Lesser Known Aurangabad Caves Tour, Maharashtra
The lesser known Aurangabad caves is a worthy prelude to the well known Ajanta and Ellora caves. Situated at a distance of nine kilometers from Aurangabad, they can be easily accessed by the local modes of transport there.This post has everything you need to know about Aurangabad Caves in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.
It took approximately 2 hours to complete Aurangabad Caves Tour. Thirteen caves here lie scattered on two sides of a mountain and are in two sets; the eastern set and the western set, separated by a distance of one and half kilometers. First set are the incomplete set of caves with old-fashioned pillars and obscure ornamentation. You can hire a taxi to cover this distance to save time and energy. We did that.
Aurangabad caves too are not natural caves, but are carved out of mountains with primitive tools. Buddhists residing here then chiseled these cave temples between 6th and the 8th centuries.
The caves here have sculptural works which ranks with the best in India. Unfortunately these set of caves are not in the UNESCO world heritage list. So nobody is pouring in money for the maintenance and that explains the pitiful state of the caves here.
The pictures below …Bodhisatva Padmapani (Lotus in Hand), a demi-god with a crown encircled by snakeheads, and female figures… there are many such figures with elaborate head dresses, necklaces and some are with garlands in hand.
This picture is the world famous sculpture panel of a dancer with her troupe.
Thousands of wooden constructions in our country have yielded to decay, while sculptures of the time-defying rock have withstood decay for centuries. But will these stone compositions be able to withstand the vandalism and looting that is going on here unchecked?
The cells which may have served as the living quarters of the monks, one of them had a stone bed too.
Most common theme in these caves, Buddha seated in a preaching posture flanked by Boddhisatva Vajrpani (thunderbolt in hand) on the right and Padmapani on the left and celestial beings hovering over his shoulder. I found this in two other places too.
Other impressive sculptures were these.
Location of Aurangabad Caves
The Aurangabad Caves are located between the Satara and Sihyachal range of hills in Aurangabad. And it is just 2 km from the famous ‘Bibi Ka Maqbara’,