Ajanta Caves – The Pride of Maharashtra
Ajanta Caves is a cluster of 30 rock cut Buddhist caves which dates back to 2nd century BCE. The Ajanta caves are located in Jalgaon in the Indian state of Maharashtra. These caves are locally known as Ajintha Leni. The caves include paintings and sculptures that are considered to be masterpieces of Buddhist religious art. The Ajanta caves were built in two phases starting around the 2nd century BCE, with the second group of caves built around 400–650 CE according to older accounts, or all in a brief period of 460 to 480.
The Ajanta caves site is a protected monument taken care by Archaeological Survey of India. The Ajanta caves were declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in the year 1983.
The caves are located in the Indian state of Maharashtra, near Jalgaon and just outside the village of Ajinṭhā, about 59 kilometers (37 miles) from Jalgaon railway station. The Ajanta caves are cut into the side of a cliff that is on the south side of a U-shaped gorge on the small river Waghur.
The area was previously heavily forested, and after the site ceased to be used the caves were covered by jungle until accidentally rediscovered in 1819 by a British officer on a hunting party. They are Buddhist monastic buildings, apparently representing a number of distinct “monasteries” or colleges. The caves are numbered 1 to 28 according to their place along the path, beginning at the entrance.
Ajanta caves are truly a breath taking site to be explored by everyone. Ajanta caves are undoubtedly the Pride of Maharashtra.