The Pitalkhora Caves, in the Satamala range of the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, India, are an ancient Buddhist site consisting of 14 rock-cut cave monuments which date back to the third century BCE, making them one of the earliest examples of rock-cut architecture in India. Located about 40 kilometers from Ellora, the site is reached by a steep climb down a flight of concrete stairs, past a waterfall next to the caves.


The caves are cut in a variety of basalt rock, but some of the caves have crumbled and are damaged. Out of the 14, four are chaityas (one housing votive stupas, one apsidal and single-cell) and the rest are viharas. All the caves belong to the Hinayana period, but the reasonably well preserved paintings are of the Mahayana period. The caves are in two groups, one of 10 caves and the second of four. It is believed that Pitalkhora can be identified with Ptolemy’s “Petrigala” as well as the “Pitangalya” of Mahamayuri, a Buddhist chronicle. The inscriptions date from c. 250 BCE to the 3rd and 4th centuries CE.[1]

The site shows statues of elephants, two soldiers of which one is intact, a damaged Gaja Lakshmi icon, and an ancient rainwater harvesting system.[1] These caves have been significant in helping establish the chronology of cave building in the Ajanta-Ellora region.

Best Time To Visit Pitalkhora Caves

October to February is the best time to visit Pitalkhora Caves. This is because the hill out of which the caves are carved look splendid after the monsoons. It is a visual treat to see the hills covered by the lush green cover.

How To Reach Pitalkhora Caves

Pitalkhora Caves is located on the Aurangabad – Chalisgaon Road. By Road: Tourists can take a bus from any major cities like Pune, Mumbai, Nasik, etc. to reach Aurangabad. From there they can hire taxis to reach Pitalkhora caves.

By Train: Aurangabad Railway Station is the nearest railway station to reach Pitalkhora Caves.