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Old 1st October 2010, 22:30   #76
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Default Recce into Maharashtra in Swift D!!!

Day 7 Continued....

Ellora Caves also known as ‘Verul Leni’ locally. The majority of the caves are devoted to Buddhism and Hinduism while few caves are dedicated to Jainism. Thus the caves have one of the greatest religious conglomerations at a single place, signifying the religious tolerance and solidarity of different faiths.

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Cave 29 at Ellora. Pair of stone lions crouching near the flight of steps.

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Cave 29 at Ellora. Huge Shiva with eight arms.

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Huge pillars inside Cave 29 at Ellora.

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Ravan lifting mount Kailash with Shiva and Parvati seated on it. Cave 29 at Ellora.

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The seasonal waterfall seen from Cave 29.

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Waterfall at Ellora. Caves 28 and 27 seen from here.

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The greenery around the caves.

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Picture taken in B/W inside Cave 29.

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A gap between in hills inside Cave 29.

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Carvings inside Cave 29.

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Cave 29, Ellora.

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Hills in the distance, Ellora.

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Caves 33 and 34, Ellora.

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Cave 32, Ellora.

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Cave 32, Ellora.

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Stone Elephant at the entrance of Cave 32.

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Mahavira seated on a lion throne inside the chamber. Male and Female attendants outside. At Cave 32, Ellora.

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Beautiful stone carvings inside Cave 32, Ellora.

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Cave 32, Ellora.

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A beautiful shrine at Cave 32. Ceiling carved into the symbolic lotus.

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Upper Storey of Cave 32. Indra Sabha.

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Picture taken in B/W. Massive pillars inside Indra Sabha.

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Picture taken in B/W. Shrine at Cave 32, Ellora.

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Picture taken in B/W. Shrine at Cave 32, Ellora.

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Caves at Ellora.

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Cave 17, Ellora.

There are 34 caves here carved into the hills and is spread about 2kms across. Caves 1 to 12 belong to the Buddhist Group, Caves 13 to 29 belongs to Hindu Group and Caves 30 to 34 belongs to Jain Group.

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Cave 18, Ellora.

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Huge Pillars at Cave 18, Ellora.

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Cave 19, Ellora.

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Cave 19, Ellora.

Each group has its individual style of architecture and presented side by side. We started out tour from cave 34 on the extreme left end. And also the Ellora Caves are closed on Tuesdays. We visited caves 34 to 30 which have carvings of Lord Mahavira. Also a beautiful waterfall is visible near these caves. There was a slight drizzle all along as we went from one cave to the other. We did rush through some of the caves and anyone visiting Ellora Caves make sure you at least have about 5 – 6hrs to see the caves leisurely.

Continued....
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Old 1st October 2010, 23:03   #77
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Default Recce into Maharashtra in Swift D!!!

Day 7 Continued....

Then the Auto Rickshaw took us to the other caves and finally left us near the main entrance from where Caves 17 to 1 is pretty close and can walk to it. It was about 3:30PM when we finished with half the caves and pretty hungry with all the climbing and walking we did inside the caves. Just near the main gate is a MTDC restaurant and we had lunch which was good.

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Cave 20, Ellora.

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Cave 21, Ellora.

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Nandi on a raised platform outside Cave 21, Ellora.

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Statue of Ganga. Pillars have female figures with foilage above them and lotuses underfoot.

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Parvati's marriage to Shiva filling an entire wall. Cave 21, Ellora.

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Ellora Caves

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Ellora Caves

After lunch we could explore only Cave 16 which is the world’s biggest caved Kailash Temple. It’s also the best of all the caves at Ellora. After spending about another hour at Ellora we decide to drive towards Aurangabad. We leave Ellora a little before 5:00PM and head towards Aurangabad.

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One of the greatest monolithic sturucture in the world. Kailash Temple, Cave 16, Ellora.

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Cave 16, Ellora.

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Life size elephants carved out of stone at Cave 16, Ellora.

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Shiva Temple at Cave 16, Ellora.

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Episodes from Mahabharata. Cave 16, Ellora.

