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Old 22nd February 2016, 00:06   #1
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Default Lalu's first trip - Mumbai to Ajanta & Ellora

Yes I've named my Red Polo, Lalu - Well, it follows a lineage of previous cars in our group being called Pappu and Sadhu (Close relatives of Lalu Yadav), so naming the Polo was quite easy

Warning : Quite a long travellogue with quite a few pics - I have listed my route experiences as well so that it benefits anyone planning Ajanta and Ellora from Mumbai

So, Lalu had been snarling through Mumbai traffic for the last 35 days! It was high time that he makes a trip to the highway and burns some of that rubber !

So a weekend of sorts was approaching on 13th and 14th of February (Well we bankers have to wait for the 2nd and 4th Saturdays to plan something out) and I had to make it count. I was to travel with my wife and I very well disguised my trip as a Valentine Day trip

So where can we go? Few thoughts – The first was to go somewhere close by and – an obvious choice of driving to Pune and coming back just to test the car OR we could go ahead and explore something more interior and pack in a lot in the 2 days that would be more than only a drive. Now, as a gentleman, I left the decision to my lady and she obviously decided the latter!

Choices / Options

1) Saputara (About 250kms):
This is a hill station I have wanted to go to for a long time now, but we decided against it as this can also be covered in the summer months as well so why tick that off before the summer

2) Lavassa (About 250kms): Obviously an awesome drive but nothing much to do after driving down and enjoying the roads. Been there, done that so we kept it for some other day for the Polo to explore

3) Ratnagiri (About 340kms): Well, this would mean walking out in the outdoors at about 33 degrees in the afternoon. I think we missed the time when we should have done this (the winters)

4) Champaner (About 450kms): Lots of activities that won’t expose you to the sun, so we decided again to keep that for later

5) Ajanta, Ellora, Aurangabad (About 450kms): Lots and lots and lots to do around Aurangabad and we knew every single thing will be worth the effort. So we zeroed in on this with an ambitious plan of covering Ajanta, Ellora and few Aurangabad sites in 2 days including our drive to and back – It really meant a hectic trip, but we were well prepared for the same!

The plan
Few places in and around Aurangabad: (Points 1 to 4 will take one full day to cover, so plan accordingly). I would suggest a trip can be made only for Aurangabad and the few places close by
1) Bibi ka Muqbura (The Taj equivalent)
2) Aurangabad caves (close to the Bibi ka Muqbura) having some tantric influences
3) Panchakki (shrine of a saint – Baba Shah Musafir)
4) Bhadra Maruti (The sleeping Hanuman) – For the religious ones
5) Pariyon ka Talab (60kms from Aurangabad) – A beautiful religious lake
6) Lonar (120kms from Aurangabad – This is a large lake formed by a meteor strike and looks to be awesome)
7) Daulatabad Fort – (About 15 kms from Ellora and Aurangabad) – A picturesque fort

(All these one liners are after going through some descriptions on the internet – Completely secondary reseach)

A 450kms drive meant at least 8 hours considering the fact that the roads weren’t the greatest. So we would have to start really early. So we planned to leave 4am on 13th Feb, reach Ajanta at around 2 (including breaks), watch the Ajanta caves on Day 1 and stay over at MTDC Ajanta Tourist Resort for the night

Day 2 would start with driving to Ellora from Ajanta, watching the caves, moving to Aurangabad for the local sights before starting the drive back to Mumbai.

Well it looked super hectic but even a 4 day trip would not be enough to cover everything. Aurangabad and its surroundings had some great attractions, but choosing few out of them was a real challenge, so we decided to make a decision only after looking at the Bibi ka Muqbura

Route:


I looked up and discussed on this thread,
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ra-trip-3.html (Help for Ajanta Ellora Trip)
and decided to take NH3 upto Malegaon and hope for the best from there!

Also, I was sure that I would return through the Aurangabad – Ahmednagar Route so I would have experienced both the routes!

Well, with Lalu so new, I was really skeptical of the roads and I was contemplating changing the route at the last moment, but decided to go ahead and be extremely careful with the roads.

