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Old 17th January 2014, 06:35   #16
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Originally Posted by girishglg View Post
Thats a very detailed set of of one of the biggest wonders of our country which for most of us till now was limited to a few pictures found in our history text books in school.

And yes the Taj of the Deccan was surely forgotten by now from the high school days and for a moment one can pass off as the original one. Thanks for a perfect pic of that too!

Guess its not yet over so keep more pics coming, the ones which are still stored in the nooks of the memory drive!

Thanks for the kind words. Yes there are more pics. I will share them with time.

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Originally Posted by mahesh_sn View Post
Brilliant photologue, Vibbs.

By the way, these seem to be well maintained by the concerned authorities, probably because it is a UNESCO world heritage site. Other such cave complexes in Maharashtra are in shambles due to apathetic attitude of the Government authorities.
This now certainly goes in my list of must-visit places. As you said, I might also do it just after the next monsoons to enjoy it in the greener surroundings.

Thanks Mahesh. Yes these caves are on a much grander scale than the caves at Karla. I have not been to the other ones that you mentioned.
The maintenance is pretty good compared to other historical sites in India.

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Originally Posted by krivbel View Post

Thank you for the wonderful travelogue.

I always enjoy driving down to Pune, but I didn't expect the drive from Pune to Aurangabad would be so good. My wife had painted a pretty bad picture of allegedly bad roads from Pune to Ahemadnagar, and from there to Aurangabad. On my way to Ellora, I saw board to one of the Jyotirlings, on my way back, I wanted to visit the place, but even after repeatedly looking for it, I couldn't find it, and no one pointed to the right direction. I think I wasn't destined to see it. I also visited Shanishingapur. Once again I thank you for making me relive those wonderful moments!
You are welcome krivbel. The roads are not great. Just Ok. Yes it is four laned till Aurangabad and mostly decent surface with just a few areas being poor. But it passes through every town on the way, so one can't do as good speeds as expected. I would rate Bangalore-Pune road better.

Last edited by vibbs : 17th January 2014 at 06:45.
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Old 17th January 2014, 08:50   #17
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Default Re: 770 Kms, 3 days & a glimpse of a Bygone Era: Ajanta and Ellora Caves

Nice one! How were the roads around Sinnar.

We could not visit Ajanta due to time when we drove down to Shirdi. But some how we could squeeze an extra day and as a result could visit Ellora and Aurangabad. And on the way I could the Daultabad fort. It looked beautiful with clouds in the background. If you permit, I can share some of those snaps here. Also saw some amazing cloud formations along the way.

But roads around Aurangabad were horrible. I was just wondering does Skoda test its cars on these roads?

Also were you able to visit Lonar lake?

Last edited by ampere : 17th January 2014 at 08:53.
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Old 17th January 2014, 09:29   #18
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Default Re: 770 Kms, 3 days & a glimpse of a Bygone Era: Ajanta and Ellora Caves

Thanks for the travelogue vibbs!
The pictures are incredible - shows your interest and skill in photography.

Could you let me know how much time is to be budgeted for Ajanta and Ellora caves?
Would one day for each be sufficient? Are there any clean restaurants around there?
I would probably going by train so my mobility at destination would be rather restricted. If required, I would rather pack lunch from place of stay. Would you recommend the place you stayed at?
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Old 17th January 2014, 12:23   #19
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Default Re: 770 Kms, 3 days & a glimpse of a Bygone Era: Ajanta and Ellora Caves

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Originally Posted by SKavuri View Post
Could you let me know how much time is to be budgeted for Ajanta and Ellora caves?
Would one day for each be sufficient? Are there any clean restaurants around there?
I would say 2 days easily. One day for Ellora and nearby temples and one for Ajanta. May be you can do it in a day, but I think that would an overdose. I assume you would stay in Aurangabad.
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Old 17th January 2014, 13:52   #20
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Default Re: 770 Kms, 3 days & a glimpse of a Bygone Era: Ajanta and Ellora Caves

Brilliant set of pictures! Those are just wonderful sculpture. I am always amazed at how they did it in the ancient times without any specialized mechanized tools. A marvel of human mind and engineering. My uncle was once upon a time posted to Aurangabad (he was in the army, now retired); He always used to call us kids to visit these caves. My bad, somehow we couldn't manage when he was there in Aurangabad.
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Old 17th January 2014, 19:42   #21
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Default Re: Day2 - Dec 29 (Sun) : Aurangabad - Ajanta - Aurangabad

The picture from the upper view point is simply breathtaking. I'm sure during the monsoons, it will be a sight to behold.