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Shiva Temple at Cave 16, Ellora.

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Huge carvings inside Cave 16, Ellora.

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Huge carvings inside Cave 16, Ellora.

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Huge courtyard inside Cave 16, Ellora.

The road is now NH211 which is wide and in very good condition. It snakes it way around small hills approaching Aurangabad. On the way towards Aurangabad we also spot Ghrishneswar Temple which is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India. Due to time constraints we had to skip this temple.

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View towards Aurangabad.

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An ancient gate on the outskirts of Aurangabad. We encountered many all around Aurangabad.

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Daulatabad Fort at Aurangabad.

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Smooth NH211 towards Aurangabad City.

Very close to Aurangabad we also spotted Daulatabad Fort which I have heard is a must visit. We will surely be back to Aurangabad to visit other places that we skipped or missed.

Continued....

Last edited by dreamdiesel : 1st October 2010 at 23:05.
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Old 1st October 2010, 23:25   #78
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Day 7 Continued....

Enter Aurangabad around 5:30PM and stop at Hotel Panchavati where we have decided to stay at Aurangabad. It’s a budget hotel located on the road towards Aurangabad near Baba Petrol Pump junction. A very neat and well maintained hotel with rates starting from Rs.700 to Rs.1500. Would defnitely recommend this hotel. We check into the hotel a little after 5:30PM, dump the luggage and run back to the car and drive towards Bibi ka Maqbara before it gets dark. About 5-6kms from the hotel, situated towards North-West of Aurangabad is Bibi Ka Maqbara.

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An Ancient gate on the way towards Bibi Ka Maqbara.

We parked the car and walked towards Bibi Ka Maqbara. I was really amazed at the architecture and similarity to Taj Mahal. Though we have never been to the real Taj Mahal, I can only image how beautiful the Taj Mahal will be. We hired a guide who gave us some information about this place.

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Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad.

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Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad.

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View of the entrace from Bibi Ka Maqbara. Water channels and broad pathways.

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Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad.

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One of the minarets at Bibi Ka Maqbara.

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Carvings. White plaster like substance used in most of the outerwalls which resembles marble.

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Beautiful garden around Bibi Ka Maqbara.

Bibi Ka Maqbara is the burial place of Aurangzeb's wife, Rabia-ud-Durrani. It is an imitation of the Taj at Agra and due to its similar design, it is popularly known as the Mini Taj of the Deccan. The Maqbara stands in the middle of a spacious and formally planned Mughal garden with axial ponds, fountains, cand pavilions. The place was almost empty and we could spend some very relaxing time strolling in the garden and taking numerous pictures of the tomb. We stayed at the place till it was dark and the focus lights were switched on. Around 8:00PM we decided to head back to the hotel not before we decided to drive around Aurangabad a bit.

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Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad.

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Inside the tomb.

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Carvings on the wall inside the tomb.

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The burial place of Aurangzeb's wife, Rabia-ud-Durrani.

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Lights are switched on as dusk falls at Bibi Ka Maqbara.

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One of the Minaret against the evening sky.

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Picture taken with Manual Exposure. Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad.

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Some information about Bibi Ka Maqbara.

We drove around Aurangabad a bit, shopped for some essentials and stopped at Bikaner Bhujiyawalla on Railway Station Road for some chats and sweets and then headed back to the hotel. Watched a movie, ordered dinner in the room which was very good and off to sleep by midnight.

Day 7 at Ellora and Aurangabad was pretty exciting. Plan to visit Ellora and Aurangabad was included in the last moment and I am glad I visited these places. The caves at Ellora were pretty amazing with beautiful carvings. I have heard the caves at Ajanta are better than Ellora. I could have visited Ajanta if I had another day here at Aurangabad. I will definitely return to Aurangabad for another visit to Ellora and visit Ajanta. Also on top of the list is Daulatabad Fort and Panchakki at Aurangabad. We are almost nearing the end of this long road trip and wifey is already feeling a little low thinking about it.

