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Monday, 18 February 2013

Exploring the treasures of Ajanta and Ellora

The land of antiquity, some destinations in India will take you back to the past. One such destination is located close to the city of Aurangabad. The hidden treasures in the caves of Ajanta and Ellora in the past few decades are center of attractions in this place. What could be more interesting than a visit to the Ajanta and Ellora on the luxury trains! Travelling in sheer comfort and luxury of the royals will take you to a bygone era. The unbelievable ambience with all modern comforts of life on the wheels is only available in the luxurious hotels. But the Indian Railways along with state tourism makes this possible inside the train itself. Exploring these magical treasures of India in the luxurious trains like Deccan Odyssey and Maharaja Express is a different kind of experience.

Nestled in the inner folds of Sahyadri Hills, the caves in Ajanta and Ellora are ultimate example of human artistry. The inexplicable natural vegetation around the caves away from the hustle and bustle of city lives offers a veritable refuge. The tourist traveling to these caves will have a wonderful respite amidst the masterpieces of art which are in the forms of sculptures in the caves. It is very difficult to believe how such beautiful structures are engraved in the caves unless you experience it through your own eyes.

One of the World Heritage Sites, Ajanta Caves was hidden for long time until it was rediscovered. Restored and refurbished, it is now a favorite destination for tourist belonging to different parts of the world. Dating back to 2nd century BC, these caves were built in two phases carved out of mountain curve by the Buddhist monks. The murals in the caves depict the masterpieces of Buddhist religious art. The murals done of the fragmented walls, ceilings and pillars depict figures of Lord Buddha and narrate stories of Jataka tales. The caves were basically Buddhist monastic buildings which represented distinct monasteries. It contains some of the best paintings and sculptures India has ever produced.

Epitome of Indian rock cut architecture, Ellora are designated as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Housing thirty-four monumental caves it depicts a perfect amalgamation of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. The twelve of which are Buddhist caves and one is adorned by a huge statue of Lord Buddha in a sermonizing position. The Kashinath Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva is most popular in the Hindu caves. It is also considered as one of the largest monolithic structures in the whole world. One of the caves dedicated to Jainism houses a monolithic shrine of Lord Mahavir.

Both the Ajanta and Ellora caves serve as a feast for the eyes of the connoisseurs of art, culture and heritage from various parts of the globe. The sheer feat of human creativity is beyond imagination. Set in a perfect location from the daily humdrums, it offers the visitors grand repository of ancient Indian art in the form of sculptures, murals, statues and fine specimen of history.

Luxury trains in India offers its guests inexplicable hospitality on board the train itself. It takes you to some of the best places to visit in India making your trip a wonderful one.