Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Travel Diary: Ellora Caves, Aurangabad & Some Travel Tips.


I spent a part of my birthday exploring the caves at Ellora. 
This place had been on my travel wish list for absolute ages. 
To see these marvels of art and history up close and personal. I was especially curious to see these caves after I saw the Feluda film Kailashe Kelenkari, where Feluda, Topshe and Lalmohan Babu fight smugglers who are looting Indian artefacts. 
A fun film and a little travel diary in itself. 

We, my parents and I, spent close to an hour and a half exploring the caves and taking pictures and generally marvelling at it all. 
I just can't wrap my mind around the fact the a group of people made all of this out of nothing. Carving away and chipping away rock to make this. 


1.  Wear comfy shoes at all cost. Lace up keds/sneakers if possible. There is a fair amount of walking involved and steep stairs and hard rock bed to walk on, trendy footwear will not cut it. Wear shoes you can slip out of, if needed, there is an active Shiva Temple and you are required to take off your footwear to enter. 

2. Carry ample amounts of water. There is no source of drinking water inside the caves (as far as I could see), so make sure you have enough water to hydrate. 

3. Go as early as you can. The sun is pretty strong and can get very warm as the day progresses. I went here in February and by noon it was quite hot. 

4. November to February is the best time to visit. Aurangabad can get very hot. 

5. There is a lot to see so I'd recommend you take a few breaks and find a shady spot to rest and get off your feet and hydrate. 

6. Wear a ton of sunscreen. Your skin will thank you later. 

7. A backpack will come in handy versus a handbag. I carried my Kanken and it was so good to have my handsfree to click pictures. Ellora is very photography friendly- to take in a regular camera costs nothing, but you need to pay some amount for a video camera. 

8. The Ellora caves are about 30 kilometres away from the city of Aurangabad and on the way there is the Daulatabad/ Devgiri Fort. So, if you want to make a day of it, you can hire a car or find a suitable tourist bus that can take you to both places. But, do bear in mind that both places involve a lot of walking and Daulatabad Fort has around 750 steps that one needs to climb to get to the fort. 

9. There is an MTDC restaurant inside the Ellora complex and you can stop there for some refreshing drinks (like we did) or even lunch (we didn't have lunch there). There is also Hotel Kailash right outside the Ellora gates and if you want to spend more than a day in the vicinity of the caves.

10. Ellora is fairly differently-abled friendly (given it is a historical site and the sculptures sit inside a centuries old cave) and there are even wheelchairs for hire and ramps leading up to several caves. However, the rates are not consistent and you need to haggle a bit to get a fair price. 

Hope this was helpful. Ellora is truly a magnificent part of our history and if you find yourself in Aurangabad, do spend some time marvelling at these stories set in stone. 

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