Continued....
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Old 2nd October 2010, 11:11   #79
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Very nice DD. The pictures of Ellora look heavenly. Seeing Ellora immediately made me recollect the story on Ellora that I had read in Amar Chitra Katha a long time back. Btw, how many caves are there in total there?
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Old 2nd October 2010, 11:24   #80
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There's a huge similarity between Ellora sculptures and Elephanta sculptures. Especially the main cave sculptures are almost similar between these places. So I often wonder whether it's the same set of people who went around replicating these sculptures.

The sore point is that the authorities still behave like troglodytes. They don't allow tripods and getting permission is a cumbersome process.
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Old 3rd October 2010, 09:41   #81
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Nice going DD. As rightly pointed out, Kailash Temple at cave 16 is the largest monolithic structure in the world. Imagine the amount of planning and precision required to build something like this.
I would have loved to see Ajanta cave snaps from your cam. Its picturesque in monsoon. If you plan to return back to Auragabad in future to cover Ajanta and Daulatabad then you should also add Lonar and Paithan to your agenda.
Lonar Crater Lake is the only lake in India formed due to meteor impact. Its around 100kms from Auragabad and a must see place. Paithan is famous for Jayakwadi dam on Godavari river. Its around 40kms from Aurangabad. Near the dam you can also visit Dnyaneshwar Udyan (Maharashtra's largest garden) similar to Vrindavan Garden. Paithan is also famous for Silk sarees called 'Paithani'.

Last edited by C300 : 3rd October 2010 at 09:50. Reason: Formatting
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Old 4th October 2010, 23:34   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
Very nice DD. The pictures of Ellora look heavenly. Seeing Ellora immediately made me recollect the story on Ellora that I had read in Amar Chitra Katha a long time back. Btw, how many caves are there in total there?
Thank you addy. Yes, I too recollect seing these pictures in the Amar Chitra Katha Comics and also my school history text books. Some of the pictures like the Elephant statue and the Kailash temple.

There are 34 caves at Ellora. But the important ones are Cave 2, 5, 10, 12 (Buddhist), Cave 14, 15, 16, 21, 29 (Hindu) and Caves 32, 34 (Jains). The others are either incompleted are just small ones with very few carvings. You need atleast 4-5hrs to see the important caves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
There's a huge similarity between Ellora sculptures and Elephanta sculptures. Especially the main cave sculptures are almost similar between these places. So I often wonder whether it's the same set of people who went around replicating these sculptures.

The sore point is that the authorities still behave like troglodytes. They don't allow tripods and getting permission is a cumbersome process.
Buddhists and Jains were the people responsible for the fine sculputures at Ellora and Elephanta. Sculptures depicting the story of Buddhism. I feel that the reason why the similarities.

Yes, even I read somewhere on the "Archaeological Survey of India" website that tripods are allowed inside only with permission. Thanks for pointing that out MX6.

Quote:
Originally Posted by C300 View Post
Nice going DD. As rightly pointed out, Kailash Temple at cave 16 is the largest monolithic structure in the world. Imagine the amount of planning and precision required to build something like this.
I would have loved to see Ajanta cave snaps from your cam. Its picturesque in monsoon. If you plan to return back to Auragabad in future to cover Ajanta and Daulatabad then you should also add Lonar and Paithan to your agenda.
Lonar Crater Lake is the only lake in India formed due to meteor impact. Its around 100kms from Auragabad and a must see place. Paithan is famous for Jayakwadi dam on Godavari river. Its around 40kms from Aurangabad. Near the dam you can also visit Dnyaneshwar Udyan (Maharashtra's largest garden) similar to Vrindavan Garden. Paithan is also famous for Silk sarees called 'Paithani'.
Thank you C300. Yes indeed, Kailash temple at Ellora is a wonder. Perfect example of vertical excavation by higly skilled workers and architects.

I had to choose Ellora as I just had one day at Aurangabad and Ellora was closer. I will defnitely be back at Aurangabad in future to cover the places that I missed. Lonar Crater is also a must visit. I will defnitely incluse these places in my next visit to MH. Thank you C300!!!
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Old 5th October 2010, 10:21   #83
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Nice pics from the World famous caves. I feel its a must visit for anyone interested in history, architecture and sculptures.

