Tipping is fairly common in India with the exception of rickshaw drivers or taxi drivers, unless you hire them for the day (although a few rupees or rounding up the fare is always appreciated). These amounts are meant as a guideline. Tip ONLY in rupees, not any other currency. Check to see if a service charge has already been added to any bill.
Waiters - generally 10-15 percent of the bill in upscale places, in smaller places (local/budget) tip Rs. 10-20.
Bellmen - Rs. 50 - 100 (depending on how much luggage).
Hotel Doorman - Rs. 50-100 when you checkout.
Hotel Maid - Rs. 100-200 for your stay (5+ days). Be sure to hand deliver.
Room Service - Rs. 20-50. (20 for smaller things, 50 for meal delivery).
Drivers/ Guides - half day/ Full day sightseeing trips Rs. 150 - 250.
Drivers/ Guides - long trips spread over many days Rs. 150 - 200 Per traveller/ day.
Porters (train stations/airports) - set the rate beforehand (around Rs. 10-20 per bag).
Ellora Caves are really the reason that most tourists pass through Aurangabad. The town itself is quite small,and dusty, with few tourist attractions. The better attractions are a way out of the town itself. The scenery just outside the town is really pretty, with bougainvilla dotted everywhere, blazing red in the sunlight.
Fondest memory: I loved the flowers, trees and shrubs in India. The Bougainvilla is everywhere- and has the most vibrant colours.
I have posted 2 photos of Bougainvilla- just to give an idea.
This is for all international tourists who are planning to visit Ajanta/ Ellora caves that the ASI officials have stopped accepting dollars as entry fees to these places. you have to pay compulsorily in indian rupees only (Rs 250 / person)
for any other information regarding visiting these places please feel free to mail me at email@example.com
This is nearest city ,where the tourist stay for the visits to Ellora ( Verul in loacn marathi language ) and Ajantha Caves.
Aurangabad it self is a historic city with all the facilities . Aurangabad is approx 250 km from Pune. Nov to Feb is the right time to visit.
I visited Aurangabad in Nov 2007
We checked in in Hotel Shree Maya . I had taken the reference from the VT web site.
This is really a good budget hotel . we checked in the Executive room . The room was clean . The staff cleans the room to your satisfaction and bed sheets can be replaced on request. The bath rooms are clean. The restaurant and the breakfast are Ok.
We found a dining hall named Swad Dining Hall. It is 7-8 minutes drive from the station . It has big neon sign on it. It Serves authentic Thali ( indian meal consisting of 8-10 dishes in small quantity ). You can eat as much as you want with out additional cost. The price is approx Rs 75 per Thali . It is a very clean hotel with good quality food , which kept our stomach away from indigestion.
Fondest memory: We can go to Ellora by our own car .Have a decent breakfast in Aurangabad before starting. it is situated approx 35 km from Aurangabad . The Daulatabad fort is on the way. Better not spend energy and time in climbing.
There are toilets at Ellora as well Ajantha which are well managed.
Remember to take video pass at Ellora and Bibi ka Maqbara . It costs Rs 25.
Ellora has beautiful statues and sculptures. We can take photos and video as well. There are 34 dispersed caves . Hiring a local Auto Rickshaw ( Approx 100 Rs) is a good option to save energy and visit the best caves.
On way back one can visit Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb's tomb in the walled historic village Khuldabad. It is a very simple tomb and a very humbling experience.
For Ajantha ,We booked seats in ITDC bus but it was full , so we were given Toyota Qualis. We had a friends from USA and Europe with us who were from the same hotel and enjoyed the two hour journey . The road is excellent.
Still photography (with out flash) is allowed in Ajantha caves. Better have Digi Cams capable of working in low light ( ISO 1000+) . The ITDC tour guide was with us. Do not leave the tour guide as he holds all the passes to enter the caves.
