Journey to the Unknown Route Map

View Brian's Journey to the Unknown in a larger map

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 4 Mumbai to Aurangabad - Ellora Caves

My first train trip was uneventful and on-time and there were no problems except that you have to keep a lookout for what stop you are at because there are no announcements. They stop at most stations for 5 minutes for people to get off and get food or for people to come aboard and sell items because most of these train trips are long.

I thought Aurangabad was going to be a quiet small little town. I could not have been more wrong. I did not have a hotel reservation so the guy I met at the station, Rafi, took me to a hotel I wanted a room at, well they were booked. So we went to a place he suggested and they were also booked, but said that something might open up later. During this time Rafi and I agreed to go and visit the Ellora Caves this afternoon. My initial plans were to visit the caves tomorrow, but after seeing the town I decided it would be best to leave ASAP.

On the way to the Caves we picked up some Japanese gentlemen and their guide because their car had broken down. They had been in India for 26 days and last year they drove over 9000 miles around the US.

There are 34 caves at Ellora: 12 Buddhist (600-800 AD), 17 Hindu (600-900 AD), and 5 Jain (800-1000 AD). The most elaborate is Cave 16, the Kailasa Temple dedicated to Shiva, the world’s largest monolithic sculpture, carved by over 7000 people over 150 years.

They mustn’t see many Americans or tourists because people kept asking me to take pictures with them and or saying “Hello” and extending their hand to shake. Also, the kids, I guess wanted to practice their English, so they would always say “hello“, ask me my name and where I was from. While leaving the caves I saw a wild peacock, the official bird of India, which was pretty cool.

On the way back, Rafi and I discussed him driving me to Ajanta and then on to Jalgaon to catch a train to Bhopal. I figured that even though this was more than what a bus tour of the site and then a bus to po would cost it would not cost that much more and would save me lots of time and money (less hotel rooms). So after we went back to the 2nd hotel and found out that there was no room we went to another place that was not the nicest, although it was cheap ($6) so I took it.

 Rafi then took me to the train station to purchase a ticket from Jalgaon to Bhopal and boy was that a fiasco. It is basically a free for all. The 7:00 pm train was booked so I booked a ticket on the 2:30 am train that was due to arrive in Bhopal around 9:45.

No comments:

Post a Comment