I am not a full time traveler but if I don’t travel at least once in a month, the travel bug starts moving in my head, so mostly what I do is that whenever I have consecutive 2-3 days holidays including weekend, I take one or two leaves and go for a short trip. In this way I actually travelled most part of India. In October 2018, we shifted Mumbai. After coming here we did Lonavala trip, Local sightseeing inside Mumbai in most of the weekends. In the month of November we went to Ahmedabad, and visited Kutch Festival. In the month of January (26th January weekend), I was searching for a place for 3-4 days’ vacation and then I decided to visit Ajanta and Ellora. In this post I will share all the details about Ajata Ellora visit from Mumbai. Places to visit in Aurangabad. From this post you will get an idea of 3 days Ajanta Ellora tour itinenary.
How to reach Aurangabad:
Ajanta is almost 100 Km from Aurangabad and Ellora is approximate 30 Km from Aurangabad. However if you want to visit both Ajanta and Ellora, the best location to stay is Aurangabad. You can reach Aurangabad by flight, Train, Cab from Mumbai or from any other part of India. The nearest airport is Chikalthana Airport, which is 11 km from Aurangabad. By road it is 300-330 Km from Mumbai (depending on which part of Mumbai you are staying). Initially though we though to hire cab but as we got train ticket so opted the train journey. Within 6- 7 hours, Aurangabad can be reached from Mumbai by train.
Best time to visit:
Most of the western, southern and eastern places in India are hot and humid in summer. Aurangabad is not an exception. The best time to visit is autumn and winter (September- January), however rainy season (July-August) is second best option to visit Ajanta Ellora.
Where to Stay:
As I have already said Aurangabad is the best place to stay for Ajanta Ellora visit. There are many hotels, guest houses available of low, mid and high budget. If you stay in Aurangabad, then you can explore some good tourist places in Aurangabad like Bibi ka Maqbara, panchakki etc.
How many days required to explore the area?
If you want to see all the places near Aurangabad area, then you need at least 4 days, but we had only 2 days so I did some research about the places to visit before we visited the place and only visited the places which suited our duration of staying.
3 days Ajanta Ellora itinerary:
As I have mentioned already that we had only 2 days to explore the area, so this was our itinerary-
Day 1: Reach Aurangabad and take rest. (We reached in the evening) If you reach in the morning then you can explore Panchaki, Some of the Gates (of total 52 gates) in the same day.
Day 2 : Visit Ajanta. We started early morning after taking breakfast. We first visited Bibi ka Maqbara, panchakki before proceeding towards Ajanta caves. Ajanta Caves is 110 km from Aurangabad city, but the new highway construction work was going on so it took almost 5 hours (Average 25-30 Km/hour speed) to reach there. Full day at Ajanta.
Day 3: Visit Ellora caves and Daulatabad Fort
Places to visit:
I have already mentioned the places we could cover in two days. Here are the details of the places-
Bibi ka Maqbarra:
It was made in 1660 by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in the memory of his first wife Dilras Banu. It is very similar structure like Taj Mahal. The large area is covered with similar type of dome structure and similar fountains in front of the main building.
There are total 30 Buddhist caves of 2nd century. Before reaching Ajanta, 20 Km ahead there is an Ajanta view point. From there you will get a bird eye view of total 30 caves and the total horse shoe shaped hill. I recommend the visit to the view point. From the view point, you can reach Ajanta Cave by trekking. It will take 30-40 minutes to reach the cave area by stepping down.
However as we were travelling with parents and kid so we reached Ajanta by car (up to the parking lot). From there you have to purchase ticket and one bus will take you to the foothill of Ajanta. The bus ride will be for 5 minutes and you have to take steps / walk in the slope for next 30 minutes to reach the cave area.
There are total 30 caves, in which Cave 1, cave 2, Cave 16, Cave 17 and Cave 30 are the best caves to visit. The other caves are having less art work, so if you have time restriction you can visit only these caves. We reached Ajanta in time so we explored each and every caves.
Ellora caves area is even bigger than Ajanta cave. Unlike Ajanta, Ellora consist of 12 Buddhist (1-12), 17 Hindu (caves 13–29) and 5 Jain (caves 30–34) caves. Kailash temple is the biggest and best part to visit in Ellora. Centrally located this Hindu temple is unique in nature as the structure is made from one rock. The area is huge and it will take at least 1 hour to explore only the Kailash temple.
To visit the Buddhist and Jain temples you need to take bus (Inside bus service is available). Alternatively you can walk for 20-30 mins to reach there.
One of the best things to see in Aurangabad is to visit at least 3-4 gates of 9 gates. There were total 52 gates out of which Delhi gate in the north, Jalna gate in the east, Mecca Gate in the west and Paithan gate in the South are main entrance to the city. As our hotel was in front of Delhi gate so we could spend some time there.
We had time constraints, so could not visit Daulatabad Fort. You need to trek to reach there, so we saw the fort from the road. However this is another place you must visit if time permits. If you are travelling for 4 days, then one day you should keep for this place.
Things to remember:
- Ajanta Caves is closed in Monday
- Ellora Caves is closed in Tuesday
- The road condition (110Km) between Ajanta and Aurangabad is very bad. New highway construction is going on, so the maximum speed of 20-25km per hour can be achieved. So you have to start early.
- You need at least 4-5 hours to explore the Ajanta area, so plan you day accordingly.
- There is no food/water available once you reach the foothill area and start journey towards Ajanta cave so carry water bottle. (Piped water connection is there in 1-2 location but the quality of water is not known).
- If you want to buy some show piece or idle, then do the bargaining.
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