Sunday, December 09, 2007

The wonder of Ellora

This is a panoramic view of the Kailasa temple at Ellora. To take this picture you have to climb up a pagdandi and huff and puff your way up - not many visitors do. But the effort is worth it.

And all I could think, from up there, was wow! Which ancient genuises whittled down an entire mountain to create this... and how?? Much is said and written about the pyramids and the Taj Mahal. Those are amazing feats in engineering and architecture but at the end of the day they were built bottom up.

Which is difficult but not impossible.

How do you humble a mountain into submission with a mere hammer and chisel? Even if you have several hundred years at your disposal?? "Shayad unke paas chemicals thhe... to loosen the stone," was the explanation from one local. Phir bhi.

And all said and done, we've heard of Ajanta-Ellora but they just haven't got the hype they deserve. The Kailasa temple is a 'world heritage site' but how many of us living in Mumbai have visited it? Or plan to, in the near future? I for one experienced it for the very first time a couple of days ago. And not because I had planned a trip as a tourist.

Kuch aur kaam se gaye thhe - khaali time mila so sightseeing par nikal gaye. And I simply couldn't believe my ignorance. I mean I vaguely knew Ajanta mein paintings hain, but had little clue about Ellora. Maybe we read it in our history textbooks but I had long forgotten the details.

Despite it being December - peak season for tourism - there were not that many visitors. Among foreigners, mainly Japanese, all with guides and taking the tour in the most systematic way possible.

The Indians generally wandered from one cave to the next (there are 34 in all - Buddhist, Hindu and Jain). None of them had guides (the standard rate being a steep Rs 450 as against an entry ticket of Rs 10). And of course, the ASI or government or whoever is responsible has not bothered to even put up signs outside the caves, explaining their significance. "Ek number (first cave) par board laga hai... uske baad pata nahin, baaki chhod diya," shrugged one of the 'caretakers'.

These are the guys who take care to switch on a flashlight and point out sculptures to foreign tourists so they can take snapshots with fancy cameras, flash et al. Which is explicitly prohibited!

The one thing I must commend ASI or whoever is in charge for is the fact that the caves are very clean. No garbage lying around, no paan stains, no urine ki smell. I guess we Indians are pious but certainly vigilance also plays a role.

Speaking of Indian tourists sights like this one really pained me. This guy was typical of the bhartiya sightseeing party. The kind who go from cave to cave amusing themselves with how much 'echo' they could generate. There was a huge bunch of schoolkids also doing the same thing but you can forgive the bachchas. The glee of bunking school for 'picnic' is something we've all experienced. Although I am sure if someone took the trouble of bringing history alive for those kids, they would be most receptive.

Then again, it's the overall chalta hai attitude we have towards our own culture. And I am no one to point fingers. Just that I was overawed, not just by the sight but the energy that vibrates at this place. The ancient wisdom that went into its creation. And the devotion to a divine power which made it possible

I will be back one of these days (there was no time to visit Ajanta!) and I hope you guys put this on your must-see list as well. Wonder if National Geographic or Discovery have made a documentary feature on Ajanta-Ellora... would love to see it.

And finally, no piece about the attractions in and around Aurangabad would be complete without a mention of the 'non-attraction' - 'Bibi ka Maqbara' also known as the poor man's Taj Mahal. Built by Prince Azam Shah, son of Emperor Aurangzeb, in the late 17th century as a loving tribute to his mother.

It has none of the grandeur or the romance of the Taj. It's a soulless, bonsai version of the original - a futile and boring me-too!


  1. I was a child when i visitied ellora caves..was mesmerised by the sheer genious of the Sculptors.It was mind boggling to imagine that those guys had the skill and technology to chisle out a mountain into something that beautiful ....14 years since ...looks like nothing has changed...its sad ....the apathy remains ...

  2. Wow, that sounds awesome. The only thing that resembles this is the Lord of the Rings' Khazad-Dum, and that was in a fantasy book!

  3. I've left you something at The Reluctant Writer. Please collect it and don't forget to spread the goodwill!!!

  4. Yes! I have been there done that!
    I visited the Ellora caves in 2004 and how? - on a trip with an american colleague from my then company's california office who was visiting india for the first time. if it wasn't for her, i probably would've never "discovered" the marvel that is Ellora. I had exactly the same question - how can anyone possibly cut such huge structures entirely out of the mountain? its really awesome.

