Shirdi To Aurangabad.
- Started off late, at around 8 am. Road is just average, with several very bad patches.
- Stopped for breakfast near Vaijapur. Browsed internet to see what to do at Aurangabad. Figured out there’s plenty to do at Ellora. So plan to stay at Ellora.
- Very small town. 4-5 lodges. Prices vary 300 to 1200 per night.
Ellora Caves (they are rock cut temples. i wonder why they are called caves)
- There are 34 caves in total. Main entry at cave no. 16 which is by far the best cave and dedicated to lord Shiva.
- Cave 1-12 are Buddhist temples. 13 – 29 are devoted to Hindu deities. And the last 30 – 34 are Jain caves.
- It takes around 3-4 hours if you spend good time in each cave. But for me, 34 caves were a little too much. Got bored quickly.
- The best parts are – waterfall near cave group 1-5, cave 10 or chandrashala, cave 16 or kailasnath, cave 32.
- One of the 12 Jyotirling. Perhaps the last one too (was made in 19th century).
- Also, perhaps the quietest jyotirling too. We visited the temple around 7.30 in evening (not a great time, I know) and there were 5 visitors & 5 pujairs overall.
- One of those temples, where men have to take their shirt off while entering the Gopuram or main shrine.
- Peaceful. I liked it.
Bhadra Maruti Temple
- Temple dedicated to Hanuman ji. Interesting folklore associated with it. Read more here
- They have a pretty big Bhatnivas. Good rooms (with balcony) available for 200 bucks per night. Also Prasad bhojan (meals) for 25 bucks per person.
- This was an accidental finding on google maps, and later became the only reason to extend our stay here.
- This is 15 km from ellora caves, 12 km from Khuldabad & around 35km from Aurangabad. But the road is very bad (level Leh in a couple of patches)
- Its a plateau with a very small village on the end of the road. But the plateau is beautiful. The views, both, of plateau & of the endless fields in the valley can keep you captivated for hours.
- Sunset & sunrise are both spectacular.
- This place has 3 important Darghas. Haven’t visited them yet. Might update in next post.
- Aurangzeb really liked this place. So much so that he changed the name of the town Ratnapur to Khuldabad which means Paradise (I am not sure about this though as wiki & local stories diverge on this topic), and wished to be buried here after death.
- But the tomb is not very impressive, something you won’t expect from a ruler of his stature.
Bibi ka Makbara
- Visited during noon. Was much less crowded than I expected.
- It’s big, beautiful & impressive. But its a copy. And copies are never great. If you have seen Taj Mahal, you won’t know what to appreciate here.
- I liked the fact that I could see the main tomb here. Visitors had thrown loads of coins, notes & even tickets on the tomb even though the board outside prohibits to do so. What can I say, people just like to throw stuff here.
- The overall experience was beautiful & peaceful. I was earlier thinking to skip this monument. But glad I didn’t.
- 4 caves. Nothing better than Ellora caves. I could be bad at appreciating things, but I just didn’t like visiting this place. It was a sort of rewind.
- You get a good view of Aurangabad from here.
- City with rich history always has good food to offer. I had done some research and decided to try out Naan khaliya at Bury Lane.
- Budy lane is mini Md Ali Road or Jama Masjid. Foodies know what I mean by this.
- I went to Great Sagar Restaurant after reading a lot of reviews. Most reviews said, great food, rude staff. Now, rude staff generally doesn’t bother me, but here things are at new level. Long story short, staff is rude here, but owner isn’t. He arranged great food for me. And I loved every last bit of it.
- Couldn’t visit (poor time management)
- Looked great from the road. Got whatever pics I could manage from there.