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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 5 Aurangabad to Jalgaon - Ajanta Caves

Rafi picked me up and drove the 2.5 hours to the Ajanta Caves. We passed tons of people just going to the bathroom right on the side of street, with no worries or cares.

I don’t know how more people aren’t killed on the roads of India. There seems to be no laws and everyone is driving a 100 mph and there are goats, cows, bicycles, rickshaws, buses and large trucks, not to mention the people walking or traveling by some other kind of transportation. On the way to the caves we saw a bus hit a tiny rickshaw that went down an embankment and turn over. It appeared everyone aboard the rickshaw was unharmed.

The Ajanta caves are older than the Ellora Caves, dating back to 2nd century BC to the 6th century AD. The Ajanta caves are all Buddhist, have elaborate paintings and a reclining Buddha.

Ajanta is a lot bigger and more touristy than Ellora. You need to make your way through a maze of hawkers and then catch a bus to and from the caves, where they cram as many people in as they can. I hired a guide to take me around and it was a good thing I did because there were tons of school children and I got to get around them.

So after visiting the caves we drove to Jalgaon. Rafi knew the owner of a hotel there and he got me a decent deal on a room. I figured that I had about 12 hours before my train left and that it would be wise to take a room to take a shower and rest before the train left. And, it was a good thing that I spent that $6.25 because I left the hotel at around 1:45 to catch my 2:30 train and it was delayed until 5:00 am, so I went back to the hotel.

I want to put a plug in for Rafi. He was a fantastic guy and driver and I would highly recommend him. His full name is Mohamed Raiq and can be reached at or on his mobile at 9823208932. He can be hired to take people all over India and has done just that. His prices are also very reasonable. He is not trying to rip anyone off. Also, he is a good, safe driver.

Also, if you are in Jalgaon you should stay at the Hotel Plaza. The owner was great and the place is super clean. There are a wide range of prices options on the rooms. You can reach the owner at hotel

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