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RECENTLY UPDATED! With more than 130 high-resolution images, maps and a detailed tour itinerary, this is the definitive guide to India’s ancient caves. (2015)

Travel guidebooks for the ultra curious, Approach Guides reveal a destination’s essence by exploring a compelling aspect of its cultural heritage: art, architecture, history, food, or wine.

Built by Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain monks as mountain retreats, India’s magnificent rock-cut sanctuaries, monasteries, and temples offer travelers an unrivaled cultural experience, transporting them back to the formative stage of art and architecture for India’s indigenous religions.

This Approach Guide serves as an ideal companion for travelers seeking a deeper understanding this fantastic landscape, profiling India’s three premier rock-cut religious sites: Ajanta (Buddhist), Elephanta (Hindu), and Ellora (a mixture of Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain).

For each location, we first offer an overview, introducing travelers to the trademark features of its paintings, reliefs, and architecture. We devote special attention to the stylistic features that distinguish one site from the next.

We then offer detailed profiles of the most impressive and representative caves at Ajanta, Elephanta, and Ellora, walking step-by-step through their distinctive artistic and architectural highlights. The overall goal of these featured cave profiles is provide travelers with what is most important, a framework for understanding each cave and what makes it special.

And along the way, this guide provides our personal tips at each location for getting the most from your experience.

This Approach Guide contains:

  • Detailed profiles of 18 featured caves, hand-picked as the best examples of art and architecture in Ajanta, Elephanta, and Ellora.
  • Over 130 high-resolution images — photos, floorplans, and illustrations — with color highlights that make visual identification of key features easier.
  • High-level maps of each site to ease navigation and plan your itinerary.

One of the benefits of Approach Guides is that we can easily update content and release new editions of our guidebooks. These updates are free for existing customers. Please visit for a list of recently updated guides and instructions on downloading the new version.


Compulsive (and compulsively informed) travelers, the Raezers are the masterminds behind the downloadable Approach Guides, which are filled with a university course-worth of history and insights for 62 destinations worldwide. WHY WE LOVE IT: The Raezers share our desire for deep, well-researched information on the wonders of the world.
- Travel + Leisure

What started as one couple's travel notes aimed at filling in the gaps in guidebooks has become - a menu of downloadable travel guides that cover cultural and historical topics of interest to thoughtful travelers.  What's hot: Bite-sized travel guides that specialize in topics ranging from 29 pages on the foods of Italy to one that helps you explore the historical and architectural significance of Angkor's famous temple structures in Cambodia.
- L.A. Times

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