On this day in India, I took a day trip from Aurangabad to the Ellora Caves and Daulatabad Fort. A very interesting tour, where I learned more of the history and religions in this part of India.
Day Trip to Ellora Caves
There was some initial confusion at the beginning of the tour to Ellora from Aurangabad. It was due to start at 9.30, and five of us sat on the bus until 10.15. Somebody then came up to us, and said that there weren't enough people to warrant a bus, and that a taxi would take us. I pointed out that including the driver, it would actually make six people in the old Ambassador on offer, and that we weren't going to fit. A jeep was then produced from nowhere, and we all got into that.
They then tried to tell us that we would have to join up with another tour and pay an additional fee to use their guide. I said no way, as our price included our own guide. We then pulled away in the jeep, drove twenty metres up the road, did a U-turn, and returned to where we had started. They then asked us to board the bus again, which we did, and were joined by a guide before we left, only just avoiding killing a motorcyclist on the way. Excellent stuff!!
The first stop was Daulatabad Fort, which was very different to the others forts in India that I had seen so far.
This one was carved out of the mountain itself. Surrounded by seven walls, with no aligned gates, there was also a moat which was filled with water and crocodiles (sadly absent nowadays!), and a labyrinth before reaching the palace. Daulatabad Fort is probably one of the best designed forts I have ever see. We then visited a Shiva Lingam temple, where a phallus had allegedly grown out of the ground by itself.
The Ellora caves were outstanding, and in my opinion, far better than the Ajanta caves. The temples, again carved out of the mountain, had very detailed sculptures, and were of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain origin.
After lunch, we visited Aurangzebs tomb (pointless), Bibi-ka-Maqbara (a poor mans Taj Mahal), and Panchakki (a feeble water wheel driving a mill).
All in all, a good day though!!
Read more about my India train travel adventure
Previous day of India travelogues – Ajanta Caves
Next day of India travelogues – Ellora Caves Day 2