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Kiara's Amazing Travels

Ajanta & Ellora Caves

INDIA | Monday, 20 December 2010 | Views [989]

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After a long and tiring bus ride of over 22 hours, we finally arrived in Aurangabad where we based ourselves for a couple of days to explore the Ellora and Ajanta caves.  We decided to visit after mum’s encouragement that it was one of the places that stood out in her travels in India  25 years ago. It was definitely worth it! Aurangabad itself was nothing special except for watching Matt passionately barter down our hotel room and getting great vals, and our over enthusiastic and super attentive waiter who literally dived under our table to retrieve my bag for me from under our feet.

 

While both Ellora and Ajanta are carved magnificently into the rock face and are World Heritage sites, they both have a their own atmosphere and we experienced both in different ways. Wandering through Ellora’s 30 or so caves on a quiet afternoon allowed us to explore the different areas in our own time while observing the ubiquitous monkeys rolling around and  grooming one another. Ellora comprises of caves dedicated to Buddhism, Hindu and also the Jain religion, while Ajanta is totally Hindu.  I find it hard to describe the sites without making them sound like simple holes in the wall. Instead they are intricately designed and ornately decorated with patterns and religious figures. Ellora was mysterious with the lack of artificial lighting in many of the Buddhist caves which were similar in architectural design. At the same time it was overwhelmingly impressive upon entering the Hindu temples which displayed the astounding intricacy and diversity in designs that I have come to associate with Hindu architecture. Ajanta was in my opinion, most impressive for the way the caves are constructed in a semi circle high up in the rock face.

 

While the main attraction for this area was the caves, the rickety and crowded public bus rides we experienced on the journey were  just as enjoyable. We could have easily taken a taxi or rickshaw but being the only foreigners on a local bus and the difficulty of deciphering the meaning of a head wobble or hand gesture is what travelling is all about.

 

Love you all muchly

Ki xxx

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