The Taj of the deccan is new knowledge to me. Its turning out to be quite an informative thread for me. Good going
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Old 5th October 2010, 11:04   #84
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DD sir. Budhists and Jains were not entirely responsible for the cave sculptures. There was their parent religion as well. I'm researching now in to who came with the cave sculptures first. Was it Budhists who started and then the hindus went in and expanded with the resurgence of hinduism in 800 ad and afterwards or was it the hindus who did these first and when budhism and jainism came up subsequently, they went ahead expanding the same. But the greatness of these three is that they could co-exist without destroying other's artifacts. Unlike Elephanta caves where the portuguese took potshots at our great sculptures of shiva, his clan and Gautama buddha, these caves show that people had immense respect to each other's religions.
My Magnificent Maharashtra log has details of how the portuguese used this as a military base and disfigured our great idols. Finally, when they handed over mumbai as dowry in 17th century to England, Elephanta passed hands too and the preservation started.
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Old 6th October 2010, 18:27   #85
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Day 8 (10th September, 2010): Aurangabad – Ahmednagar – Daund – Baramati – Phaltan – Satara – Kolhapur

Trip Meter – 1882kms to 2351kms

We are up 8:00AM and plan to leave the hotel in the next 2hrs after breakfast. After quickly getting ready have a tasty breakfast at the room and checkout of Hotel Panchavati by 10:00AM. We travel out of Aurangabad on SH60 towards Ahmednagar which is maintained well. It’s a toll road. Next destination is Shani Shingnapur which is about 95kms from Aurangabad.

Travelling on SH60 one has to be careful with occasional potholes and 2 wheelers at the center of the road, but one can maintain a speed of 80-100kmph as the road is wide. Around 11:30AM we take the right turn towards Shani Shingnapur which is about another 4-5kms from SH60. It’s a narrow road towards Shani Shingnapur and closer to the town the road gets bad. On way we spot a few houses that has no doors but only the door frames as Shingnapur is also famous for the fact that no house in the village has doors. Despite this, no theft is reported here. Villagers never keep their valuables under lock and key. They believe that god Shani punishes anyone attempting theft.

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Scenery around while travelling on SH60 out of Aurangabad.

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SH60 towards Ahmednagar.

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The entrance arch towards Shri Shani Shingnapur at SH60.

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The narrow road towards Shingnapur.

Approaching Shingnapur we encounter a few touts who kept following us in spite of ignoring them. They try to direct you to a parking lot which is away from the temple and not maintained well but just ignore them as there is a huge well maintained parking place right opposite to the temple. Again after parking the car we were again approached by the tout who followed as and asking us to buy offerings and also saffron wraparound without which one is not allowed into near the deity. We ignored him and walked into the temple.

The shrine for Shani compromises of a five and a half feet high black rock installed on an open-air platform, which symbolizes the god Shani. There is no priest to perform the pooja. The pooja is carried out in the form of going around the idol a couple of times, chanting specific prayers and Abhishekam with water and oil. The temple was well maintained, clean and not very crowded. We had a good darshan and after buying the prasadam (Coconut Burfi) which was very tasty at the counter we headed back to the parking lot. Went to the toilet near the parking lot and people here have taken the tradition of “No Doors” concept to another level. No doors in the toilet, only enclosures. At least they should have spared the toilets. We then leave Shingnapur town and head back to SH60 by taking the same road we took towards Shingnapur.

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Entrance to Shri Shani Shingnapur Temple.

We are back on the highway a little after noon, and drive towards Ahmednagar which is another 25kms away. Entering Ahmednagar we ask around for the Cavalry Tank Museum at Ahmednagar. We were directed towards the highway going towards Solapur.

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Back on SH60 towards Ahmednagar.

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Tripmeter at 2000kms...

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Armoured Corps Center at Ahmednagar.

Continued....
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Old 7th October 2010, 12:53   #86
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Day 8 Continued....

Find the museum easily and we drive towards the museum. After parking the car and buying tickets we enter the Cavalry Tank Museum at Ahmednagar.

