"Wild Camping" Mandu Madhya Pradesh

Trip Start Dec 02, 2012
Trip End Mar 03, 2013

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Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Thursday, January 3, 2013

January 3rd 2013. Day 26

Driving through a small village on our way to our campsite, an Indian truck tried to squeeze past the Dragoman truck on a very narrow street taking the back mudguard, tail light and ripping a small hole in the metal. The noise was a continuous crunch and screech. The driver of the Indian truck got out and ran away into the crowd of onlookers causing chaos and a traffic jam.
We eventually reached our campsite set on a deserted hilltop and managed to pitch our tents just before dark. Andrew and Joel patched the truck. We attracted some of locals who came to 'stare'. I guess we were a strange sight. We took Rafeek, a local cook with us from Udaipur and he served up a delicious curry for us to eat by the campfire. It was a restless night for some, Tessa got up sometime during the night and came sprinting back to her tent at 100km/hr saying she was being chased by a strange creature which people think could have been a Mongoose. The wild dogs kept us company howling all night and I'm sure one parked itself beside our tent.

January Friday 4th 2013 Day 27
"Flappy" our beautiful little Indie Chick passed away during the night. We are all pretty devastated to hear that sad news. Amanda gives Flappy a Hindu burial and she lies now in the countryside at the site of an old monument on a hill. We will miss her happy little chirping in the truck but she had a good life for a little Indian chicken even if it was short, like she was well travelled, visited lots of places of importance, she even had a boat ride smuggled in Tanya's camera case.

Mandu - Home to some of India's examples of Afghan architecture. The area is scattered with palaces, tombs, monuments and mosques 500 yrs old.
The Ship Palace is the most famous building. One of the Afghan chieftains apparently had a harem of 15,000 maidens.
We had a great campsite on our 2nd night of 'wild camping' overlooking a large lagoon and farmland. It was a fairly isolated area apart from a few villagers and their buffaloes. We were entertained by Amanda giving the boys a Mohawk haircut. Once again Rafeek managed to dish up a variety of yummy curry dishes for dinner. We leave early and drive to Ajanta to explore the caves.
The Ajanta rock cut Buddhist caves were awesome. Dating back to the 2nd C BC to the 5thC AD. The Caves are set in a deep Gorge and have been well preserved due to their isolation.
There are about 30 caves containing a wealth of art and architecture. The frescoes in some of the caves are said to be amongst the greatest achievements of Indian artists.

Sun 6th Jan Day 29

Ellora (Maharashtra)
112 million people live in the state of Maharashtra.
We visit the Heritage, Archaeological and cultural site at Ellora which is famous for its 34 rock cut temples that represent the Buddhist,Jain and Brahmanic faiths. These caves were built in 1300 AD. The Kaliasa temple (no 16), the abode of Lord Shiva was carved out of a single rock and is believed to be the most gigantic monolithic rock cut Temple in the world. It took 7000 workers and 150 yrs to build. Bryan was so moved by his experience in the Temple that he sang out aloud a beautiful rendition of 'Daughters' by John Mayer.
Our accomodation was motel style also called the 'kaliasa'. Some of us spent the afternoon playing cards and drinking Indian wine and beer while 'others' partied on till late. Clive was the dance Queen, Molly does a great Cartwheel taking out her thumb and Joel after much cajoling does an awesome performance of the Hakka. Our so called cheese platter turned out to be a cheese sandwich so we settled for a platter of mixed pakoras instead.
Have a 5.30am start for Mumbai tomorrow.
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Bec on

RIP Flappy xx

Bilbo Bailey on

Great journal margo. How can you not hate/love India both at the same time. I can see all the little children curled up at your & Tony's feet as you regale them with all the wonderful stories you must surely have.
happy trails Bilbo ( with a b)

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