  5. Wow! I am at a loss of words here! Will go there for sure one day.

  6. I saw first India-related episode of "Lost Worlds" on History Channel last week. It was about... surprising as it may sound, Khajuraho.

    I guess Taj Mahal and Khajuraho are the only "ancient" monuments remaining in India now, right?

  7. Friends,
    Really enchanting & mesmorising experience to see the Kailash Temple of Ellora! One can observe the feelings of various emotions in those sculptrues, especially the numerous elephants, carrying the whole temple on their backs. Even the blood veins have been carved on the ears of some elephants.
    Nice pictures!

  8. saw this when i took a trip across maharasthra(mumbai-aurangabad-akola-nagpur) for 6 days on 500 Rs..:)
    this was one among the other highlights of the trip...
    left to pursue my MS in the sam land soon after...
    your post brought back the memories of that maharashtra trip...nice one...

  9. Now my next place to visit is going to be the Ajanta and Ellora caves :) Like you have said, i do vaguely remember paintings being their context, but now I think its high time i got down to seeing it!

  10. Thanks for sharing this: especially the great pics. I was considering visiting this place in the coming months. I heard there is some construction underway?

    Re: cleanliness, I heard the Japanese were collaborating on running this place (one of the many joint Govt. initiatives).

  11. Your article was very interesting to read. Got to know so many things. There is definitely a need to upgrade the maintenance facilities of the historical sites. Also people need to understand the significance of the heritage sites of the country. Only then, can we proudly showcase our heritage to people from other parts of the world. The Ajanta and the Ellora caves are treasures and must be protected from any harm due to negiligence or ignorance. Found more information on Ajanta Ellora on Ajanta Ellora

  12. I wonder why no body is coming out with the idea of audio-guides at the tourist locations in India? You can find audio-guides almost everywhere abroad. More on the topic at my blog space (

  13. Hmm..Seems like you have written my travel blog from a year back.Exactly the same trip. Exactaminto feeling on the Mini Taj.But i think its not the place but the We the tourist who make it boring too in someway. Ellora though is another thing altogether.Mesmerizing and breathtaking.Don't know if you seen the stone carvings and temples in Mahabalipuram near Chennai. You might find yourself wondering yet again "How do you tame a mountain?"
    Best of luck with the book.Happy new years.Cheerz

  14. Hi Rashmi,

    Completely agree with your comment on how many Mumbaites know about, much less visit these absolutely fantastic sites. In my opinion, the Kailasha temple at Ellora is the most impressive monument in India, far superior to the Taj. But then, I have not visited Konarak. I have captured my impressions of the place here.
    I had recommended these places to a colleague, and she came back completely in awe. You should visit Ajanta as well.

  15. Hi Rashmi I am an irregular reader of your blogs :)... but this blog about ellora and ajanta raelly caught my eye(i think its very late to say this).... amazing article and yes special thank to get the name of aurangabad on board.... i am a resident of Aurangabad and a regular visitor of these places.
    Anyways you did not mention the Daulatabad fort near Aurangabad... The noticeable thing about this fort is that it could never be conquered by anyone. If it has ever changed hands its because the ruler gifted it ot abandoned it. The security measures on the fort are a must see.. request u to visit the fort next time u visit aurangabad.

