Ajanta Caves – short story, more photos

We arrived in Aurangabad in the late night. Our bus was delayed for 3 hours and every hotel we were walking in was fully booked. We checked over 20 hotels and were knackered. The only hotel that was able to offer a room was 2-3 times more expensive than places we used to stay. Receptionist was too proffesional, after a midnight we had to fill all forms, he took pictures of us, copies of every document we had. Forms that we could fill faster than him he wanted to do it by himself. It it was the part of his job and there was no argue about that. Whoever does check-in in the hotel has to fill the forms, but why that many?! It was first time and after such a long day….

We wanted to do some sightseeing in Ajanta Caves without other tourists so woke up at 5am and took a bus. We saw pictures of the place and couldn’t wait to see it. Ajanta Caves are cut into the side of the cliff that is on the south side of a U-shaped gorge on a small river Waghur. It looks like a canyon. Very unique place. We regreted we didn’t see it in the monsoon time as river was a little bit dry and there was no waterfall flowing in between caves and crossing the path, but it was worth to see it anyway. Here is the plan of Caves:

Ajanta Caves map
Ajanta Caves map

 

30 caves was rock-cut by buddhist monks between 2nd century B.C. and 7th century A.D. – exact date is not known. Inside there are buddhist monasteries or colleges. Ajanta Caves are on UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites.

Caves from outside:

 

All caves are adorned with sculptures, reliefs or sacred murals that survived in very good condition by these days.

The area was previously abandoned and heavily forested, and after the site ceased to be used the caves were covered by jungle until accidentaly rediscovered in 1819 by a British officer while hunting on a tiger. He saw an entrance to cave no.10 and since then the world can admire a buddhist masterpiece.
Here is more pics from inside (with DC in the first plan 🙂 ) :

 

 

We were very excited we could see it, but after a couple of hours exploring the place we had to come back to our hotel and then go straight to the train station. When train arrived we had only one minute to find our car and sitting place. It was a challenge for us as trains are way longer than trains we saw anywhere in Europe. We managed to find our sits, but were taken obviously. Anna was going to tell off the guy who took our space, but it turned out it was a Spanish guy we met in Hampi, Xabi! Funny meeting 500 miles from Hampi, couple of days later and somewhere in random place in India and we had sits next to each other. It was nice to sit with someone who we knew and talk. We shared our travelling experience and learned a lot as Xabi was travelling for years in countries we were going to visit.

The next day in the morning we woke up in Agra. Great!