Day 8 : Aurangabad, India

All day yesterday was spent at the airport - a traveling day. We are now in the state of Maharastra. Same state Bombay is in.  City - Aurangabad. There isn't really anything to see or do in this city except for the temple caves of Ellora and Ajanta and the fort along the way. We have no idea why these cave-Ruins are so under the radar. Wow - amazing.

Our hotel was scary - like something out of a horror movie - but we fought through it.  It has been decided that India is the dirtiest place on the planet. Ohhh - the stories. We sat at a restaurant and watched the waiter dip our dirty dishes into a bucket on the floor, give them a swirl, then a shake and place them lovingly onto the serving self. And we won't even talk about the towel they used to wipe off our table. Ga-Ross! Needless to say - our immune systems are on high alert!

Were rented a car to drive us to the caves and some sites (all for 2100 rupies = $20 each). Driving out and back we got to see 4 hours of Indian countryside. We thought we'd seen poor in Peru - doesn't hold a candle. Families holding up in literal tents made of bamboo poles with burlap tops. They hover over fires, people so dirty and thin it breaks your heart. Everything is based on a class system here and it is blatant in every aspect.

Some colorful Public transportation leaving the airport.
On our way to the caves day 1, we stopped by The Daulatabad fort. It is a 14th century rare kind of construction, a combination of 3 fortifications and 2 moats built on a huge isolated pyramid-shaped natural hill
The Moat. Geoff could only imagine the amount of sword fighting that happened here. Maybe even vampires. We were told that, the moat was home to several large crocodiles which were fed with captured enemy men.
B still convinced he should be king as he gazes out from the Palace on top of fort.."over his people". Those who made it in towards the palace had to pass through a pitch dark zig-zag cave passage known as Andhari, carved through the rock. It is connected to several caves inside , which lead back to the moat. The army hiding in the dark used to kill the enemy soldiers using spears.
Hahaha, that's just funny looking. ...and just plain old creepy.
I don't know why we take pictures of our bathrooms all the time, but this one is actualy not half bad. We are always entertained by waiting to see what kind of bathroom we get - reactions can vary
The Crazy Charging monkeys...with their new pineapple that they got from me - as I threw it at them and ran away. The bastard on the right stuck out his arm and caught it like a major league baseball player.
Ok, remember us saying we were very popular here....Some guys taking pictures of us after following us aroud all afternoon
The dark passage is followed by about five hundred odd shaped steps which leads up the hill. The conquest of the fort is almost impossible without the help of treachery. Indians tend to spit a lot - as you can see - nasty.

Along the way to the Fort - we whitnessed the tail end of a public beating. The police car just observing the group of men with large sticks and 1 man on the ground.  All from the safety of our wee car, we saw just now different things are here.  
The Fort was Monkey-riffic! We Strolled through an entry tunnel to have about 6 large monkeys running at us. I (Marisha) got so freaked out I flung a bag of pineapple at one of them and started running. The monkey impressivly snagged it right out of mid air. "Whatever - they were scary! " In the upper part of the fort, we were brought into the "zigzag" caves by torch light. Very cool except for the hundreds of bats just like the opening scene from Scooby Doo.


The Ellora caves. Reason #1 for taking the long travel day to Aurangabad. Everything you see is carved from one solid mass of rock. 34 monasteries and temples, (extending over 1.25 miles) were dug side by side in the wall of a high basalt cliff, not far from Aurangabad.
Inside one of the ellora caves - some are up to 3 stories tall. The Jain Caves are massive, well-proportioned, decorated and mark the last phase of the activity at Ellora.
Actual add quote: "Thums Up is known for its strong, fizzy taste and its confident, mature and uniquely masculine attitude. This brand clearly seeks to separate the men from the boys" ( so much for "have a coke and a smile").
Ellora caves, with its uninterrupted sequence of monuments dating from A.D. 600 to 1000, makes civilization of ancient India real. Not only is the complex unique artisticly and technologically but also religiously with caves devoted to Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, the three principal religions of ancient India.
Brian and his new adopted family. Actually these ladies asked to have their picture taken with him.
Dosa-Riffic! Oh giant Dosa how we love yip so. A (crispy savory pancakes) from South India is a staple food in its home region and in the rest of the country too. The are usually filled with spicy masala potato business. Yum-E. Oh - and this is the dirty restaurant we mentioned in the story above.

At the Ajanta caves - M, in true moorish fashion, dropped the camera on the cave floor and broke the screen. Luckily it still takes pictures, but the old school way.  We learned a lot on day two at the caves. We now each have our favorite gods. Marisha's is Ganeesh because he has the head of an Elephant. Brian's is Vishnu, because he is always depicted surrounded by lots of ladies and he has many many hands (for busy hands he says). 

The Ajanta Caves. This whole complex has 30 Bhuddist caves and took over 800 years to complete. And they never actually finished. Five of the caves were temples and 24 were monasteries, thought to have been occupied by some 200 monks and artisans.
Entry into one of the ajanta caves.
A Muslim Temple in Arangabad.
Oh... never mind.... Well brian told e what it looked like inside.
Ajanta caves lookng down, shows you how they were built on the cliffside cut into the volcanic lava of the Deccan. They were discovered in AD 1819 and were built up in the earlier 2nd century BC-AD.
Inside one of the Ajanta caves. In many places you can se the chip marks in the stone. They start at the ceiling and chip and carve their way down towards the floor. Some floors still have raised areas where they were never leveled off.
Aurangabad The Mini Taj. Took over 10 years to build. Architect got his hand cut off for being late. This mausoleum is also termed as 'poor man's Taj Mahal' owing to it being a poor replica of the Taj.
On our way back to town we passed Girls night out. Ladies out on the town headed someplace fun by the looks of it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *