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Old 11th October 2014, 12:38   #31
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Default Re: Help for Ajanta Ellora Trip

We are planning to visit Ajanta, Ellora during Diwali this month. Google Maps suggests this is the route from Surat to Aurangabad:

Help for Ajanta Ellora Trip-st-aur.png

Any idea if this is okay? Or is there a better route?
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Old 11th October 2014, 14:10   #32
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
The Nashik-Vaijapur-Aurangabad route is to be avoided. The Vaijapur-Aurangabad sector has some of the worst roads in MH.
Thanks hvkumar, so I'll consider the Expressway route via Pune. Any advice about the local road conditions - to the Ajanta and Ellora caves from Aurangabad?
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Old 11th October 2014, 18:21   #33
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Default Re: Help for Ajanta Ellora Trip

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Thanks hvkumar, so I'll consider the Expressway route via Pune. Any advice about the local road conditions - to the Ajanta and Ellora caves from Aurangabad?
No need to go all the way to Pune. You could get off the Expressway at the second toll gate and go via Talegaon Dabhade, Chakan to Shikrapur to join the Nagar road there.

Local road conditions ex-Aurangabad are good.
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Old 1st November 2014, 13:56   #34
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Default Re: Help for Ajanta Ellora Trip

I've just returned from my Aurangabad trip a few days ago and thought of putting down a few experiences for the benefit of those wanting to make the same journey.

We, my wife, daughter and I, took the Expressway from Mumbai upto the second toll plaza, as advised on these pages earlier, then via Chakan and Ahmednagar to Aurangabad. The road is pretty good all the way but you do need to watch out for a few random bad patches or potholes on the way. The biggest 'culture shock', if I may call it so, is in coping with the habit of heavy vehicle drivers of hogging the right side of the road, come what may, and 2-wheelers driving as they please, with no regard to any road rules. Be warned!

Somewhere along the way, before Ahmednagar, I think, you will see a large sign asking you to take a detour to the left for Aurangabad. Do not take this detour. Continue straight along the highway. The detour will take you through an extremely bad road for a few kms, after which you will rejoin the same highway. I was lucky enough to get advance information from an office colleague who took this same trip a few days ahead of me and gave me daily feedback on his experiences to Aurangabad, as well as for the sightseeing around it.

Next: you will know when you arrive in Aurangabad, as the road quality will suddenly deteriorate so much you'll wonder what the heck happened! The local roads are horrible, with rough patches interspersed with huge potholes, trenches and the local vehicles meander through them trying to find the path of least resistance. So you too need to forget about your road manners and civic sense and just follow the crowd, else you will never progress to your destination.

Places of interest: Bibi ka Maqbara is within the city and there is a large, free parking lot. Daulatabad Fort and Ellora are easily accessible in your own car as this road is very good, by Aurangabad standards. The fort is along the road to Ellora so you can see both together, on the same day. The only bottleneck on this route is an ancient fortified, narrow gate just after Daulatabad fort, through which the road runs. Traffic is regulated one-way through this gate and you may spend up to half an hour or forty five minutes for your turn through it, unless you 'ghiss in' like the locals.
The road to the Ajanta Caves is best negotiated in a locally hired vehicle, unless you are driving a tough SUV and enjoy offroading through some of the worst potholes and trenches I have ever seen. I was amazed and ashamed that the government has not bothered to provide a good access road to these Caves, which are considered a National Heritage Site. What a terrible memory the foreign tourists must take back with them after this 100km long trip.
Being a geologist I was very keen on visiting the Lonar Lake as well but sadly decided to scrap the idea. The reason for this was the feedback I had got from my colleague, who had visited it a couple of days earlier. The road, all 160 odd kms of it, was again in very bad condition. It would be deceptively smooth for a long while, and then, under the shade of some trees you'll miss seeing the deep trench across the road, and Wham! End of journey for you. That's not all. If your vehicle survives the approximately 4 hour journey, you'll find there's no tourist-friendly facility at the site. No toilet, no small restaurant, nothing at all, according to my colleague. So I decided against this trip, keeping in mind my family's well being.

Finally, just FYI, the hotel we stayed at, the Green Olive, is just six months old and very very good. The room was tastefully designed, the bathroom was great, spotless, with high quality fixtures, the restaurant was very good, in fact I could find nothing to complain about, despite consciously looking for defects. It is located very near to 'Baba Petrol Pump' as you enter Aurangabad from the Ahmednagar side.

I'm not putting up any photos here as many good ones have already been posted on this and other threads, better than those I took with my Xperia Z!

Cheers
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Old 28th April 2015, 15:05   #35
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Default Re: Help for Ajanta Ellora Trip

I am planning to do Pune-Ajanta-Ellora-Lonar-Pune at last week of May. I am confused as to where I should stay-Lonar,Aurangabad or Ajanta. Please advice.
Plan to go on May 29th and return back to pune on 31st.

Last edited by rakesh_r : 28th April 2015 at 15:25.
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Old 29th April 2015, 21:39   #36
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Default Re: Help for Ajanta Ellora Trip

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Originally Posted by rakesh_r View Post
I am planning to do Pune-Ajanta-Ellora-Lonar-Pune at last week of May. I am confused as to where I should stay-Lonar,Aurangabad or Ajanta. Please advice.
Plan to go on May 29th and return back to pune on 31st.
The best place would be Aurangabad. You have a range of places to chose from. Start right from the top like Oberoi and Taj.
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Old 29th April 2015, 22:52   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rakesh_r View Post
I am planning to do Pune-Ajanta-Ellora-Lonar-Pune at last week of May. I am confused as to where I should stay-Lonar,Aurangabad or Ajanta. Please advice.
Plan to go on May 29th and return back to pune on 31st.