Last edited by varunraizada : 23rd February 2016 at 01:11.
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Old 22nd February 2016, 00:25   #2
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Default Re: Lalu's first trip - Mumbai to Ajanta & Ellora

Saturday Morning

We started off late (4.45am), and fuelled at the Indian Oil Petrol pump on JVLR. Got my glasses cleaned, had air pressure checked and we were off and rolling.

Route:
We took the route through Malegaon and Chalisgaon to Ajanta. I was just hoping for the best

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The temperature was quite pleasant at around 14 degrees as we crossed Kalyan. Truck traffic was extremely dense at this time.
Just before getting onto the Igatpuri ghats, the sun started showing up (around 06:55 am), and when that happens, it’s time to click! A new model Lalu awaited to be clicked (well many more to follow)


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Mistake : We did not eat at the foodmall just before Igatpuri which was the only hotel that was operational in the morning. So we needed to keep moving till we found something decent.

We found this hotel only at around 8:45 about 15 kms after crossing Nashik and yeah, as you can see, we were the only people around. The hotel was quite decent with the food being very tasty, but we had a restriction – Only south Indian food available at this stage in the morning.

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I totally LIVE TO DRIVE !
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Found a nice shade and could park just the way I wanted as there were no more cars around !!
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We kept moving and the roads upto Malegaon were just beautiful and tar roads.

Issue with Road: The only issue we faced with the roads is that post Nashik for almost about 30 - 35 kms, there are multiple speedbreakers which are really difficult to negotiate due to their poor quality

The road between Nashik and Malegaon
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The scenic beauty just enhances itself as we close in on Malegaon
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As soon as we took the right onto State Highway 19, the roads got downgraded to a 2 lane road (without a divider) and started deteriorating, but were very much acceptable with only the odd pothole here and there which was manageable.

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The 50kms to Chalisgaon were filled with a number of villages and such sights of bullock carts owning the roads are quite common. We also encountered lots of areas when the road construction is in progress.

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As soon as I took the left for Ajanta, 2 things happened, the view became beautiful and the roads deteriorated with a large number of potholes that started coming up. So if I wanted to enjoy the view, I had to stop on the side and look around

The Road was REALLY Bad to negotiate for around 100 kms and irritation levels rose as I could feel that Lalu was not liking it out there so I had to be slow steady and very careful.

An even bigger problem with this stretch of 56+110kms were the bikers. They would not budge from driving in the middle of the road driving @ 60kmph and it was like overtaking a truck going to the extreme right. And this was the case all through after Malegaon. And top it up, NONE of them were wearing helmets !!

I made myself a little happier by clicking a few pics here and there and stopping over for chai once by the roadside. We planned to have lunch once we reach Ajanta.

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So we finally reached Ajanta !

Timings
4.30am : Left from Oshiwara , Mumbai (0km)
4.45am : Full tank of Petrol @ Indian oil pump on JVLR (7kms)
6:50am : Sunrise - Few clicks of the sunrise just before Igatpuri (120kms)
8:15am : Nashik - Crossed it using the awesome flyovers (180kms)
8:50am : Stopped for breakfast at Hotel Jalsa somewhere after Nashik (210kms)
10.05am: Reached Malegaon and turned towards Chalisgaon (272kms)
11:15am: Reached Chalisgaon (330kms)
11:45am : Turned for Ajanta (Yeah it took almost 30 mins to maneuver through the village human & cattle traffic) (340kms)
2:30pm : Reached MTDC Ajanta Tourist Resort (435kms)

Time taken : 10 hours
Stops : 1.5 hours
Avg Speed : 51.1 km/h
Mileage : 16.4 km/l (Not bad considering the fact that the last 100 kms took me around 2hrs & 45mins , with frequent drops to 1st and 2nd gear)

Overall Drive Experience: 6 out of 10. I could not enjoy the last few kms of the drive and so the low rating - The views are great but the roads not good

The Resort
The first thing that was noticeable was the staff. I had heard a lot about the hospitality of the staff of all MTDC resorts and I experienced it first hand.

