Of all the ancient monuments in India, the rock-cut caves near Ajanta have won a unique place by virtue of their having the most perfect specimens of Indian mural paintings. Their reputation has spread far and wide and is second to none in the country, except probably that of the Taj Mahal. The name Ajanta casts a spell on the Indian mind and conjures up a vision of artistic excellence attained by the ancient painter's brush.
Ever since the discovery of the caves in the beginning of the 19th century their paintings have influenced the artistic pursuits in the country. They provided the greatest inspiration in the art-revival in the 1st quarter of the 20th century, as they have influenced many centuries earlier, the art tradition not only of contemporary India but also of Central Asia.
The caves are situated at a distance of 6.5 km from the village of Fardapur in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. Fardapur lies 55 km from Jalgaon, which is also the nearest railhead on the Central Railway, 420 & 1120 km from Mumbai and Delhi respectively. The nearest airport from Fardapur is at Aurangabad,103 km away.
Fardapur is easily approached by a motorable road from both Aurangabad and Jalgaon. There are regular bus services to the caves up to the T-Junction on the Aurangabad-Jalgaon road. The caves are located at a distance of 4 km from the T-Junction and one has to board special shuttle buses to reach the foothill of the caves. These buses are both air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned and tickets have to be bought for travelling on them.
There is no halting place in Ajanta village which is about 5 km (as the crow flies) from the caves. At Fardapur there is PWD guest house, Inspection Bungalow, accommodation for which can be reserved by prior application to the Collector and Executive Engineer, Aurangabad, respectively.. Accommodation may also be availed at Holiday Resort at Fardapur run by MTDC ( Maharashtra Tourist Development Corporation). Visitors intending to halt near the caves may contact the District Forest Officer, Aurangabad, to reserve accommodation in the Forest Bungalow. There are also some private resorts at Fardapur.