A trip to Ellora caves

Of late, I have started enjoying making conversations with strangers – mostly Uber drivers. Maybe it has got to do with the fact that I am living in a new city, and that I use Uber a lot to commute to office these days.

Since I knew that my stay in this city would be temporary, I had got myself a used scooter that I thought would suffice for my daily commutes to office. But like the impulsive shopper that I am, I hadn’t put a lot of thought into this transaction as well.

The scooter did well for a few weeks. But as days went by, the scooter started producing rattling noises from all sides, and soon my passage was akin to a marching band. Children would come out to watch me drive through, and I would wave to them. Occasionally some parts fell out of the scooter too as I was riding. Soon I realized that:

  • I could ride faster since my scooter was getting lighter
  • I would never get lost since I could find my way home by following the trail of nuts and bolts that my scooter had left behind
  • My scooter was built with a lot of extra components that really weren’t required, and above all,
  • It was time I gave away my scooter

The chai-wallah near my home had shown keen interest in my scooter and had asked me whether I would be willing to sell my scooter to him when I left Pune. I thought this would be a good time to strike a deal with him, which I did. I did not do a monetary transaction. Instead, I gave my scooter to him in exchange of free teas from his shop. He was overjoyed.

Post the deal, I had to rely on Uber for my office commutes. And it was during one of these trips that I met Bakshi (not his real name of course – I changed it to protect his identity. Brilliant me). Bakshi was telling me about his recent trips and mentioned about Ellora, which spiked my interest in the conversation. I had marked down Ellora as one of the places I wanted to visit before I left Pune, given its proximity to Pune.

I asked him if he would take me there over the weekend, which he agreed. So off we went, to the famous Ellora caves in Aurangabad.

Here are the snaps from my trip to Ellora. If you would like to explore the caves from the comforts of your home, you can do so by going here: http://elloracaves.org/about.php

Cave #10 – Most famous of the Buddhist caves. Also known as ‘Carpenter’s Cave’.

It was drizzling. The rock was slippery. Like many, I too am scared of heights; my legs were trembling. Yet I risked my life and took this snap. For you! (A bit overdramatic there eh.. :)). This is Cave #16 – Kailasa temple. It is a single rocked carved in that shape!

They came, they saw, and they took a selfie.

Cave #16 – If you haven’t read Mahabharata, worry not. Just decipher the carvings here. A carved panel depicting the story of Mahabharata.

I dont really know what this carving means, but looks to me like a person dusting himself; maybe implying the significance of keeping oneself clean. I think he is also shown wearing a fitness tracker; signifying the importance of health.

Room with a view: A view from Cave #29. This must have been a premium room back then.

Cave #32 – ‘An excellent amalgamation of Dravidian and Buddhist architecture styles’, says the literature I got from there. Well, I agree.

Inside the Kailasa cave

Monkey gate: Had great fun watching the monkeys outside the caves. Here’s a li’l fella admiring his banana.


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