They were extremely warm and handled the check in process with a friendly attitude. They also handed over lots of brochures about all MTDC resorts and also about Ajanta and Ellora. I must say all their locations are well picked out.

We checked in and got into our room that was extremely comfortable and although we had gone in for an A/C room, it was extremely pleasant and we did not need the A/c at all.

(More on the resort later - We were getting late for Ajanta and left the exploring to the next morning)

Last edited by varunraizada : 22nd February 2016 at 22:22.
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Old 22nd February 2016, 18:18   #3
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Default Re: Lalu's first trip - Mumbai to Ajanta & Ellora

Moving to Ajanta

The Ajanta caves are 4.5kms from the MTDC resort. We reached there in a jiffy and there is ample parking around for cars.

We reached the caves around 3.30pm and realized that the caves are open only upto 5.30pm post which all the doors are closed and you cannot enter to see them.

After parking at the customer care center, we need to walk through a shopping center to a bus stand from where a bus takes you to the beginning of the caves. The ticket price is Rs 15 per head and drops you just at the foot of the steep steps that need to be climbed up to reach the 1st cave !

We ate our lunch there and the manager gave us some advice on which caves are a must visit. We wanted to visit all of them but we were short on time. He said we need a good 3 to 4 hours to see all the caves. We decided that we would rush through the caves allowing me little time for photographs, but we HAD TO see all the caves out there.

So the view as soon as we climbed the flight of steps. These are all the caves - Minus 2 or three which are covered by the viewing spot

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And we started walking.

Advice: Every cave requires you to remove your footwear, so I would suggest that carry slippers for this trip and put them one once you reach the caves. Luckily I was wearing floaters and not shoes so just about managed.

Enter the first cave and the jaws really drop ! It's a marvel of architecture and everything has been made out of carving through the caves - There are no joints of any form and they are just brilliant.

There are a number of small LED lights lighting up the cave enabling you to just about view what they managed some thousands of years back !

Caution: Camera Flash is not permitted and you could be fined on usage of the same.

Here are some pictures of Ajanta - It is an absolute MUST visit for people who like history!

To be honest, I really lost complete track of which cave we were visiting as each and everyone of them was absolutely awe inspiring. Whenever you visit this place, don't go for the "popular" once - Cave 9, 10, 26, 15, 16 that the guys around would suggest to you. Go through each and every cave ! It is totally worth the time and energy (yeah it takes a lot) to walk around those 26 caves (few of them are unfinished as well)

Yes - This is what occupies front pages of our History Text Books
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The Buddha meditating

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Similar pose but with Subtle differences in the pose. Don't miss out the ceilings - They are just as marvelous

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The pillars were lighted with Halogens from the ground and the rest of the cave was all dark, so it made for some wonderful images. Just see the beauty of artificial and natural light in this image

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Moving out of the caves, this is the sight and the guards say, this thing is completely Green during the monsoons ! What a sight that will be !

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Few standing poses

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Although, at some places you will find that the heritage site has been abused before it was protected. Beauty just about gets beaten away by the carvings that were broken / damaged - Don't get me wrong, they still look as beautiful !

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My favorite is this one !! What an awesome sight - I don't know how these guys managed to carve out all this.

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Pillar

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And the sculptures next to each other - Each in a different pose depicting something different

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figures around the Buddha

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And we reached the last cave - Here is the Buddha in his peaceful avatar - Sorry, I could not manage a better pic here as this cave was flocked by a lot of people !

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Various such flights of steps need to be overcome

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The shopping @ the market place at Ajanta Caves customer center

One advice - When you get down and reach the exit of the caves, there will be many people selling nice beautiful looking statues of Buddha. Please do not purchase from them ! Move a little ahead and purchase the same thing at 1/10th the price from the shops in the market.

The stuff there is extremely nice and worth taking home. From the point of view of the shops being at a tourist place, they were extremely cost effective - Shop to your heart's content !

