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Exploring A Lesser-Known Marvel: Pitalkhora Caves in Aurangabad

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Published: Friday, January 13, 2017, 17:03 [IST]
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Maharashtra is full of cave structures belonging to the Buddhist era. Pitalkhora Caves are one of the lesser-known caves in Aurangabad, in Maharashtra. These ancient caves were used as Buddhist monasteries during the 3rd and 4th Century.

Location

The Pitalkhora Caves are situated around 50 km from the famous Ellora Caves in Aurangabad. These are rock-cut caves located in the Satamala Hill Ranges of Maharashtra. Pitalkhora Caves are situated near the town of Kannad on the Aurangabad-Chalisgaon Road.

Pitalkhora Caves in Aurangabad

                                                                    Pitalkhora Caves

PC: Ms Sarah Welch

History Of Pitalkhora Caves

The Buddhist inscriptions in the caves indicate that they belonged to to the 3rd and 4th century. Though most of the caves belong to the Hinayana Buddhist period, some paintings in the cave are part of the Mahayana period. The Pitalkhora caves, also known as Brazen Glen is one of the most beautiful rock-cut structures of the ancient times. Though they are not as famous as the Ajanta and Ellora, these caves are worth exploring.

Architecture Of Pitalkhora Caves

Pitalkhora is a group of 14 Buddhist caves which are carved out of basalt rocks. Among the 14 rock-cut caves, four are chaityas (prayer halls), one has a stupa and the rest are viharas (cells where Buddhist monks stayed).

Pitalkhora Caves in Aurangabad

An entrance
PC: Ms Sarah Welch

We can find several paintings and sculptures inside Pitalkhora Caves. While most of the paintings belong to the Hinayana period, a few of them belong to the Mahayana Buddhist Era.

The caves are constructed in two groups; the first set has 10 caves and the second set has 4 caves. Each of these caves have structures similar to other Buddhist caves in Maharashtra.

Today, this ancient piece of architecture is managed by the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India). They have also constructed an iron bridge to help the visitors explore the caves with ease.

Pitalkhora Caves in Aurangabad

One of the caves
PC: Ms Sarah Welch

Best Time To Visit Pitalkhora Caves

October to February is the best time to visit Pitalkhora Caves. This is because the hill out of which the caves are carved look splendid after the monsoons. It is a visual treat to see the hills covered by the lush green cover.

How To Reach Pitalkhora Caves

Pitalkhora Caves is located on the Aurangabad - Chalisgaon Road.

By Road: Tourists can take a bus from any major cities like Pune, Mumbai, Nasik, etc. to reach Aurangabad. From there they can hire taxis to reach Pitalkhora caves.

By Train: Aurangabad Railway Station is the nearest railway station to reach Pitalkhora Caves.

Read more about: caves, heritage, aurangabad, maharashtra
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