The pictures have brought back memories from my school field trip many many years ago. Good to see some improvement in the in-cave lighting. Remember trying to admire those paintings in fading light back then.

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Originally Posted by vibbs View Post
At the entrance of the complex is a restaurant again run by MTDC. This and numerous villagers selling fruits are your only source of food at the caves.
But some things I guess, will never change.
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Old 17th January 2014, 20:09   #22
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Default Re: 770 Kms, 3 days & a glimpse of a Bygone Era: Ajanta and Ellora Caves

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Nice one! How were the roads around Sinnar.

We could not visit Ajanta due to time when we drove down to Shirdi. But some how we could squeeze an extra day and as a result could visit Ellora and Aurangabad. And on the way I could the Daultabad fort. It looked beautiful with clouds in the background. If you permit, I can share some of those snaps here. Also saw some amazing cloud formations along the way.

But roads around Aurangabad were horrible. I was just wondering does Skoda test its cars on these roads?

Also were you able to visit Lonar lake?
Thanks!!
I traveled from Pune. So the route we took was Pune - Ranjangaon - Shirur - Ahmednagar - Aurangabad.

Please do share the photographs here. It would be great. Yes you are right about roads in and around Aurangabad. They resemble moonscape more than roads. We couldn't include Lonar. Probably next time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by W.A.G.7 View Post
Brilliant set of pictures! Those are just wonderful sculpture. I am always amazed at how they did it in the ancient times without any specialized mechanized tools. A marvel of human mind and engineering. My uncle was once upon a time posted to Aurangabad (he was in the army, now retired); He always used to call us kids to visit these caves. My bad, somehow we couldn't manage when he was there in Aurangabad.
Thanks W.A.G.7. Yeah the caves are amazing, so are the sculptures. Tells a lot about the architectural prowess of ancient Indians.

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Originally Posted by SKavuri View Post
Thanks for the travelogue vibbs!
The pictures are incredible - shows your interest and skill in photography.

Could you let me know how much time is to be budgeted for Ajanta and Ellora caves?
Would one day for each be sufficient? Are there any clean restaurants around there?
I would probably going by train so my mobility at destination would be rather restricted. If required, I would rather pack lunch from place of stay. Would you recommend the place you stayed at?
Thanks Skavuri. I am trying to learn photography. Glad you liked my efforts.

As Ampere suggested, Ellora and the nearby places can be done on one day. You ll need a day for Ajanta, assuming you stay at Aurangabad.

The plan can be something like this.

Day 1. Daulatabad fort and Ellora caves- On the way to Ellora from Aurangabad. Opens at sunrise. So you can reach as early as you can. Apparently the fort will take around 3 hrs (My assumption since I havent been there). Assuming you head to the fort after Breakfast, you can finish it by lunch and then proceed towards Ellora. Lunch can be had at any of the joints along the highway. I remember seeing a resort named Hiranya resort on the way to Ellora from Daulatabad fort. Or else if you travel in the opposite direction (i.e towards Aurangabad from the fort), there is another rajasthani joint called Tinu's Rajasthani Dhaba. There are many other Dhabas around and even near Ellora caves where you can manage pretty decent food I believe.

You have couple of canteens and joints within the Ellora cave complex too but again no experience since we didnt try any of them out. Ellora caves may again require about 3-4 Hrs to see completely. So by early evening one can be free from Ellora caves. On the way back as I said in my travelogue there is an ancient gate where you may find traffic congestion. This can cause the 20 odd Km drive to Aurangabad to take well over and Hour.

If you manage this early and have energy, you can club in a couple of local spots too. There are a few temples in the vicinity I believe.

Day 2- Ajanta. Leave early as the crowd swells by mid day. There are buses that go from Aurangabad to Ajanta. The 100 odd Kms will take more than 2 - 2.5 Hrs (probably more in bus). From the parking lot as I said, MTDC runs buses to the complex. There is a canteen at the complex entry, which looked decent enough. There are joints near the Parking lot too. I would suggest the MTDC canteen in the cave complex.