Back to the resort

There are 12 AC rooms, 12 Non AC rooms in the MTDC resort ! These rooms are in the form of mini cottages distributed across the resort area. Even the reception is in an independent cottage

We could take Lalu right upto our cottage he watched over us through the night. The care taker also bathed Lalu in the morning and it sparkled for the trip to Ellora and back home

Some nice things about the resort
1) Extremely friendly staff
2) Very comfortable rooms - Not luxury but nice
3) Some nice eco friendly moves - External lighting and geysers were powered through Solar Panels
4) Very nicely maintained - Clean and spick and span
5) Quiet location and easily accessible - Right on the highway
6) Brilliant Food - We had our dinner and breakfast there - Food was extremely tasty - No need to go out at all

The canteen - Spick and span

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The landscape of the resort

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The solar panels for the geysers

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Sparkling Lalu at the reception ready to check out

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Last edited by varunraizada : 22nd February 2016 at 22:57.
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Old 22nd February 2016, 23:28   #4
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Default Re: Lalu's first trip - Mumbai to Ajanta & Ellora

Start off to Ellora

When we started off in the morning, we had planned to see Ellora and Aurangabad (Bibi ka Muqbura) through the day and Daulatabad fort time permitting

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The start was good, with a small ghat like road leading upto to Ellora. The roads were beautiful for the first 20 kms which we covered in about 20 mins. Post this, there was less of road and more of potholes.

There were times when the rubble and sand on either side of the road was a much better option to drive through.

This was the worst road I have ever driven by and it took another 3 hrs and 15 mins to negotiate (about 90 kms). I felt really bad for Lalu but tried to be as careful as I could .

Advice : Take a cab to Ajanta from Aurangabad and get back to Aurangabad where you park your car. It's definitely not worth making your car go through the torture

This was the best part of the entire road (when I could free my hands for a pic rather than be busy maneuvering away from craters on the road

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But, just to make myself feel better, I parked on the non existent road and took some nice pics

Reflect the sun off your body
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The field of white flowers - Anyone has any idea what these are ? I could not figure them out : (( Disclaimer : No flowers were harmed when clicking these pictures ))

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And after an excruciating 3 and a half hours we covered the 110 kms from Ajanta to Ellora.

Frowning I got out of Lalu and told myself, "This better be worth it !", and boy, was it !!

Ellora Caves

Again, it starts off with the mandatory bus ride. which drops us right to the Jain caves.

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Well, Ellora is divided into 3 parts - The Jain caves; The Buddhist Caves and the Hindu Caves - The Jain caves being the furthest from the mainland.

When compared to the Ajanta caves, these have much more character and details associated with them. More intricate and delicate work and much better in terms of overall maintenance. It was an absolute delight

Few pics below in no real order - Again, I have no track on which cave I clicked

Jain Caves

The standing Saint
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The center of the Jain caves - Could not capture the beauty that was at display there - Pictures cannot do justice at all
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Just feel the difference in detail between Ajanta and Ellora
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In various poses with small figures all around
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Can you even imagine how all this was carved out of the caves with no additional material ??? Mind blowing to say the least

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And some animate objects as well were worth clicking !

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This guy wanted me to be extremely stable. Any slight movement and he was gone in a flash ! Managed some decent ones though

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IMPORTANT
Post completing the Jain caves, we were aware of Hindu caves, but did not know how to get there - So we asked a few people who were all unaware.

The guard then told us to ask the bus to drop us at Cave 9 and we did that ! No one in the bus knew about these caves and seeing us get down, 10 more people got down ! And yeah it was totally worth it - I'm sure all of them would be thanking us

Here's where the bus dropped us off

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The Hindu Caves (A temple) Cave 9

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Shiv Parvati
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Ram Sita
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In the pillars - What a wonderful way to get attention of the viewer
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And we moved further to Caves 17 to 24 which were again Hindu caves - Majestic

Last edited by varunraizada : 23rd February 2016 at 00:16.
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Old 23rd February 2016, 00:26   #5
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Default Re: Lalu's first trip - Mumbai to Ajanta & Ellora

The Hindu Caves

Don't know much about them again, so just sharing the pics !! Ganeshji to begin with

Ganpati
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Apsaras
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I've fallen in love with these pillars - What an art of precision in the craft
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In the "Rameshwaram cave"

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Cave 16

This is pic we normally associate with Ellora. Although this cave is the most enormous and the biggest i've seen, I found other caves to be more subtle and inviting than this one. It felt far more commercial in the looks

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And now as you would have lost track of the time, so did we. Once done, we looked at the watch to realize that it was 3.15pm .. Phew .. wow we managed a 4 hour viewing experience here !! And it was totally worth every minute we spent !

