It was 18th day of November, 2017.
We all need a reason to do something and finally we got one to have a trip. Thanks Fredrik, for being here and making this trip special for us.
Well, heavy workload, lots of meetings, urgent deliveries, deadlines makes our life what it is. In this routine, weekends are like power boosters. And this weekend became something special. 18.11.2017, Saturday, this was a day to execute plan that we were working on during week. A trip. With our guest, we wanted to make this trip and this trip needs to be special and memorable for him as well.
3:35 AM : A bag on shoulder, a bike and an empty rode. A small bike ride, early (really early) in the morning. That was just for few kilometers and then there was a car ready for our trip.
We started from Pune around 4:20 AM towards Ellora caves. Distance from Pune is around 250 km. Route was like Pune-Ahmednagar-Aurangabad-Ellora (Varul). Sun was rising up from horizon and made clouds look even more beautiful.
A tea, Sugarcane farm, finding breakfast on the way, everything was adventure. Almost 5 hours drive, and we reached. We reached Ellora, UNESCO World Heritage Site.
10:30 AM to 06:00 PM :
Amazing and unimaginable sculptures, breath-taking architecture was now in front of our eyes. We were in awe. There are total 34 caves here open to public. These consist of 12 Buddhist (caves 1–12), 17 Hindu (caves 13–29) and 5 Jain (caves 30–34) caves. They were built during 6th to 8th century.
The Kailasha temple :
The Kailasha temple, inspired by Mount Kailasha, is dedicated to lord Shiva. Cave number 16, The Kailasha temple is one of the largest rock-cut ancient Hindu temples located in Ellora. A megalith carved out of one single rock, it is considered one of the most remarkable cave temples in India because of its size, architecture and sculptural treatment. The Kailasha Temple is notable for its vertical excavation. Carvers started at the top of the original rock and excavated downward.
Here are some photos of this magnificent place.
Caves 1-12 – The Buddhist monuments :
These caves are located on the southern side. It was initially thought that the Buddhist caves were the earliest structures that were created between the fifth and eighth centuries, with caves 1-5 in the first phase and 6-12 in the later phase , but modern scholarship now considers the construction of Hindu caves to have been before the Buddhist caves. Caves 5, 10, 11 and 12 are architecturally important Buddhist caves. Cave 5 is unique among the Ellora caves as it was designed as a hall with a pair of parallel refectory benches in the center and a Buddha statue in the rear.
Here are some photos of caves 1-12.
Caves 13-29 – The Hindu monuments :
The Hindu caves were constructed from the mid 6th century to the end of the 8th century in two phases. Nine cave temples were excavated early in the 6th century, followed by a further four caves (caves 17–29).
We have only visited cave number 16, The Kailasha temple. It is modeled along similar lines to other Hindu temples with a gateway, an assembly hall, a multi-storey main temple surrounded by numerous shrines laid out according to the square principle, an integrated space for circumambulation, a garbha-grihya (sanctum sanctorum) wherein resides the linga-yoni, and a spire shaped like Mount Kailash – all carved from one rock.
It is literally breath-taking architecture. Personally, the best among all caves. That’s why I have described this temple with photos in earlier stage of this post.
Caves 30-34 – The Jain monuments :
At the north end of Ellora are the five Jain which were excavated in the ninth and early tenth centuries. These caves are smaller than the Buddhist and Hindu caves but nonetheless feature highly detailed carvings.
Here are some photos.
6:30 PM :
We again started our journey towards Aurangabad. It was daylinht and we wanted to utilize it properly. We went to visit Bibi Ka Maqbara.(Tomb of the Lady). The effort given to build the “Mini Taj Mahal” at Aurangabad is somehow fulfilled. The space for the “build up” area is less than the original Taj Mahal in Agra. However, this is also a tourist place.
8:20 PM :
We started for Pune. Rushing to find way in heavy traffic of Aurangabad. I was there in that car with all my seniors from office, but seniority wasn’t there in that car. All were friends. From a developer to project manager. An unspoken connection was there. And we played Antakshari! and this was for more than 6 hours. All old, new songs, Swedish songs as well. I won’t forget this day for my life. Memories actually last for lifetime. We took dinner break midway and reached Pune. At 2:00 AM we all reached our home and the wonderful day ended here.