  16. Anonymous8:01 AM

    明星代言 明星经纪公司
    制动单元 铝壳电阻
    modern abstract art sofa manufacturer
    净水器 开水器 净水机 净水 软水机 软水 直饮机 家用净水 家用净水器 家用净水机 中央净水 中央净水器 水家装 水家电 水卫士 混合机
    过滤机 DHL快递 俄罗斯签证 回转支承 Laser marking
    保险箱 法兰 法兰标准
    polycarbonate sheet 回流焊 波峰焊
    压球机 注册上海公司 儿童摄影
    牛皮癣 皮肤病 制氮机
    食堂售餐机 校园一卡通
    学校一卡通 ic卡售饭机
    食堂售饭机 深圳一卡通
    广东售饭机 机电设备安装
    北京发票 代开发票
    餐饮发票 住宿发票
    网络电话 免费网络电话
    假发 补发
    织发 植发
    压滤机 板框压滤机
    蒸馏水机 纯蒸气发生器
    上海搬家公司 上海搬场公司
    大众搬家 大众搬场
    张家界旅游 香港旅游
    深圳旅行社 打包机
    收缩机 对讲机 电源模块
    售饭机 水控机 水控器
    萎缩性胃炎 neoprene laptop bags
    SEO优化 计量泵
    胃炎 胃病
    冷水机 冰水机
    北京特价机票 北京打折计票 北京国际机票
    北京机票预定 北京飞机票
    北京订机票 北京机票查询 饮料机械
    银杏 水培花卉 企业宣传片 空分设备
    化工泵 离心机
    电话交换机 程控交换机 集团电话 集装袋
    混合机 混合机
    混合机捏合机 捏合机
    捏合机导热油炉 导热油炉
    导热油炉 反应釜 反应釜
    反应釜 spherical roller bearing
    搬运车 搬运车 电动搬运车 油桶搬运车 堆高车 电动堆高车 半电动堆高车 堆垛车
    高空作业平台车 电动叉车 平衡重叉车 前移叉车 电瓶叉车
    韩国饰品批发 模块电源
    X架 超薄灯箱> 易拉宝 展柜制作
    代理服务器 游戏加速器 网络加速器
    网通加速器 电信加速器 电信网通转换器
    电信网通加速器 网通电信互转
    网通电信互通 网络游戏加速器
    美国VPN代理 美国独享VPN 美国独享IP
    pvc ceiling panel Spherical roller bearings
    安全鞋 劳保鞋 防砸鞋 电绝缘鞋 上海安全鞋 上海劳保鞋 江苏劳保鞋
    服装软件 服装管理软件 进销存软件
    进销存管理软件 服装管理系统 服装进销存软件
    进销存系统 进销存管理系统 免费进销存软件
    吉林中医 东北特产
    阳痿 阴茎短小 阴茎增大
    早泄 前列腺炎 阴茎增粗 阴茎延长
    国际机票 上海国际机票
    国际特价机票 国际打折机票
    砂磨机 砂磨机
    砂磨机 卧式砂磨机
    卧式砂磨机 卧式砂磨机
    三辊研磨机 三辊研磨机
    三辊研磨机 混合机 混合机
    混合机 锥形混合机 锥形混合机 锥形混合机 行星动力混合机 行星动力混合机 行星动力混合机 无重力混合机 无重力混合机 无重力混合机
    干粉砂浆设备 干粉砂浆设备
    干粉砂浆设备 捏合机 捏合机 捏合机 导热油炉 导热油炉 导热油炉 反应釜 反应釜 反应釜 搪玻璃反应釜 搪玻璃反应釜 搪玻璃反应釜
    乳化机 涂料设备 干混砂浆设备 无重力混合机 胶体磨 涂料成套设备 双螺旋混合机
    北京婚庆 北京婚庆公司
    办证 呼吸机 制氧机
    亚都 亚都加湿器 亚都净化器
    饰品批发 小饰品批发 韩国饰品 韩国饰品批发 premature ejaculation penis enlargement
    安利产品 马来西亚留学
    网站优化 网站推广
    论文代写 代写论文
    拖链 防护罩 排屑机 塑料拖链 钢铝拖链
    深圳装饰 深圳装饰公司 深圳装修公司
    特价机票 打折机票 国际机票
    新风换气机 换气机 立式新风换气机 风机箱 新风系统 能量回收机
    搅拌机 混合机 乳化机
    毛刷 毛刷辊 工业毛刷 刷子 钢丝刷
    涂层测厚仪 硬度计
    兆欧表 激光测距仪
    测振仪 转速表
    温湿度计 风速仪
    噪音计 红外测温仪
    硬度计 万用表
    美容院 美容加盟
    澳洲留学 澳大利亚留学
    酒店预定 北京酒店预定 北京酒店
    nail equipment nail products nail product nail uv lamp nail uv lamp nail uv lamps uv nail lamp nail brush
    nail file nail tool nail tip nail gel curing uv lamps lights
    万用表 风速仪
    红外测温仪 噪音计
    苗木价格 苗木信息 标牌制作 深圳标牌 北京儿童摄影 防静电鞋 淘宝刷信誉
    威海凤凰湖 威海海景房 大庆密封件
    打标机 淘宝刷信誉 TESOL/TEFL国际英语教师证书 英语教师进修及培训 北京快递公司 北京国际快递

