Maharashtra Tourism Development Corp. (MTDC), under the government of the Indian state of Maharashtra, has drawn up a plan to make the Buddhist heritage sites of Ajanta and Ellora iconic tourist and pilgrimage destinations along India’s growing Buddhist circuit.
To put Ajanta and Ellora on the international Buddhist tourism map, MTDC co-organised the 6th International Buddhist Conclave 2018 in Aurangabad, in association with India’s Ministry of Tourism. The conclave, which took place on 23–26 August, was attended by Buddhist delegates, monks, and officials from more than 12 Buddhist-populated countries.
Ajanta and Ellora are UNESCO World Heritage Sites situated 29 km and 107 km, respectively, from the city of Aurangabad. Ajanta consists of 30 rock-cut caves built between the 2nd and 5th centuries. They contain some of the rarest and finest surviving examples of ancient Buddhist religious art—in particular, rock paintings. Ellora comprises 34 rock-cut caves, built between the 5th and 10th centuries, housing monasteries and temples of three religious traditions: Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.