We had lunch then at the MTDC restaurant in Ellora and again what awesome food.

I have become a large fan of MTDC after this trip. They have exceed expectations in terms of hygiene, hospitality, cleanliness and quality. I highly recommend them if they are available to you.

Now, we realized that it was 3.45pm and we could not do Aurangabad or Daulatabad !! Wow a 2 day trip for only Ajanta and Ellora !! And it was still a hectic one.

4pm we started for Mumbai

This is the route we took

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The turn onto NH222 was not intentional, but due to a board at Ahmednagar that stated Kalyan / Mumbai - Right & Pune - Straight

Advice: Take the straight road towards Pune and not the one towards Kalyan (which I missed)

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The drive from Ellora to Ahmednagar was a superb one with 4 lane highways, but again, faced the bike menace with bikers driving right in the middle of the left lane at 40 to 60 kmph speeds

And then I took to turn at Ahmednagar

Wow! What a road ! Zero Traffic virgin roads and few spots of diversions where the road is getting repaired.

The sun started setting and the golden hour was here forcing me to stop again and again for some pics

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Some post processing here but I liked the outcome

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Issues: 2 lane (both lanes quite wide - so almost a 3 lane highway) without any divider
Too lonely with no shops for miles together
Small villages where the inhabitants looked quite dangerous - So we were even scared to stop for a chai
Very frequent and sudden speed breakers at large distances from villages and also at turns - So extremely tough to spot in the night

We kept going and finally it was time for the lights and I was just about satisfied with the throw of the high beam of the Polo, although it could have been better

Finally we reached somewhere close to Junnar (about 150 kms from Kalyan) which seemed to be a large junction towards Pune and Kalyan. We stopped and had our dinner there.

We started and drove non stop till home post our dinner stop. The drive through Malshej Ghat in the night was a harrowing experience with blind and sharp terms making me concentrate very hard. It was not an easy drive but the quality of the roads made up for that

So our short but hectic trip ended at 12.30am on 15th Feb and I had a smile on my face

Timings
4pm : Leave from Ellora (0kms)
4.30pm : Pass Daulatabad (20kms)
6:15pm : Ahmednagar (145kms)
8:30pm : Dinner @ Junnar (220kms)
11pm : Kalyan (360 kms)
12:30pm : Oshiwara (410 kms)

No of Hours : 8.5 hrs
Stoppage : 30 mins
Avg Speed : 51.25kmph
Fuel Economy : 15.9 km / l
Well, the toll was limited to the one at Dahisar on our way back - There was no toll on NH222

Some Feedback and Advice for people planning Ajanta Ellora trip
1) Completely avoid driving from Ajanta to Ellora in your own car - Either rent a car for those 100 kms or split the trip into 2 - Visit Ajanta once and keep Ellora for another trip
2) Drive to Ajanta through Jalgaon and not Malegaon - This would work out to around 40 kms more but the bad roads will be limited to only 40 kms
3) Keep 1 day for Ajanta; 1 day for Ellora ; 1 day for Aurangabad (Bibi ka maqbura; aurangabad caves; daulatabad fort) ; 1 day for lonar
4) DO NOT take NH 222 in the night - I believe it is risky and I was lucky not to face any issue - Take the expressway route and go through Ahmednagar
5) DO NOT drive above 80 kmph on these roads as there are lots of bikers who care 2 hoots about their lives and also there are some sudden speed breakers waiting to break your car
6) Keep stopping for chai

Thanks for reading ..


