It was a Monday morning when I woke and saw an Atlas laying on my table. I pulled the chair making myself comfortable I opened the Atlas randomly and saw a small paragraph written about Ajanta, Ellora and the City of Aurangabad. I got a thought! Why not visit the place some weekend! In an excited manner i pitched this idea to my friend. With a dicy yes he agreed but little did we know that it was actually gonna work. After a a couple of days of planning Friday morning, we boarded the train to Aurangabad!
About Aurangabad, it has been an important city since the Mughal empire. It is famously known for its cotton textiles and the Paithani sarees. We were quite often asked why Aurangabad? Well, here we were to find an answer to it! On reaching, we checked into our hostel, took our shoulder bags and headed out to tour.
Aurangabad caves. A not so popular spot 5 min away from the city is a series of caves dug around the 7th to 8th Century sharing similarities from the Buddhist caves at Ellora. It has a wonderful view of the City and the caves are small yet interesting. The one with the stupa intrigued me the most. The rock around the caves has a really interesting texture and colour to it. (P.S: There is an entry fee and Uber Auto is an economical and a convenient option)
The stupa at Aurangabad caves
We made sure we reached Bibi ka Makbara before the sunset! Just a 5 min rickshaw ride from the caves was the very look alike of the Taj Mahal...just a slender version of it though. The structure and the surroundings are just the way the Taj Mahal is but on a small scale. The structure does need some restoration but still manages to astonish. The makbara is actually a tomb commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in memory of his first wife. It surely has the intricate designs and the amazing Mughal architecture. The best time to visit is during or around sunset. After a couple of hours, we headed back to the hostel with a hungry tag. While in the hostel, we connected with some Aussies and backpackers from around the world. We ended up playing cards and having pizzas sharing some experiences, culture talks, food, professional lives, lifestyle etc.
Bibi ka Makbara
The next day, we continued our journey to Ellora. I have written a blog on Ellora. Click here to read which talks in particular to the place.
After completing Ellora, we had another new friend who was a backpacker too joined us while at the caves. We stopped at the Daulatabad fort also known as the Devgiri fort by the locals was ruled by a Sultan who named it Daulatabad. Talking about the fort, it looks just like another fort but on the inside it has a number of secret passages and Mazes built specifically for prisoners for them to get lost in the maze and might end up in the deep valley or never find a way out! It is a pretty famous tourist spot en-route Ellora from Aurangabad City. A must checkout place!
On returning to the hotel, we joined the same backpacking group to a local Biryani restaurant. It was a different experience to watch the foreigners slogging their way understanding the flavour and using their hands to eat! We talked about how they have been traveling around India experiences things and cultures. When back in hotel, my friend and I sat and had this conversation about things around were so unknown to us but the way things went, the city, the people around us made it feel like home because it was something we had never experienced. At a point we just stopped talking and kept processing the events and could actually feel there is so much more to experience and learn about.
The next morning, we were already on the train returning to Mumbai but on the way we realised we had no expectations of how the place is gonna be but it turned out to be the most memorable one! The places we visited, the food, people and their experiences got us obsessed to the idea of traveling. You actually never know what experience is gonna come your way. All you have to do is not anticipate...
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.