Trip Start Jun 25, 2013
63Trip End Dec 25, 2013
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If I was a kind and considerate individual I would maybe take into account the feelings of Mr Evans whilst writing this update. Richard has been on about seeing the caves at Ellora and Adjunta for years now and I have to say it was more his thing not mine. If I was a nice bloke I would then just gloss over this visit and maybe say that the caves were okay but nothing special.
Best you pop to the kitchen chap and make yourself a nice cup of tea!
I arrived at Ellora and my accommodation found me - as expected - as soon as I pulled up at the entrance. The 'plan' was to ditch my kit in a local hotel then go walkabout but this changed ever so slightly after meeting Sadeek. What a top man and what a top home stay. It was off the beaten track and in UK terms would be seen as riding through a slum to get there. This, in my opinion, isn't fair because it was a semi rural setting with tick a long people just getting by. This is much more my thing than 5* silliness where people do everything for you. If you travel the world and stay in these sort of places you learn nothing about the locals but I guess your toilet roll gets folded nicely into a point. It's a bloody toilet roll!!!!! Why does it need to be in a point?
Anyway, rant #1747 done and back to the caves.
Ellora - 1st impressions - WOW
2nd impressions - THAT'S FANBLOODYTASTIC
3rd impression - SPEECHLESS (hard to believe I know)
The caves date from about 600AD and to think they were all carved by hand and in such exquisite detail is truly staggering. No matter how much I waffle on about them will not do them justice. A staggeringly beautiful place to visit and one that will live with me for a long long time. There are 34 rock cut caves in total and all are beautiful but the Kailsa Temple (cave 16) just took my breath away. I can't truly describe how in awe I felt just sat trying to take it all in.
Mid way through my afternoon walk around the site I stopped at their tourist canteen and had a beer before heading up on top to peer down into the temple. It was terribly civilised to be sat viewing such incredible rock - cut architecture with a cooling beer in hand - perfect!
The day was perfect and I had some good company during the walk around the 2km site and also met up with some Americans in the evening for some beer and laughter. A top evening and regards to you all - a good day indeed.
After a good sleep I left Ellora just before 8 and rode towards Adjunta. I saw a small non descript sign directing to a viewpoint some 20kms from Adjunta. The sign wasn't repeated again but after about 10kms I stumbled upon the location, parked up, and walked towards the edge. It felt reminiscent of the first time I approached the edge of the grand canyon and I had a slightly nervous feeling building up inside me. The view of Adjunta was fantastic and much much better than I could ever imagine. I remained there some time before riding off to Adjunta town where I met up with a friend of Sadeek. Having left my gear at this hotel I then went off to explore the caves. Stunning stunning stunning. The caves here date from 200BC and were rediscovered by a British tiger hunting party in 1819. The artwork in some of the caves is incredible.
I wandered around the site for hours and hopefully the photos will show how truly spectacular both locations are. I'm sure a Google search will provide much more detail if you'd like to know more.
As for you Mr Evans, a museum has recently opened 4kms away and in 2 - 3 years some of the caves will be closed to the public to help preserve the artwork. The museum will have accurate and detailed exhibits and reproductions of some of the more fragile paintings. So, in a nutshell, crack on if you would like to see them as they currently are.
As for my ongoing trip - the more intelligent of you will notice that my map point today is West and not the planned north towards Delhi. My reasoning behind this, and my bad sense of direction is that I'm hoping to head west over towards the Pakistan border and explore the Rann Kachchh area before hopefully a night or two in the desert area of Rajasthan.
Today was quite a big mileage day and all was going well until a minor mechanical mishap with the mighty impulse. To be fair, it was really hot and the bike had been running over some terrible roads for hours and so decided to lose its spark in the middle of nowhere and have a little napette. Fortunately, there was a little shack nearby and a couple of guys who loaned me a spanner or two. After some fiddling and chai all again was ticketyboo - don't you just love electrical problems! Here's hoping it doesn't happen again but sods law says it'll be whilst in the desert or remote West of gurjarat.
So, to recap - a few fantastic days indeed - India is GREAT!