Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Indiana Jones ride

3rd November:

Ride:Couldnt sleep previous night.Got up from bed and started at around 4:30.Went to ghatkopar and took the NH-3.NH-3 is really bad after outskirts of mumbai where it becomes two laner

Crossed kasara and clicked some pics at Igarpuri(Powerlines are all over the place and really hard to miss in pics)

Reached Nasik and stopped to eat misal pav for breakfast at a fast food joint.Followed it up with Idlis
Checked my watch.It was 10:00 and I was still in Nasik.

Picked up my Glossary Term: Bike

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and started speeding on NH-3.

On map there is a road which goes to aurangabad via malegoan and u have to go till Malegoan on NH-3.But just 2-3 Kms after nasik I saw a road sign which showed turn right for aurangabad.Obviously a shortcut but that meant going off a highway into small road I have never been on and did not know about.

There is a small statue of man playing drum on right side of NH-3 in Nasik and this is where you turn right.

Man playing drum(Pic taken after turning right)

I decided to try that road for a few kms and return back if it didnt work.A couple of kms into the road I saw signboard for aurangabad

I continued on the road and there were road signs which led me to aurangabad.Sometimes I stopped and asked locals for directions just to check.

Passed Niphad,Yeola,Vaijapur(take a left near ambedkar statue in Vaipur or ask locals ) and after shivoor this road joins the road coming from Malegoan.

U turn left and u reach ellora which comes 25-30 kms before aurangabad.
There are signboards for ellora turn.

Reached Ellora at 2:00 ish.A neat 340 kms from my home in mumbai.Checked in a Hotel Kailash(Recommended by lonely planet and seemed best place in ellora).It had rooms for 900 bucks onwards.I asked if there are any economy rooms.He replied we have a little arrangement for 400 bucks and he took me to small economy rooms.Okayish stuff and I decide to checkin.The manager tells me I can park my on side of room

No Hot water or TV for room of 400 bucks(Must be available in higher end rooms)

Day 1 Continued........

Having reached ellora and checking in at hotel I still had some time before sun-down and decided to check the caves(I would be visiting them in detail tomm)

Took a ticket(No ticket taken for still camera)

Went straight to Kailash Temple which is bang in front of ellora entance.

Abt Kailash temple *sigh*!!!!!!!!!Whats the big deal abt a temple...we got plenty f them in India.

Wait let me tell you something abt it.This temple ius atleast 1200-1300 years old.It took 150 years to build and 7000 workers worked here in shifts.This would give u some idea.Let me tell you something more...This temple is monolithic..its dug out from a single rock.

The work started from top and they started chipping away with primitive tools the had.The work progressed towards the bottom of the temple.

Can u imagine the whole structure build from a single rock???Let me tell you twice the size of parthenon in Greece.And its beautiful!!!

Ravana lifting kailash parvat with lord shiva dn parvati

IMHO this structure is the singlemost important building in India after Taj,maybe it even surpasses Taj .Jut that people dont know abt it and it hasnt been marketed.


Day 2...still at ellora:
Returned to caves in the morning hoping to find less rush.Posed for a few photographs.

The caves at ellora are mix of hindu,buddist and jain caves...all of them are beautiful.One worth a notable mention is the vishwakarmas cave(Cave No.10)
Its a prayer hall and the a 'AUM' chanted simply echos and reverberates beautifully.

Vishwakarmas cave(Carpenters cave or cave No.10):

Shiva crushing Ravana who has lifted Kailash parbat:


Day ajanta

Having finished seeing the caves ,i quickly hogged my meal and check out at approx 12:15 in noon and rode to ajanta.Ajanta is a good 115 kms away from Ellora.
Go to khultabad and there is a road which goes to Phulmabari and it straight away goes to Ajanta.Road is well marked in Devnagri and u shouldnt have any troubles reaching Ajanta.

On reaching ajanta caves I was stopped by security guard who told me to park my and go visit the caves.

AJANTA CAVES ARE CLOSED ON MONDAY . And tommorow was monday.
And they close at 5:30 pm every working day and it was already 2:00 noon.

I asked him abt hotels nearby.He said there was MTDC guest house right there at Ajanata(Charges Rs.1200 onwards) or I could go to their guest house on the same road at Fardhapur (1 Km away)...charges Rs.350 bucks.

I checked in at Fardhapur extension and trekked back for 1 kms to see ajanta caves.
It was almost 3:00 by now.So I had two and half hours to complete seeing all of them.

There is a MTDC bus from caves gate which takes you right till the caves(4 kms).
You arent allowed private vehicles insides caves complex unlike ellora.



Day 2...continued:

Cave No 1:Has a beautiful padmapani image shown.

There is a beautiful boddhisatva painting too

I skipped some non major caves due to lack of time.But again Cave No.24 is worth mention.

A sad thing to mention is their is some graffiti in cave no.16 and 'X loves Y' scratches on otherwise some beautiful stuff.

They wanted to be immortal.Of course these hooligans deserve to be in hall of shame.

Good thing is with these places being declared as heritage sites they are well protected as of today.

I completed my sightseeing by 5:30 and returned to my guest house:


Day 3:Towards Lonar crater
Started early to reach Lonar crater.
There is a buldhana road right at ajanta village which is at some distance from the caves
Took buldhana-chikli-mehekar-lonar road.Pretty much small state roads but well marked in devnagri.You can ask the locals and some simpletons present at every village chowk.

Once you cross lonar village(pretty big place) u can take a right turn to reach the crater which is a couple of kilometers away from the village.
I checked in the MTDC resort.
It has dorms at 150 bucks per bed and 700 bucks per room.I decided to go in for a room.
Pretty decent resort with a restaurant offering pretty good lunch and dinner

About Lonar crater:

Its a 1.8 kms in diameter and nearly 7 kms in crater circumference.It is caused by asteriod hit to the earth.If you have seen movies like 'Armageddon' ,'Deep Impact' you know what asteriod hit means.
Well this was a real event which happened 50000 years ago.
Asteriod hits are very common on earth with average interval a hit every 50 k years.That means we are very much due for the next one

Dont worry there is someone who keeps watching for them

The impact at Lonar was calculated at intensity of 6 MT bomb.To know what it means the hiroshima nuclear bomb was 0.015 MT bomb(15 kiloton bomb).
So it must have been quite a eventful day at lonar 50000 years ago

Day 3:contd..

when u see the lonar crater its clear something fell down from the sky.

I entered the crater post lunch.There are stairs from near the pwd resthouse.
Rather a steep descent.
There is a small trail which goes through the thick forest and the trail circumnavigates the crater.
U can see various birds and animals if you come at evening time.Obviously at 3:00 in the noon every creature apart from me was having a afternoon siesta.
Luckily spotted a mangoose and some peahens.No luck wid peacocks though.
The trail grew smaller after about half the way and obviously it hadnt been walked on for several weeks from the outgrowth of bushes.
The trail grew smaller

I decided to return to my guesthouse since the animals werent seen.
There was a power cut in my guesthouse from 6:00 pm to 9:15 pm after which
i had my dinner


Day four :

Nothing much to write about.
It was a harrowing 527 kms ride back home on mostly two laners.
I gotta cover 500 kms + so no fooling around kind of ride
Route taken was

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Find all the pics here:


Kunna said...

It was nice & interesting trip although I expected it to be a very boring one..

PS:Dude if you wanted to copyright ur pics..u should have put a bigger label right in the middle of the pic..rather than a small one at the bottom which can be cropped out easily :D

Anonymous said...

Hello Patil Sahib,
Was doing some research on Lonar and I stumbled on this. Nice.
Just wanted to say Thanks.