Lalu's first trip - Mumbai to Ajanta & Ellora-2016_02_14_img_8520.jpg

Last edited by aah78 : 23rd February 2016 at 01:36. Reason: Final picture inserted in-line.
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Old 23rd February 2016, 01:38   #6
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Exclamation Re: Lalu's first trip - Mumbai to Ajanta & Ellora

Note from Support: Thread moved to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 23rd February 2016, 08:31   #7
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Default Re: Lalu's first trip - Mumbai to Ajanta & Ellora

First lovely coverage.

Just a small feedback.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attach...k-malegaon.jpg

Look at the picture from your travelogue.

Whats wrong?

Nothing obvious but it would be safer driving if you use the left lane.

Why? On our highways expect pedestrians / animals to jump right on to fast lane from median. They are almost hidden till last moment due to shrubbery. Even worse is to have a oncoming vehicle jump the divider and come at you.

Driving - where possible - in left lane gives you more reaction time. Most of the divided highways have ample shoulder on the left to give you clear sight of any approaching human / animal from left.

Third I have travelled - though alone - through this area years back but never found people looking "dangerous". Can you elaborate?
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Old 23rd February 2016, 08:53   #8
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Default Re: Lalu's first trip - Mumbai to Ajanta & Ellora

Superb. I had done this trip in 1992 (all of 11 years old) with my parents when we lived in Mumbai. We didn't drive then, but took a train to Aurangabad where a local family friend had arranged a car.

To a little boy interested in history, Ajanta and Ellora had come as a revelation. There was just so much to take in, as I continued to be amazed by this superhuman feat of carving out sculptures and paintings from the rock. There were no customer care centre, no shop and no buses. The car just parked close by, from where all caves had to be seen by foot. Daulatabad Fort was equally interesting, being called the most impregnable fort in India. Bibi Ka Maqbara was a washout to those who had seen the real Taj Mahal.

Very well written travelogue, and some amazing photos. I have planned for long to go to Bombay, hire a self drive car and set off for Ajanta Ellora again, to relive childhood memories. Your route plan and timings help a lot in this regard.
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Old 23rd February 2016, 10:40   #9
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Default Re: Lalu's first trip - Mumbai to Ajanta & Ellora

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First lovely coverage.

Just a small feedback.

Nothing obvious but it would be safer driving if you use the left lane.

Driving - where possible - in left lane gives you more reaction time.

Third I have travelled - though alone - through this area years back but never found people looking "dangerous". Can you elaborate?
Thanks Sudev for the excellent feedback. I think it makes an awesome driving tip. Will try to implement this most immediately.

Dangerous - Well at 2 places just after / before crossing villages (not so close to each other) I saw a group of people sitting with axes on the side of the road (In a position ensuring I had to slow down to be safe). I honked while passing the first group and the stare I received was a learning for me not to honk when I saw the next one ! You may call me judgmental, but with only my wife with me, I felt quite uneasy.

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Superb. I had done this trip in 1992 (all of 11 years old) with my parents

To a little boy interested in history, Ajanta and Ellora had come as a revelation. There was just so much to take in, as I continued to be amazed by this superhuman feat of carving out sculptures and paintings from the rock.

Daulatabad Fort was equally interesting, being called the most impregnable fort in India. Bibi Ka Maqbara was a washout to those who had seen the real Taj Mahal.

Very well written travelogue, and some amazing photos. I have planned for long to go to Bombay, hire a self drive car and set off for Ajanta Ellora again, to relive childhood memories. Your route plan and timings help a lot in this regard.
Well it's totally worth all the effort I think ! I am already planning another trip to Aurangabad, Lonar and Daulatabad fort after hearing so much about them.

How much do you remember from your childhood trip ?

Self Drive car is an awesome option I think for roads like these where you don't feel every bump in the heart !
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Old 23rd February 2016, 11:33   #10
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Default Re: Lalu's first trip - Mumbai to Ajanta & Ellora

Wonderfully done and I am gonna add this to my bucket list as well. Preferably sometime in the next two months.
How did you go about the room bookings. Need some insight on that.

