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How to reach Ajanta Caves from Aurangabad: A Personal Guide

From the caves to the food, Ajanta in eastern Maharashtra has lots to offer. Nestled amidst the Sahyadri hills, the site features 30 ancient rock-cut Buddhist monuments built over a span of 800 years, starting from the 2nd century BCE.

But before you can indulge in the beauty of Ajanta, you need to figure out how to reach there from Aurangabad. And that’s where this guide comes in.

As someone who has made the Aurangabad to Ajanta journey more than a few times, I’d like to share the easiest way to plan your trip based on my personal experiences. Whether you are relying on public transport or want to drive yourself, read on for a breakdown of all your options and pro tips for navigating this incredible historic site smoothly.

How to reach Ajanta Caves from Aurangabad

Reaching Ajanta Caves from Aurangabad by Public Transport

If you want to save money and avoid the hassle of driving, using public transportation to get from Aurangabad to Ajanta Caves is a great option. Here are the two main routes available:

Bus from Aurangabad to Ajanta

The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) runs direct buses between Aurangabad and Ajanta. The starting point is Aurangabad Central Bus Stand and buses usually depart every hour. The travel time is around 3 hours and 30 minutes to reach Ajanta Bus Stop.

This is the most convenient way to approach Ajanta Caves since the bus stops right at the main gate. No need to worry about parking or navigating the small roads by the caves. And it’s an affordable option, with ticket prices ranging from ₹150 to ₹300 depending on the type of bus.

Train + Rickshaw Option

If bus timings are not suitable, you can also take a train from Aurangabad to Jalgaon station and then cover the last 58 km by a hired rickshaw or taxi. There’s an early morning Tejas Express that’s quite comfortable. From Jalgaon, a private taxi can directly reach Ajanta Caves in around 1.5 hours.

You can also take any passenger train and get off at Fardapur railway station, just 16 km away from the caves. From there, you’ll easily find shared rickshaws. This route involves more changes but is also much cheaper.

Driving from Aurangabad to Ajanta Caves on Your Own

Driving to Ajanta Caves allows flexibility to stop anywhere on the way. But the roads are not very vehicle-friendly, so I only recommend self-driving if you are an experienced driver. Here is the route and tips:

The Route

Ajanta caves are 107 km away from Aurangabad via the Aurangabad - Jalgaon Highway/SH60. After the Chalisgaon junction, turn left onto the Chalisgaon - Gotegaon - Ajanta Road. Follow signboards and you’ll reach the monument site within an hour.

The drive is quite picturesque as you pass many villages and fields. Do keep cash for toll payments handy before Gotegaon.

Pro Driving Tips

  • Leave early as it takes roughly 3 hours of drive time without stops

  • Get the fuel tank topped up and check the air pressure in tires

  • Carry snacks and drinking water

  • Drive carefully around curves

  • Park only in designated areas

  • Hire an experienced local driver if uncomfortable with hilly roads

Making the Most of Your Trip to Ajanta Caves

Once you successfully reach Ajanta Caves from Aurangabad, you can easily spend half a day marveling at the Buddhist viharas and chaityas. Don't forget to check out chronologically numbered caves to see how architecture evolved over centuries. Caves 1 and 2 boast beautiful frescoes and paintings.

Carry caps, sunglasses and shoes suitable for walking long distances under the sun. There are cloakroom facilities available to store your belongings as you explore the caves. And you can buy souvenirs from the small shops lining the entrance area.

After touring the UNESCO World Heritage Site, stop by any of the small restaurants just outside for a simple homecooked meal before heading back. Safe parking spots are also available here if you are driving yourself.

So that sums up everything about reaching Ajanta caves from Aurangabad. Let me know if you need any other details to plan your visit to this incredible historic site smoothly.


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