420km from Bombay. From Jalgaon there are frequent buses to Ajanta and Aurangabad. From Bombay you change trains at Manmad, 261 km to the north-east, for the 113-km trip to Aurangabad. The best trains to take from Manmad are the Marathwada Express, Ajanta Express or the Ellora Express.


AURANGABAD SIGHTSEEING 2

 

Cave 11 : The Do Thal (Two-Storey) Cave is also entered by a courtyard. Cave 12 : The Teen Thal (Three-Storey) Cave has three storeys and is entered through a courtyard.


AURANGABAD SIGHTSEEING 3 - HINDU CAVES

 

The Hindu caves are the most dramatic and impressive of the Ellora cave temples. Cave 14 : It is dedicated to Siva, who appears in many of the carvings. You can see Siva dancing the tandava, a victory dance over the demon Mahisa. The seven 'mother goddesses' can also be seen, and Ravana makes yet another attempt to shake Kailasa. Cave 15 : The Das Avatara Cave is one of the finest at Ellora. The two-storey temple is reached by a long flight of steps. Inside there is a modern image of Siva's vehicle. We can also see Vishnu resting on a five-hooked serpent or rescuing an elephant from a crocodile. Cave 16 : The mighty Kailasa Temple is the central attraction at Ellora. The temple consists of a huge courtyard. In the centre, the main temple rises up and is connected to the outer enclosure by a bridge. Around the enclosure are galleries, while towards the front are two large stone elephants with two massive stone. The most impressive being the image of Ravana shaking Kailasa. Other Caves : Cave 21, known as the Ramesvara, has number of interesting scenes. The figure of Ganga, standing on her crocodile or makara, is particularly notable. The very large cave 29, the Dumar Lena, is similar in design to the Elephanta Cave at Bombay. Jain Caves : The Jain caves mark the final phase of Ellora. Cave 30 : The Chota Kailasa or Little Kailasa is a poor imitation of the great Kailasa Temple.


AURANGABAD SIGHTSEEING 4 - OTHER CAVES

 

Cave 21, known as the Ramesvara, has a number of interesting scenes. The figure of Ganga, standing on her crocodile or makara, is particularly notable. The very large cave 29, the Dumar Lena, is similar in design to the Elephanta Cave at Bombay. Jain Caves : The Jain Caves mark the final phase of Ellora. Cave 30 : The Chota Kailasa or little Kailasa is a poor imitation of the great Kailasa Temple. Cave 32 : The Indra Sabha (Assembly Hall of Indra) is the finest of the Jain temples. The upstairs area, reached by a stairway, is an ornate and richly decorated as downstairs is plain. There are images of the Jain tirthankars. Inside the shrine is a seated figure of Mahavira. Traces of paintings can still be seen on the roof of the temple. Other Caves : Cave 31 is really an extension of 32, Cave 33, the Jagannath Sabha, is similar in plan to 32 and has some particularly well-preserved sculptures. On the hilltop over the Jain temples a five-metre-high image of Parasnath looks down on Ellora. Grishneshwar : Close the Ellora Caves in the village of Verul, this 18-th century Siva temple has one of the jyoti lingas (important shrines to Siva) in India, so it is an important place of pilgrimage of Hindus.


AURANGABAD SIGHTSEEING 5 - AJANTA CAVES

 

Ajanta Caves are all Buddhist and famous for the magnificent paintings. The caves are cut into the steep face of a deep rock gorge. There are 29 caves in a curve of the gorge, and there is a good viewpoint across the ravine. Five of the caves are chaityas or temples while the other 24 re viharas or monasteries. Caves 8, 9, 10, 12 and 13 are the older Hinayana caves, while the older are Mahayana. There are also many interesting sculptures here. Cave 1 : A veradah at the front leads to a large square hall which has elaborate carvings and paintings. Amongst the interesting sculptures is one of four deer sharing a common head. There are many paintings of women. Notable paintings includes scenes from the jatakas, and portraits of the Bodhisattvas Padmapani and Vajrapani. Cave 2 : This one has important paintings. There are murals as well as paintings on the ceiling. The scenes include a number of jatakas and events connected with the Buddha's birth. Cave 4 : This is the largest vihara cave at Ajanta and is supported by 28 pillars. The cave has some fine sculptures. Cave 6 : This is only two-storey cave at Ajanta. Inside is a seated figure of the Buddha with an intricately carved door to the shrine. Upstairs the hall is surrounded by cells with fine paintings on the doorways. Cave 7 & 8 : At cave 7, there are porches before the verandah, which leads directly to the four cells and elaborately sculpted shrine. Cave 8 is used solely for the generating equipment which lights the caves. Cave 9 : This is a chaitya cave at Ajanta.Columns run down both sides of the cave and around the three-metre-high dagoba at the far end.


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