21st-25th February Ajanta Caves
A hetic 2 days of travel overnight train from Goa via Mumbai and I mean via arrived at one railway station grabbed a taxi to another and away to Aurangabad. however worth the effort...
We met a lovely Indian lad on the train who will be studying in Oxford in England later this year. We offer him our address and invite him to come and stay once we are home... He invites us back to his mothers house for a few days. We accept and promise to return to Nasik after the caves..
We arrive by local bus which is an experience in itself. We are greeted by the ticket man who takes you to the eco friendly bus who drives you through the gorge very much like the eden project in cornwall..
As you stand inside the first cave there is an air of mysticque about it, outside the sun is blasting already and its only 09:00hrs inside is calm & cool the air is damp & cool.. There are paintings still visible on most of the walls.
These caves all 30 of them were built between 2nd & 4th century they are built in the hillside of a gorge some you need to climb steep steps to reach them. everyone different, worshipping different gods, of Hindu, Jain & budhism..
We take a break for lunch & start the steep climb to where they were first spotted by an Englishman whilst out hunting tigers (of course!!) The climb was very steep and very hot, hindered by the locals who want to sell you anything from pieces of rock/minerals to their grandmother...!!!
We decline of course...The route home was even more interesting we get a lift from a lorry full of road workers who are more than happy to share their left over lunch.!! another refusal thankyou !!!
They really lovely people who want you to be happy and we are.......
The next day still tired from yesterday cave hunting we are off too visit Ellora Caves built much later than Ajanta and totally different these had more carvings of their gods rather than the paintings of Ajanta.
These caves were spread over 4 km across the hills there are still many more not open to the public access very difficult. However we did manage to find a few off the track . Well you have to eh!!! many of these had been shamefully graffitied maybe thats why they were not on the listings.
Easy ride home on a bus tonight. probably a bit safer but only a little....
Next Stop is Nasik to visit Hashal...