  17. Anonymous6:51 PM


    套国际会议同传服务,深圳翻译公司,专业深圳英语翻译 深圳日语翻译深圳法语翻译

  18. Anonymous7:43 PM


    套国际会议同传服务,深圳翻译公司,专业深圳英语翻译 深圳日语翻译深圳法语翻译

  19. 导热油炉吴桥县导热油炉锅有限责任公司是全国最大的生产导热油炉生产基地之一,公司主要生产各种导热油炉锅,熔盐炉, 转盘轴承,管式加热炉,蒸汽发生器,一二类压力容器.徐州回转支承 公司提供转盘轴承 --slewing ring slewing bearing slewing bearings服务. automation-industrial-industrial automation-slewing bearingslewing bearings

  20. Anonymous10:22 AM

    ^^ nice blog!! ^@^

    徵信, 徵信網, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 感情挽回, 婚姻挽回, 挽回婚姻, 挽回感情, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信, 捉姦, 徵信公司, 通姦, 通姦罪, 抓姦, 抓猴, 捉猴, 捉姦, 監聽, 調查跟蹤, 反跟蹤, 外遇問題, 徵信, 捉姦, 女人徵信, 女子徵信, 外遇問題, 女子徵信, 徵信社, 外遇, 徵信公司, 徵信網, 外遇蒐證, 抓姦, 抓猴, 捉猴, 調查跟蹤, 反跟蹤, 感情挽回, 挽回感情, 婚姻挽回, 挽回婚姻, 外遇沖開, 抓姦, 女子徵信, 外遇蒐證, 外遇, 通姦, 通姦罪, 贍養費, 徵信, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信公司, 女人徵信, 外遇

    徵信, 徵信網, 徵信社, 徵信網, 外遇, 徵信, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信, 女人徵信, 徵信社, 女人徵信社, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 女人徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信,

    徵信, 徵信社,徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 外遇, 抓姦, 離婚, 外遇,離婚,

    徵信, 外遇, 離婚, 徵信社, 徵信, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 外遇, 徵信社, 徵信, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信社, 征信, 征信, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 征信, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信,

  21. Anonymous2:33 PM

    活得真累,有些时候我们会禁不住的这样感叹,那些不顺心的日子,我们也总感觉活 wow gold 得真烦。在寻找了千百种理由之后,当我蓦然回首曾经走过的那些岁月,我惊然的发现,其实生活赐予我的,并没 wow power leveling 有与别人有什么的不同,呈现在我视野里的生活,每个人其实都一样,不同的仅仅是我们的胸襟中缺少一份“坦然”。   当看见那些假日的钓鱼者,一大早的出门,在夕阳下却拎着空空的鱼篓回家时,一路上却留下欢声笑语。

      当看见那些早出晚归的农民,在晚霞的辉映下回家时,那张写满疲倦的脸上 wow gold 却洋溢着朝霞一样的笑容。


      突然想起来这样的一句话“天空留不下我的痕迹,但我已飞过”其 wow power leveling 实,这不就是对坦然最好的诠释。


      我坦然,于是我心美丽!我心 replica rolex 美丽,于是人生跟着美丽。


      坦然,其实就是平淡中的一份自信!坦然 wow power level 是一份快乐!是一种潇洒!


      生活里许多的人,我们是捉摸不定的,甚至 power leveling 防不胜防。但,我们不必去计较,更不必去埋怨,我们唯一做的是,当我们必须去面对他们的时候,同样的奉上我们的真心。以君子之心度小人之怀,那不正显示我们的博大的胸襟吗?

      我曾经爱过也哭过,曾经功成名就过,也 rolex replica 曾失败没落过。但,当我回首这一切的时候,我仍然感到骄傲,因为:我曾勇敢地面对了这一切,且光明而磊落!

      假如生活给我们的只是一次又 lotro gold 一次的挫折,一次又一次的失败,其实,这也没什么的,因为那只是命运剥夺了我们活的高贵的权利,但并没有夺走我们活的快乐和自由的权利。

      没有蓝天的蔚蓝,我们 rolex 可以有白云的飘逸。


      没有草原的芬芳,我们可以 power leveling 有小草的青翠。


      坦然,会让我们的生 rs gold 活美丽而快乐!


Disqus for Youth Curry - Insight on Indian Youth