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Cavalry Tank Museum at Ahmednagar.

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One of the oldest exhibits - Silver Ghost Rolls Royce Armoured Car.

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M3A1 Scout Car manufactured by the White Motor Company.

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Flak - Anti Tank gun used in WW2.

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Flak - Anti Tank gun used in WW2.

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British Infantry Mk III Valentine Infantry Tank of WW2. It was so named because its design was approved by a British war officer on the Valentine’s Day.

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Sexton - self-propelled artillery vehicle of WW2.

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Armoured vehicles on display at Cavalry Tank Museum, Ahmednagar.

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The pride of the 1971 war, the British-make Centurion Mark VII, MBT (Main Battle Tank), also called Pattonkiller and Bahadur. It outdid the more sophisticated Pakistani Patton in the Sialkot sector.

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M3A3 Stuart tank, which was taken to record heights of 12000 feet at Zojila Pass in 1948 by the Indian Army’s 7th Cavalry.

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The Medium Tank M3 was an American tank used during WW2.

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M3A3 Stuart tank used in 1965 Indo-Pak War.

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Japanese Type 97 Chi-ha medium tank. The Japanese Army used these extensively during their successful march towards Imphal and Singapore.

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A Centaur Anti Aircraft tank with the turret removed and given a simple dozer blade operated by a winch.

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Armoured vehicles on display at Cavalry Tank Museum, Ahmednagar.

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Armoured vehicles on display at Cavalry Tank Museum, Ahmednagar.

I have seen various museums of automobiles, aeroplanes, railway and other things, but never a Battle tank museum. I have always been fascinated by these giant metal machines from childhood and always wanted to look at it up-close. So when I heard about the Cavalry Tank Museum at Ahmednagar and the fact that the route planned passed through Ahmednagar, I would definitely want to visit this place. This place is only of its kind in Asia where historical and antique tanks, specialist vehicles, armoured cars and self-propelled guns have been exhibited.

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A mine flail mounted on a WW2, Sherman Crab tank.

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A Varient of the Churchill tank. The Bridge layer was created by the Royal Engineers and carried a 30ft long small box girder (SBG) bridge.

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Half-track M3 is an armored vehicle used by the United States, the British Empire and the other Allies during WW2 and the Cold War.

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Armoured vehicles on display at Cavalry Tank Museum, Ahmednagar.

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The Vijayanta main battle tank used by Indian Army till 2004.

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The M4 Sherman Tank. Was used in the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak War.

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A Pakistani M24 Chafee, captured during the Battle of Asal Uttar.

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A peep into the main gun of a M41 Walker Bulldog.

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Armoured vehicles on display at Cavalry Tank Museum, Ahmednagar.

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A British Matilda II of WW2.

Located in a huge area are about 50 different armoured vehicles. Some of the vehicles are in sorry state of preservation. The place had lots of trees which kept us cool from the afternoon sun and were the only visitors at the place. Spent close to 2hrs looking at these massive vehicles. A large number of vehicles are from the World War II period. The newer exhibits were in active service during the 1965 and the 1971 Indo-Pak wars. All exhibits still carry their distinguishing insignia, formation signs and names on the machines. There are also a couple of halls which houses memorabilia of all regiments of the Armoured Corps.

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Armoured vehicles on display at Cavalry Tank Museum, Ahmednagar.

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Numerous other tanks on display at the Cavalry Tank Museum, Ahmednagar.

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The PT-76 of the Indian Army saw action in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 and 1971.

By 2:30PM we are out of the museum and play with a cute parrot caged outside the museum which imitated whatever sounds we made. That was fun!! We then drive out of the museum into Ahmednagar town as it was getting late and we had to reach Kolhapur which is another 310kms from Ahmednagar.

Continued....
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Old 7th October 2010, 15:05   #87
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Default Recce into Maharashtra in Swift D!!!

Day 8 Continued....

