The Aurangabad caves (Hindi; औरंगाबाद गुफाएं; Arabic; اورانجاباد الكهوف ) are located on a hill running roughly east to west, nearly 2 km behind Bibi Ka Maqbara in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. The first reference of Aurangabad Caves is cited in the big Chaitya of Kanheri. The Caves are situated in the southern face of the hill which lie north of Aurangabad.The Aurangabad Caves were dug out of soft rock during the 6th and 7th century.There are twelve Buddhist caves which are divided into three separate groups depending on its location. Sculptural carvings reached its climax and can be compared to the best paintings of Ajanta. "[1][2] Coordinates: 19°33′N 75°18′E / 19.55°N 75.30°E / 19.55; 75.30


Aurangabad Caves

A view of Aurangabad Caves.

Carved in the Sihaychal ranges, overlooking the sprawling campus of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, the Aurangabd caves of years have been overshadowed by the world heritage monuments of Ellora and Ajanta cave temples. Though its sculptures are comparable with the best in Ajanta and Ellora, scholars continued to disregard this cave group. Though in the 20th century, a few scholars started looking at these cave temples as a missing link between Ajanta and Ellora and also after an exhaustive study, were compelled to describe it as a “ Sensitive remaking of life situated in time and space span”. [3]

Caves I and III

Caves I and III of Aurangabad and last caves of Ajanta co-existed as is apparent from striking parallels which we come across while examining both the sites. Again at Aurangabad after a careful study of both caves I and III, the conclusion the Historians have come to is that cave III was earlier to cave I. In Cave III the artist seems to have decorated with surprisingly neat and organized designs of fretwork, scrolls, panel of couples, tassels, flowers, geometrical designs, and highest point of perfection and consummation."[4]


  1. Qureshi Dulari," Art and Vision of Aurangabad Caves,"p.1,2
  3. Qureshi Dulari," Art and Vision of Aurangabad Caves, 1998
  4. Qureshi Dulari," Art and Vision of Aurangabad Caves," Chapter I p.10

External sources

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