Aurangabad Caves


Architecturally speaking, the Aurangabad Caves aren’t a patch on Ellora or Ajanta, but they do shed light on early Buddhist architecture and make for a quiet and peaceful outing. Carved out of the hillside in the 6th or 7th century AD, the 10 caves, comprising two groups 1km apart (retain your ticket for entry into both sets), are all Buddhist.

Cave 7, with its sculptures of scantily clad lovers in suggestive positions, is a perennial favourite.

The caves are about 2km north of Bibi-qa-Maqbara. A return autorickshaw from the mausoleum shouldn’t cost more than ₹250, including waiting time.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Aurangabad attractions

1. Bibi-qa-Maqbara

1.23 MILES

Built by Aurangzeb’s son Azam Khan in 1679 as a mausoleum for his mother Rabia-ud-Daurani, Bibi-qa-Maqbara is widely known as the poor man’s Taj. With its…

2. Panchakki

1.94 MILES

The garden complex of Panchakki, literally meaning ‘water wheel’, takes its name from the ancient hydromill which, in its day, was considered a marvel of…

3. Shrimat Chatrapati Shivaji Museum

2.22 MILES

This simple museum is dedicated to the life of the Maratha hero Shivaji. Its collection includes a 500-year-old chain-mail suit and a copy of the Quran,…

4. Daulatabad Fort

6.68 MILES

No trip to Aurangabad is complete without a pit stop at the ruined but truly magnificent hilltop fortress of Daulatabad, about 15km away from town en…

5. Alamgir Dargah

10.03 MILES

Emperor Aurangzeb, the last of the Mughal greats, is entombed in the courtyard of this simple (and somewhat unwelcoming) shrine. Despite matching the…

6. Cave 2

11.13 MILES

Cave 2 is notable for its ornate pillars and the imposing seated Buddha, which faces the setting sun.

7. Cave 5

11.13 MILES

Cave 5 is the largest vihara in this group, at 18m wide and 36m long; the rows of stone benches hint that it may once have been an assembly hall.

8. Cave 1

11.13 MILES

Cave 1, the simplest vihara, may have been a granary.