We drive past Ahmednagar Railway Station and take left onto SH10 at the junction towards Daund before the bridge over the Railway Line. It’s now a 2 lane road with very minimal traffic. The road condition is average with occasional broken patches and potholes. One can safely maintain a speed of 60-80kmph on this road. The road was pretty deserted and has very few eateries. We stopped at a Dhaba and had a quick lunch. Lunch was tasty but little oily. Then we continued with our drive towards Daund. About 25kms before Daund we encounter bad road which makes progress slow. The road was dusty and riddled with potholes. Also spot a toll booth on this stretch collection toll which surprised me and angry too. I paid the toll and gave these guys a piece of my mind. Argued with these morons and mad them pull out the complaint register and filled in a lengthy complaint. Not sure whether these complaints are taken seriously that are logged.

Recce into Maharashtra in Swift D!!!-p1040612.jpg
Road towards Daund from Ahmednagar.

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Stretch closer to Daund.

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A bridge over river Bhima near Daund.

We continue our drive inside Daund and head towards Baramati which is about 25kms away. The road gets better only a little after Daund. We bypass Baramati town around 5:00PM and continue to drive towards Phaltan which is another 25kms away. The road is narrow and with occasional broken patches. Enter Phaltan town and it’s a little confusing to get onto the road towards Baramati. Ask our way around and get onto the highway towards Satara. Road is not all that great with not so smooth surface. It gets dark on the way and by the time we join NH4 at Satara it’s about 7:00PM.

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A burnt truck on the highway near Daund.

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Towards Baramati town.

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Rays of the sun in the evening, Baramati Town.

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Sunset after Phaltan town.

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Toll on NH4 towards Kolhapur.

Now it’s a smooth drive towards Kolhapur on NH4. Its pedal to the metal on NH4 and we reach Kolhapur a little before 9:00PM. Before heading to Hotel Opal which accommodation has been reserved, we head to Rankala Lake to have Bhel Puri. After having numerous plates of Kolhapuri Bhel and relaxing for sometime at the lake we head back to the hotel for 9:30PM. Check into the hotel by 9:30PM, keep the luggage in the room, freshen up and we have dinner at the restaurant. Good Kolhapuri Mutton again which was spicy and we drive out for Ice creams and return back to the hotel around 11:00PM.

Day 8 has been good. A good drive on the Aurangabad – Ahmednagar highway and then we had a peaceful darshan at Shri Shani Shingnapur. The Cavalry Tank Museum was worth visiting and looking at these huge battle tanks was good. Though most of these tanks are not maintained well, still I could see the interiors of some and the cramped seating inside these beasts. We saw the evolution of these Fighting machines occurred and how it has come a long way from the slow moving, bulky machines and has evolved into a sophisticated, lighter and faster battle tanks. The drive along the almost deserted SH10 was good except the bad stretches closer to Daund. Back to Kolhapur and the feeling of trip getting over is almost settling in. Tomorrow we head back to Bangalore after the Recce into Maharashtra.

Continued....
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Old 7th October 2010, 18:22   #88
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You went past Baramati and did not meet AP?
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Old 7th October 2010, 20:55   #89
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Quote:
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You went past Baramati and did not meet AP?
No amp.. I thought AP sir stays at Pune. Also had a really tight schedule..
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Old 7th October 2010, 22:06   #90
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Great pictures there DD. Whenever I drive to Pune, I mostly drive to Aurangabad as well but I honestly admit that you have now made me list these places which I must visit during my next trip. Never knew that there was a Cavalry Tank Museum in Ahmednagar but knew it was quite a strong defence center. I've heard of Bibi Ka Maqbara and always failed making a visit there due to my timelines.

I've always preferred driving very early mornings or post dinner on SH60 (Pune-Aurangabad or back) due to frequent small towns and villages that one needs to cross which is a pain. Adding to that, the are so many 2 wheelers riding haphazardly to irritate you. The traffic after Ahmednagar till Aurangabad is leaner when compared to Pune-Ahmednagar section anytime of the day/night.

Now I also realised that I can try the Baramati, Phaltan to reach Kolhapur without going to Pune (though I always knew there must be an easy option to reach but never tried).

The long queue at Taswade toll on NH4 is a never ending problem till it gets addressed.
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