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Aurangabad caves

These caves are loacted on the outskirts of Aurangabad city, not far from the Bibi Ka Maqbara; there are three groups of Buddhist Caves. It consists of twelve caves spread from east to west. These are known as Aurangabad caves.

 

Districts/Region

Aurangabad district, Maharashtra, India.

History

There are 12 Buddhist caves divided into three groups covering the period from the beginning of CE to the 8th century CE. Cave 4 in the locality is a chaitya dating back to the 1st century BCE. Caves 1 and 3 belong to the 5th century CE and are associated with Mahayana tradition. Caves 6 to 10 are of the later date and depict sculptures of Hindu Gods. The last group of caves is again of Buddhist affiliation and displays the influence of esoteric Buddhism at the site. These are contemporary to the Buddhist Caves at Ellora. Sculptural panels in this group conceptually mark the transition phase from Ajanta to Ellora. There is an unfinished panel of Mahaparinirvana of the Buddha, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshwara as saviour god, Bodhisattva attendants and various Buddhist Goddesses.
Cave 3 is a unique cave temple where lord Buddha is shown seated on the throne in the shrine. The sanctum is filled with life-size sculptures of devotees seating in two rows along the side walls.
Cave 7 is highly decorated with sculptures of Mahayana Buddhist deities. There is a monolithic central shrine with Buddhist goddesses as attendants at the entrance. The shrine has an image of the seated Buddha with the depiction of the panel of dancing women identified as Buddhist deities. 
In a small cave near cave 6, we can see sculptures of various Hindu deities like Ganesha, Seven Mother goddesses, Durga and also a sculpture of the Buddha. Caves 11 and 12 are at the rear of the hill and consist of a simple hall and plain pillars. It doesn't have any carving.

Geography

Aurangabad caves are rock-cut structures carved out of soft basalt rocks.

Weather/Climate

The region of Aurangabad has a hot and dry climate. The summers are more extreme than winters and monsoon, with a temperature up to 40.5 degrees Celsius.
Winters are mild, and the average temperature varies from 28-30 degrees Celsius.
Monsoon season has extreme seasonal variations, and the annual rainfall in Aurangabad is around 726 mm.

Things to do

This site requires a full day for visiting and enjoying all aspects. One can explore the ancient Buddhist sculptures and carvings. The scenic hillside setting and ancient architecture of the caves make it an interesting archaeological site.

Nearest tourist places

Aurangabad is known for its history and enthusiasts can visit many places near Aurangabad like:

  • Soneri Mahal (1.5 KM)
  • Bibi ka Maqbara (2.5 KM)
  • Panchakki (3.5 KM)
  • Himayat Bagh (4 KM)
  • Jama Masjid (4 KM)
  • Gul Mandi (5 KM)
  • Aurangabad Jain Temple (5 KM)
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum (5 KM)
  • Siddharth Garden and Zoo (6 KM)
  • Dargah Baba Shah Musafir (6 KM)
  • Salim Ali Lake (6.5 KM)

 

Special food speciality and hotel

Naan Khaliya (Non-veg dish)
Bananas from Jalgaon.
Hurda, Daal Batti, Brinjal (Vaangi) Bharata, Shev Bhaji. (Veg. Dish)

Accommodation facilities nearby & Hotel/ Hospital/Post Office/Police station

There are no specific facilities available on the site. One may find hotels, restaurants and lodges in the vicinity of the caves in the city of Aurangabad.

Visiting Rule and Time, Best month to visit

The timings to visit the cave is between 9:00 A.M  - 5:00 P.M. 
Visitors should follow the rules like keeping the premises clean, not causing any damage to the site and maintaining the sanity of the place. 

Language spoken in area 

English, Hindi, Marathi