Ajanta to Aurangabad via Ellora
air pressure for tyre 1, 2, 3, 4- CHECK
level of coolant- CHECK
GET, SET and Zooooooooommm!!
That has been the daily morning ritual for our ladies for twelve days now! Much to their satisfaction everything seemed right with the car as they left Ajanta with fond memories and moved towards Ellora. Neeru drove a distance of 100 kms and reached Ellora by 11:00 am.
The locals say that the perfect weather to visit the caves is during Monsoon when the streams around the caves are overflowing with rainwater and nature is in full abundance. That seemed to be a long, distant dream for our ladies, so for now they had to bear with the sun…
but they had come all prepared!
They walked a distance of 2 kms exploring some magnificent caves engraved with Buddhism, Brahmanical and Jainism Gods and motifs.
Our women chose to visit Cave 16, 29, 33 and 34 out of around 100 caves at this site.
Steeped in beauty and skill of yesteryears, our women were pretty much in awe of these structures which have set some world famous records. Cave 16, they realized, is famous for being the largest single monolithic excavation in the world!
To witness the magnitude of the sculptures at Ellora caves is sheer delight, although the works inside the caves are falling apart and in a dilapidated state, just being in that space takes you to a different world altogether.
Cave 33 are 34 are embellished with Jain sculptures
From Ellora they made another stop-over at Grishneshwar temple- one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, just 1 km away from Ellora. Paying obeisance to Lord Shiva for a smooth journey ahead they resumed their drive for the day.
Neeru drove towards Aurangabad and they finally checked into the hotel- Hotel Tulsi (OYO Rooms) in Aurangabad- their final destination for the day around 5 pm- (again no sponsorship here but in case OYO rooms is checking this out may be you could give them some extra freebies!!) As they entered the room they were provided with 2 pretty little pouches with bath essentials. The deal is that there are 3 of them and despite paying the fare for the third person, almost in all the hotels/ guest houses the third one is often bereft of a water bottle, bathing essentials and other goodies!
On inquiring about it the hotel manager responded– ‘itne main itna hi milega…’
(‘For this money you ll get this much only!)
They could not see much in Aurangabad and missed on to some grand monuments which had already closed for the day (the gates for the monuments are closed at 6 pm).
Whereas Monicka revived her energy to drive the next day with a short nap, Neeru and Sarita left for the market to get the troublesome tyre changed.
The tyre vaala was very helpful as he realized that our women are travelling on their own, without a driver! No strange questions followed. What was offered was a little help and some good advise. He drew a road- map laying out detailed directions for their drive next day to Nashik. He also shared his mobile no. with them in case they needed any help or guidance the next day, seeing the condition of the tyre, wishing them well for the journey ahead!
The women proceeded to another store to get the tyres aligned.
The two finally reached the hotel by 9 pm and had a light dinner from their “mobile kitchen”- soup and poha.
Travel Tip- Following strict rules for meals to keep up with their health, they have restricted themselves to one restaurant meals per day. Usually have bread for breakfast if driving early and their “mobile kitchen” provides them with MTR ready- to- make packs of poha, upma and soups for dinner- the stock is abundantly replenished by Sarita, daily, which the co- drivers can help themselves to any time of the day!