We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Shruti, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Shruti lives in India, and submitted the following report about the Ajanta and Ellora Caves near Aurangabad. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 1.5 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: Marathi, Hindi, English
Reasons to Visit Ajanta and Ellora Caves
If you are a history buff and a heritage lover, you will fall in what they call “love at first site.” The only thing that you will miss here is being with someone you love. When I visited the Kailasa temple of Ellora caves, I called my mother, my sister, and my boyfriend and I woke them up at 8 in the morning to have a look at this marvel of mankind.
Just imagine being in these caves that were built in the 2nd century, with intricately carved paintings and sculptures. The air is different that you breathe there. It’s the aura that you will love most. There is peace, positivity, religion, faith, art, and culture all speaking in one language. Humanity. There are Hindu caves next to Buddhist caves shaking hands with Jain temples: a symbol of harmony and religious peace in those times.
The paintings there speak for themselves. For a moment, I was lost in building my own story around them. One of my more profound experiences included chanting ‘Om’ in one of the caves and hearing it echo all over the place. The sound rested inside me for a long time and I still feel I have never been in such a peaceful trance before.
One rule of thumb for visiting the caves: start early. Be there before the caves open to the public. I was the first at the ticket counter and the first one to enter the first cave. That gives you an edge over the swarming number of tourists, you can click nice pictures (alone), and while you return you can smirk at the people waiting in long queues at the ticket counter.
Another pointer: manage your stay so that you get ample amounts of time to visit both Ajanta and Ellora Caves. Ajanta is 100 km from Aurangabad (the nearest airport) whereas Ellora is 30 km away. I stayed in Aurangabad and devoted 1 day each to Ajanta and Ellora. I could write on and on about the caves, but words will be only words and they can’t truly describe what I saw and how I felt. That’s why you must go there and experience it yourself.
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 2 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 1.5 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)