If you see the below pic, you can see the entire cave complex. The restaurant etc is outside the right end of the pic (your right as you view it). Then you walk all the way up to the caves which extend till the other end.
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Originally Posted by vibbs View Post
It will easily take you 3-4 Hrs to cover all the caves. Then if you have the energy you can walk up to the lower or even the upper view points. From the lower view point you can walk ahead and probably head to a village as was told by the guy in this pic. Or you can simply walk and hit the caves from the top after crossing the stream.

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Originally Posted by vibbs View Post
If you plan to do all this, then probably you may have to rely on the villages selling Guavas, Pineapples etc. Else you can finish off the caves and the Lower view point perhaps by 2 PM (provided you reached the caves by 9 AM) and have lunch at the MTDC restaurant.

The drive back to Aurangabad will again take more than 2 Hrs. If you are hiring a Cab, then you can plan to just visit the Upper view point on the way back. It has some good views specially if after rains.

I will recomend the Hotel I stayed in depending on what you are looking at. We paid INR 3600 per night Plus taxes. It is an old property, a three star, spacious and decently maintained (including the swimming pool) hotel. The rooms are quite OK, though the furnitures may seem old, bathrooms are clean. Food is decent too. Breakfast was included in our price, they had a buffet dinner for INR 450 plus taxes per head. If you are not looking for a luxury Hotel, they will do fine I guess. We didn't have any issues. Oh yeah ample space for parking too.

Hope that helps.

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Originally Posted by MorePower View Post
The picture from the upper view point is simply breathtaking. I'm sure during the monsoons, it will be a sight to behold.

The pictures have brought back memories from my school field trip many many years ago. Good to see some improvement in the in-cave lighting. Remember trying to admire those paintings in fading light back then.



But some things I guess, will never change.
Thanks. The caves are maintained dark even now (probably to preserve the paintings). Lighting is very dim. Had to improvise a lot to take long exposures to compensate the low light.

Last edited by vibbs : 17th January 2014 at 20:16. Reason: Quoted one more post
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Old 17th January 2014, 21:19   #23
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Default Re: 770 Kms, 3 days & a glimpse of a Bygone Era: Ajanta and Ellora Caves

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Originally Posted by vibbs View Post
Thanks!!
I traveled from Pune. So the route we took was Pune - Ranjangaon - Shirur - Ahmednagar - Aurangabad.
Sorry I thought you drove from Bombay. Hence asked about Sinnar.

Quote:
Please do share the photographs here. It would be great. Yes you are right about roads in and around Aurangabad. They resemble moonscape more than roads. We couldn't include Lonar. Probably next time.
Here are some snaps
Daultabad fort along the way from Ellora to Aurangabad
770 Kms, 3 days & a glimpse of a Bygone Era: Ajanta and Ellora Caves-img_01162014011708_a3.jpg

Bibi Ka Maqbara. Intially I thought 'Bibi' meant Chand Bibi of Ahmednagar. Later realised it was Aurengazeb's wife.

Also that's the best I could manage. I did not have a wide angle with me. Hence sides were chopped off. Not to mention the wire.
770 Kms, 3 days & a glimpse of a Bygone Era: Ajanta and Ellora Caves-img_0144_hdr2014011708_a3.jpg

A minaret.
770 Kms, 3 days & a glimpse of a Bygone Era: Ajanta and Ellora Caves-img_01552014011708_a3.jpg

Found this beautiful cloud formation on the way back
770 Kms, 3 days & a glimpse of a Bygone Era: Ajanta and Ellora Caves-img_01932014011708_a3.jpg

As evening approached, we were saw some amazing colours up in the sky.
770 Kms, 3 days & a glimpse of a Bygone Era: Ajanta and Ellora Caves-img_02432014011708_a3.jpg
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Old 19th January 2014, 13:29   #24
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Default Re: 770 Kms, 3 days & a glimpse of a Bygone Era: Ajanta and Ellora Caves

Wow!! Those are some amazing photos. When did you visit? The fort surroundings look quite green.
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Old 19th January 2014, 13:45   #25
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Default Re: 770 Kms, 3 days & a glimpse of a Bygone Era: Ajanta and Ellora Caves

We were there last August during the Independence day week. It was quite green then and it was really good season. Lots of light and less on heat.
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