Auragabad – Ellora and Ajanta

The main reason to come to Aurangabad was to see Ellora and Ajanta.

Ajanta – is a series of caves (about 30 of them).  Buddhist monks started to carve these caves from a granite mountain over a period of 700 years.  The oldest cave goes back to the second century BC and oldest is about 6 century AD.  Each cave is roughly 40-50′ square and is supported by columns with incredible detail in carvings.  The caves are about 10-12 feet all.  Indide there are a number of carvings of Buddha in various forms such as lotus position, upright position etc.

The first two caves are very interesting.  The first cave has the most interesting and famous painting of Buddha.  It is damaged, but you can see the essential painting.  The colors used are all vegetable colors, and this famous picture is a UN World Heritage site.  The cave is not illumined and you are not allowed to take pictures with flash.  We could only see and marvel at the picture.  We have some professionally done photographs we can share when we get home.

To get to see the caves we had to climb up almost 500 feet.  After about a 100 feet, my knees gave up and I had to be carries to the cave site in a chair by for people.  I was ony able to see 4 caves while Jeannie went on to see about 12 caves.  It is just breathtaking.

Ajanta is about 150 kms from our hotel in Auragabad.

Ellora –  Ellora is a little more easier to navigate and consist of 35 caves similar to what I described above.  The first 12 caves are Buddhist, the next 19 caves are Hindu and the last few caves are from a religion called Jainism.  The focus here is detailed carvings on the columns supporting the caves which are about the same size as the one we saw earlier.  One Hindu cave is a spectacular for its beauty and homage to Lord Shiva, and resembles in many ways the abode of Lord Shiva in the Himalayan moutains called Kailash.  The Jain temples offer a completely different perspective as weel  More on that later.

Hotel in Aurangabad –  We stayed in a Hotel that was very nice.  It had nice rooms and a very welcoming entrace with two statues of elephants.  They had a swimming pool, a massga center,  exercise room etc.  I think it cost $ 100 a day.  Room service was excellent.

One day we were both sick and had to send for a doctor on call with  the hotel.  We recovered after some medication.


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