PS: I stay in Oshiwara as well and also a banker Lets plan a tbhp mini meet!
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Old 23rd February 2016, 12:12   #11
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Default Re: Lalu's first trip - Mumbai to Ajanta & Ellora

Great drive. I have also done ajanta ellora when I was a kid. We drove from Indore in our fiat - premier padmini. Really felt great visiting these places again through your photos. My wife is not much into caves and forts - so, not able to go here! Will try and go in this monsoon probably and your travelogue would be of great help in planning the trip out. Thanks a lot for the lovely photos.
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Old 23rd February 2016, 12:33   #12
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Default Re: Lalu's first trip - Mumbai to Ajanta & Ellora

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Preferably sometime in the next two months.
I would suggest against doing this in the summers ! Ajanta is still doable as the caves are right next to each other and there is a shade for you to hide from the sun, but Ellora would roast you during the summer. There are stretches of about 100 - 150 m of steep climbs that you need to make in the open and the scorching sun of Aurangabad would really make your extremely uncomfortable.

Do it in the monsoons - Would be super awesome in my opinion

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How did you go about the room bookings. Need some insight on that.
You can do it online through the MTDC site - It's quite nice - Comparable to Club mahindra site in terms of making the bookings, but as this was the first time I visited an MTDC resort, I called them and asked if I should book online. As the resort was relatively unoccupied, the manager suggested me to come over and I would find a room quite easily, so I had him block the room in my name over the phone itself.

Also, the rates mentioned in the resort were outdated rates (Rs 2200 per night for an AC room). These rates have changed to Rs 1900 per night for the AC room on the website and I pointed that out.

The manager smiled and said, "These are old rates sir, you need to pay only Rs 1900 + taxes). We have not got approvals to change it on our board yet"

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PS: I stay in Oshiwara as well and also a banker Lets plan a tbhp mini meet!
That's quite awesome ! We definitely should meet up ! How do we connect here on the forum ?
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Old 23rd February 2016, 13:01   #13
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Some Feedback and Advice for people planning Ajanta Ellora trip
1) Completely avoid driving from Ajanta to Ellora in your own car - Either rent a car for those 100 kms or split the trip into 2 - Visit Ajanta once and keep Ellora for another trip
2) Drive to Ajanta through Jalgaon and not Malegaon - This would work out to around 40 kms more but the bad roads will be limited to only 40 kms
Excellent narration and beautiful photos there!

I liked the 1st advice. I reside in Jalgaon and always advice my Mumbai friends/relatives to plan an Ajanta trip via Jalgaon. The reason is you get a super smooth 4 lane road up to Dhule, a fast 2 lane NH up to Jalgaon and thereafter a better laid road from Jalgaon to Ajanta. The Aurangabad - Ajanta road is inherently bad, is 100 km long, and we don't expect it to get well soon. Plus, the bikers that you mention all race on this this 100 km stretch. You could've done Kalyan to Jalgaon in about 6.30 hours flat and a further 70 minutes for the MTDC Resort at Fardapur.
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Old 23rd February 2016, 13:22   #14
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The field of white flowers - Anyone has any idea what these are ? I could not figure them out : (( Disclaimer : No flowers were harmed when clicking these pictures ))
You may be surprised to know that the flowers that have so impressed you are none other than our humble onion. The greater value in the fields under the foot, not in the flowers!

Thanks for sharing. It's disappointing to know that the roads in the Aurangabad district are still in a poor state.

For me, the drive between Shahapur and Igatpuri on NH3 over the Kasara ghat remains one of the most enjoyable drives around Mumbai. Especially in the aftermath of the monsoons. You can go relatively fast through it, and it's no longer treacherous but it still has enough twists and turns and spectacular views. I am sure you must have enjoyed that part of the drive.
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Old 23rd February 2016, 14:40   #15
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Default Re: Lalu's first trip - Mumbai to Ajanta & Ellora

Very nicely written report. Lovely pics too. I've always wanted to visit the Ajanta caves but have still not done it. Maybe one of these days.
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