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aurangabad caves overview

#6 of 41 Places To Visit in Aurangabad
aurangabad caves
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address
Aurangabad Caves, Near Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, 431001, India
contact
+91-240-2343169
entry fee
10
per person for Indians
100
per person for foreign tourists
timings
All days of the week
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
visit duration
1 to 2 hours

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about aurangabad caves

The Aurangabad Caves are located on a hill running roughly east to west, nearly 2 km behind Bibi-ka-Maqbara. All 12 caves here belong to different groups.


The first group consists of caves 1 to 5, the second 6 to 9 and third 10 to 12. The caves are date back to 2nd and 3rd century CE to 7th century CE. The first and the second groups are separated by nearly 500 metres from each other, with the former at the western side while the latter is on the eastern side of the same hill. The third group is further east of the second group.

Here the earliest excavations (Caves 1 & 3) are in the form of a chaitya griha of the Hinayana order, albeit preserved very badly due to the nature of the rock formation. The heterogeneous rock formation here has prevented very large scale excavations. The excavators have taken much care to avoid portions where the lose rock formations were present. Cave 1 is an unfinished vihara, the ceiling of verandah has fallen down. Cave 2 is also a vihara with a shrine of Buddha at the rear.

The remaining caves are generally ascribed to the Kalachuri Dynasty. Of all, Cave 7 is the most elaborate and famous for its sculptural embellishments. It includes a central shrine with circumambulation with an outer corridor running all around. This corridor has recesses at regular intervals which are carved with various Buddhist gods and goddesses. The front wall of the verandah has very beautiful representation of a panel of litany of Avalokitesvara and Bodhisatva on either side the entrance to the shrine. The litany of Avalokitesvara is particularly more elaborate from similar examples at Ajanta and Ellora. Cave 9 has a sculptured panel showcasing Buddha in nirvana. The remaining caves of the second group are of less important due to incomplete excavations. 

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