Would recommend you one nights stay at Aurangabad and one at Lonar. If possible leave from Pune on 28th afternoon to reach Aurangabad late evening. Next day you can do Ellora and Ajanta and leave for Lonar. You should be able to reach Lonar late night. You can stay at MTDC resort which is right next to the lake. Next day you can spend at Lonar and leave for Pune sometime afternoon and reach Pune late night. You can be back by 30th late night itself.

Roads are not in great shape from Ajanta to Lonar but safe nonetheless. Take the road via Buldhana as it the shortest.

Taj is the best place to stay at Aurangabad.

Option-2 could be that you leave on 29th morning and go to Ellora direct and then come back to Aurangabad and stay overnight. Next morning leave early and visit Ajanta and then leave for Lonar after that. Rest plan remains same after that.

Option-2 is better.

Word of caution: it will be too hot, especially Ajanta as it is rocky. Would recommend you to do this trip in December/January.

Enjoy!
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Old 30th April 2015, 12:09   #38
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Default Re: Help for Ajanta Ellora Trip

Rakesh, I would also ask you to take note of my earlier comments above, on the state of the roads to Ajanta and Lonar. Ask local drivers in Aurangabad whether the roads have been improved upon in the last 5 months. If not I would suggest you park your car in your hotel and take local vehicles to these two places. Of course, if you are returning directly from Lonar, you'll take your own car, but be very careful of sudden trenches across the road, camouflaged by the shadows cast by trees.
This link, http://wikitravel.org/en/Lonar, warns you not to touch the water in the lake, so you may want to keep an eye on any kids you may have with you.
I agree with option 2 by The Skyliner. You cannot do justice to both Ellora and Ajanta on the same day. So the earlier you start out on the 29th, the more time you'll have for Daulatabad fort (if you're interested in it) and Ellora. Ajanta will take up the whole day, 30th, followed by Lonar the next day.
All the best and let us know of your experiences on the road.
Cheers

Last edited by FarPatel : 30th April 2015 at 12:22.
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Old 30th April 2015, 12:19   #39
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Default Re: Help for Ajanta Ellora Trip

No. The roads from Aurangabad to Ajanta are not in a good condition, more so if the car is a hatch/sedan.
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Old 14th September 2015, 13:36   #40
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Default Re: Help for Ajanta Ellora Trip

Hello mates,
Any has any idea on the road conditions for the route below ?
Navi mumbai - Ellora caves - Ajantha caves - Akola - Khajuraho
I am planning to do this route by the end of this month in honda amaze. From the details shared in this thread i understand that roads to ajantha is in bad shape. If so i will skip it. Also please suggest any alternate routes,if any.
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Old 29th January 2016, 13:57   #41
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Default Re: Help for Ajanta Ellora Trip

Would it be a bad idea (in terms of the summer weather) to visit Aurangabad/Ellora/Ajanta during the first week of May ?
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Old 29th January 2016, 14:39   #42
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Would it be a bad idea (in terms of the summer weather) to visit Aurangabad/Ellora/Ajanta during the first week of May ?
Ajanta especially can be really hot and taxing in May. If you are going with family and kids, they will suffer a bit. Ellora is marginally better. If you have intentions of climbing Daulatabad fort, be prepared for a LOT of fluid consumption. Ajanta is also a fair drive to and from Aurangabad, while Ellora and Daulatabad are relatively close by.

It's doable without kids, as long as you stay in Aurangabad for 2 full days and keep Ajanta and Ellora for 2 separate days. With kids, I would not want to do it. They are not likely to enjoy it too much and the heat will do things to their mood.
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Old 8th February 2016, 16:41   #43
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Default Re: Help for Ajanta Ellora Trip

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Hello mates,
Any has any idea on the road conditions for the route below ?
Arun, did you venture out to find out the condition of the roads ? I am planning a Saturday Sunday trip to Ajanta / Elora from Mumbai.

I am even more concerned as I'll be taking my new Polo (not even a month old) for the drive

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Ellora is marginally better. If you have intentions of climbing Daulatabad fort, be prepared for a LOT of fluid consumption.

Ajanta is also a fair drive to and from Aurangabad, while Ellora and Daulatabad are relatively close by.

It's doable without kids, as long as you stay in Aurangabad for 2 full days and keep Ajanta and Ellora for 2 separate days. With kids, I would not want to do it. They are not likely to enjoy it too much and the heat will do things to their mood.
Saturday would be Ajanta (the one further away from Aurangabad) and I'll keep Elora for Sunday.

Is this the right time through? I think the temperature would be just fine ?

I am planning to take the express way route like everyone has suggested here in the forum.
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Old 8th February 2016, 17:09   #44
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Default Re: Help for Ajanta Ellora Trip

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I am even more concerned as I'll be taking my new Polo (not even a month old) for the drive
Be aware that roads are pathetic around that region. I dont see any hope they would have improved. Especially Vaijapur-Verul.

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Is this the right time through? I think the temperature would be just fine ?
Should be a good time. With Ajanta, do you also want to visit Lonar?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lonar
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Old 8th February 2016, 20:27   #45
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Should be a good time. With Ajanta, do you also want to visit Lonar?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lonar

Would not advise Lonar on the same day as Ajanta, with Aurangabad as base. Lonar is in different direction entirely as compared to Ajanta and it will be at least 3 hours if not more from Ajanta to Lonar. Also, I haven't heard anything good about the state of roads leading to Lonar.

Sorry to be a little pessimistic, overall I think this will be a very hectic journey if you start driving on Saturday morning from Mumbai and want to get back on Sunday night. You will have to start really early on Saturday and will probably be back only late on Sunday. I would want to spend at least 3-4 hours each in Ajanta and Ellora and also quick visits to Bibi ka maqbara and Daulatabad.
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