Hotel Panchavati

Station Road, nr Youth Hostel, Aurangabad, 431 005, India
Hotel Panchavati
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Travel Tips for Aurangabad

Ajanta Entrance

by SirRichard

You have to pay 10 US$ to see the Ajanta Caves. At the entrance there are many locals who offer you their services as guides. All that they can tell you is really on any guide book, but as you have to leave your shoes outside while visiting the caves, I took advantage of my guide leaving him outside waiting for me with my heavy rucksack while I comfortably visited the caves. I feel a bit “guilty and colonialist” when I remember using him as a butler, but he was happy because of the tip, and I was happy because of the help, so…

Monsoon landscape

by SirRichard

I was lucky enough to see the caves during the wet season, so the landscape was green and abundant. But I saw pics of the same landscape in winter (dry season) and the colours around were all brown and sienna, the trees were almost dry as well as the river below.
By the shore of that river, many locals come on weekends for picnics and daytrips too.

The Pan Chakki

by Paul2001

Aurangabad actually has only a few attractions within the city that are worth the effort to visit. One of them is the Pan Chakki. This is a cleverly designed watermill that dates from the 17th century. The mill was used to grind flour by way of the elaborately constructed mill. It was the creation of Malik Ambar, a Sufi saint who is entombed on the grounds of the watermill. The mill is a tranquil place but it is hardly remarkable. I would only visit it if like me you had lots of time to kill while in Aurangabad.

Ellora Caves - Hindu

by Donna_in_India

There are 17 Hindu Caves at Ellora - numbers 13-29. They were excavated at the beginning of the 7th century. The Hindu caves are the centerpieces of Ellora and are so detailed and intricate that they must have required generations of planning and coordination, not to mention the 100+ years it took to actually create them.

Two of the more interesting Caves were Cave 14 also known as Ravana ki Kahi and Cave 15 also known as Dashavatara. Cave 14 contains sculptures of Hindu gods/goddesses (deities) such as Durga and Vishnu. Cave 15 was double-storied (I really liked this one) and had superb sculptures.

However the highlight of the Hindu Caves, and of Ellora, in fact, is Cave 16 known as Kailasanath (Kailasa) Temple. This temple is actually a complex - it is huge! - 266 feet by 154 feet. It was carved (top to bottom out of one single rock that is double the size of the Parthenon in Athens). It is the largest monolithic structure in the world and was sculpted with the mere use of hammer and chisel. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and there are countless carvings of him. There is an open courtyard with a towering pillar and numerous sculptured (life size) elephants, which are world famous. The two stairways leading to the Mandapa of the main temple are carved with narrative episodes from the two great Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Those were really interesting!! I also liked the Nandi Pavillion - housing a large sculpture of Nandi, the bull which Lord Siva rides. One of my other favorite sculptures was Ganesh - I had to look hard to find him but knew he would be in the complex. (See photo.)

Allow plenty of time for the Hindu temples, especially Kailasa. I'm not sure that I would recommend seeing Kailasa last - you may be too tired by then - and there is so much you should not miss!! If you see Kailasa first, by the time you finish the Hindu and Buddhist Caves, you may not make it over to the Jain Caves (especially if you're walking). We saw Kailasa right after seeing Jain Caves 32 & 33, and it worked out really well. (We continued on to the other Hindu Caves and the Buddhist Caves.) If for Kailasa alone, I would highly recommend having a guide. You will find out much more than you would from a guidebook.

Please see my travelogues for additional photos.

Please see my "Things To Do: Fantastic Caves at Ellora" tip for specific visitor information and "special tip".

People watching & being watched

by muddybok

Crossing border, cross cultural, dusts collected exploring off the beaten paths, people watching and witnessing local lives had been my motivations to travel abroad this far. If I am not doing this, I am probably lifting my beer mugs at one of the KLCC joints with friends and colleagues.

Being an Asian, it's quite easy for me to comprehend people from another Asian country. Often time I need minimal Q&A session with the local to understand certain thing. Besides looking different (skin color & dressing), it is natural for local to look at me for a little bit longer than they to another Indian. I wasn't quite prepared for the attention I have drawn when I was touring the South India like I am part of the human zoo there.

Some of them not just scrutinize your looks, they like to ask where are you come from (be it merchants or not), they want to take photo with you (why will people want to waste films on me?), and demand you to take photos of them. They follow you, they keep asking to take photos with you and when you accept their request, you will have to endure many others who want to take photos with you. Now I really understand the life of a superstar, because I was once superstaring in India.


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