Friday, February 17, 2012

Trip to Ajanta and Ellora caves

Less than 50 days are left to enjoy the college life and we all want to do the full justice with that. Bearing that in mind, we again finalized the plan for a 2 day trip to Igatpuri, Nashik and Ajanta and Ellora caves. The place is hard to decide. There were many options being discussed like Goa, Gokarna, Gir fores but due to one or the other reason, all got cancelled. Strangely, all the places starts with ‘G.’ We were 8 people and booked a cab previous day. 

11th Feb’2012

We have decided to leave at around 4.30 from the college in Powai. We were successful and reached Igatpuri at around 7. After having our breakfast, we went straight to Vipassana Meditation center. 
Vipassana Meditation center, Igatpuri

Sadly, it was closed that day and we were not allowed to enter beyond a certain point. After a brief session, we proceed to Nasik to visit one of the 12 Jyotirlinga of god Shiva. We were travelling on NH-3. Highways were superb and we travelled constantly at the speed of 90 because the tourist cabs are generally locked and you cannot increase the speed beyond 90.  


At 9, we reach the Trimbakeshwar.It is a very famous place and associated with the origin of the Godavari river. After that , we decided to visit Panchavati, which is considered to very sacred place in Hindu religion. It is described in the epic Ramayana where Lord Rama built his home along with his wife Sita and brother Laxman.
People taking bath In Godavari at Nashik

Nashik is a nice place and very muh similar to Haridwar in many respects. This picture made me think that it is very much like Haridwar. We have the river Ganga in Haridwar and Gangotri in Nashik. Both are religious cities with numerous temples and are also described in our epics.


At around 3, we left for the Aurangabad. It was 200 km. from there. We were almost exhausted when we reach Aurangabad and after booking a hotel, we had party. Aurangabad is famous for its non vegetarian food. We had the food at one of the Dhaba near bus stand and it was superb, cheap as well as satisfying.

 12th Feb’2012

We left early the next day for another Jyotilinga called Grishneshwar which is just at Ellora caves at around 8 in the morning. After visiting the temple, we had our breakfast. In the meantime, I purchased and read the Guide of Ajanta and Ellora caves. It is very important to read the guide as well as to have the guide if you really want to appreciate the caves and if you are very passionate then carry a small torch with you as well because inside caves, there are no lights. I saw many foreigners watching the painting and sculptures with their torch and we passed like we were roaming in the garden.  But believe me; if you read well about the place, only then you will be really able to appreciate it.
Ellora caves are on NH-211 which is very superb and full of scenic beauties along it. Old forts along the roadside, broken tombstones will surely make you think about our cultures, our Rajas and Maharajas. 

I have read a lot on the good travelling sites and blogs that it is almost impossible to cover Ajanta and Ellora in 1 day. But we have no other option. We have only one day. So, I would like to recommend one thing that if someone is running short of time, then there is no point in visiting all the caves in Ellora. Actually, there are many caves and only 2 are famous, 10 and 16. You will also get this information from the guide there. 

Ellora Guide and Map
Enterance of cave no. 12

Me at cave no. 10
 
From there we left at 11 am and reached Ajanta and 1 pm. Distance was around 110 km. and we covered it very fast despite small Tea-sutta-toilet breaks in between. 


At Ajanta, govt. is very anxious to preserve the caves. Vehicles were not allowed near the caves. One has to park his car before 4 km. and need to catch a bus that runs on CNG to reach the caves. This is all done in order to prevent the pollution near the area. Pollution generally fades the colour of the painting and in Ajanta, there were many colored paintings left. Also, paintings were preserved using optical fiber lights. 


Ajanta caves are in consecutive order till 26. Some are uncompleted.

Route to various caves




This sculpture of Sleeping Buddha is very famous and it is present in our history books also. So, decided to capture it

Finally, at 7 in the evening we left the Ajanta caves. Mumbai was around 500 km.  We reached the college at 4am. Although, we skipped many famous places in Aurangabad but still the trip was a memorable one. Looking forward for similar trip in future. The expenses were around 2400 per person.





6 comments:

Destination Unknown said...

very beautifully written... Ajanta-Ellora caves are simply enchanting... glad to find this article...

Vishnu

Rachit Aggarwal said...

Thanks Vishnu for the comment.

reshma M said...

snigdha G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TouristSafari said...

Very well written post, thoroughly enjoyed it. Ellora Caves
is really amassing place. You can also check my post at Ellora Caves at http://www.touristsafari.com/caves/ellora-caves

Ashwin said...

Great post!! loved reading this blog. Lovely information about this place. Thanks for sharing this lovely post in this blog. It helps people to plan for their trips. Planning for your trip then book your bus tickets in advance in Bus ticket booking portal.

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