Aurangabad Caves

Aurangabad Caves

Situated at a distance of 5 km, nestled amidst the hills are 12 Buddhist caves probably dating back to 3 A.D. Of particular interest are the Tantric influences evident in the iconography and architectural designs of the caves. One is also treated to a panaromic view of the city as well as the imposing Maqbara from this point.

Resposing and relaxing, tranquilly in the comfortable womb of the quiescent motionless mountains situated between the Sihyachal and Satara ranges of hills, secure and protected, the cave temples of Aurangabad are alive and kicking gloriously. Though not famous as Ajanta or Ellora they are equally good and can be compared with the best at Ajanta and Ellora. Accessible to trekkers through the university and another tarred road leading from Bibi ka Maqbara, Aurangabad caves can be visited by all the tourists.

This is probably the only cave group where not a single inscription so far has been visible. It is quite possible that there were inscriptions, in the Chaitya Cave 4 (2nd cent A.D.) which is contemporary to Cave 9 at Ajanta but unfortunately for the historian all its pillars have fallen down leaving no trace of any of inscriptions. However through material evidence in Ajanta, Ellora, Kanheri one can arrive at certain definite conclusions and also with the help of a inscription discovered at Kanheri to which I have already referred, dating of these caves become easier. Cave No.4 at Aurangabad, architecturally can be compared to Cave No.9 at Ajanta which belongs to 2nd cent A.D. This is also evident from the inscription at Kanheri. This is the only Chaitya Cave, while the next cave chronologically belongs to the Vakataka period and can be compared in plan (ground plan), pillar decorations and sculptural details with Cave No.2 and 1 at Ajanta. Cave No.4 at Aurangabad is the only Hinayana Cave while Cave 1 and 3 belong to the Vakataka period.

 

 

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