Ajanta Ellora Caves are the most definitely best part of mystic Ancient India one must see. The whole grandeur of the majestic sculptures and paintings literally transport you back to an ancient era. You cant simply help but wonder.... how did they make this place? Also another thought to cross your mind is that if this place is so magnificient today, wonder what it must have seemed like when the paint was still fresh and the sculptures were newly chiseled.
An important tip is to carry a mobile or camera having high resolution and clarity as no photos or video recording having flash is permitted inside the cave.
Also definitely carry a small fan or newspaper to fan oneself coz it can get a bit hot and humid after a lot of walking and esp inside the caves.
Also purchasing a book guide before entering the caves is a good idea and also most definitely hire a guide as also no book or any research knowledge can explaing the finer intricacies of the paintings or scultures as a guide with a torch. Giudes are available at the entrance and are government approved with standard rates.
The caves are definitely a visit and Ajanta caves require atleast one full day to cover as they are located 2 hrs away from Aurangabad and the trek over there can tire one out. Try to reach the caves as early as possible to enjoy the finer details of the paintings and sculptures before the influx of the tourist crowds.
Also wondrous are the natural stone formation artifacts sold outside the Amenity Centre of MTDC.
At Daulatabad fort most definitely enter the Andher Entrance (a dark stinky tunnel to the top of the fort). Carry your own bright torch, cover your noses with hankerchiefs and look up for the Bats! A real spooky experience, but worth it for the view from up there.
Best time to visit this place as per me is the end of September or start of October when the monsoon is almost through and the place is blooming with green foliage.
Fondest memory: Must Visit Places in and Around Aurangabad:
1) Ajanta Caves and Paintings
2) Bibi Ka Maqbara
3) Aurangabad Caves
4) Ellora Caves (Buddhist, Hndu & Jain)
5) Daulatabad Fort
6) Grineshwar Temple (Jyotirlinga)
Favorite thing: Cave 10 is commonly known as the Carpenter Cave. It is the most highly regarded of the Buddhists Caves in Ellora. The cave has a superbly carved, multi-storied facade. The interior is well preserved and has a long cathedral-like stupa hall which is also known as a chaitya. The ceiling of this hall is carved with beams and leads to a 15 foot statue of the Seated Buddha. It is one of the darkest halls and the hardest to photograph in because of the lack of light.
Favorite thing: Cave 8 is the only cave in Ellora where it is possible to walk around the circumference. This is one of the Buddhist caves. The walls are carved with Buddhists images. Inside there are also fine sculptures of the Buddha.
robertgaz Tue Mar 28, 2006 13:50 MYT
Hair cut Rs20... hand massage Rs10... the smile on your face... priceless :~) (head massage actually)
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Wild_Orchid Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:55 MYT
head massage atau hand massage? kedua-duanya lain, tau?
> delete this comment
When I arrived at Aurangabad, my hair is so messy & long and I almost look like one of those African lions. So, to avoid all the dust (to be collected) and sweat (and smell) on my hair I opt to cut my hair in Aurangabad on New Year eve of 2006. I was quite surprised of the charges involved here and it save me so much money that I can buy 3 bottles of Kingfisher beer as compare to if I were to cut it in Malaysia. Anyway, I can consider myself having 2 free bottles of Kingfisher beer on New Year eve.
The Rs10 head massage is superb, so go get a hair cut here.
In Aurangabad, the Auto starting fare is Rs8 and Rs20 can take you really far. Always insist on meter usage unless you wanted them to wait for you for onwards journey.
For day trip around Aurangabad, you can probably negotiate Auto fare between Rs150-200. And try not to use Auto service to Ajanta because the trip is far and long, further more it's dangerous because lots of big lorries and busses ply that route.
Favorite thing: Cave 26 is another of Ajanta's most important caves. It is a Buddhist Cave with a Chaitya Hall. The Buddha himself is the focal of the centre Stupa that dominates that hall. It probably has one of the most famous sculptures in Ajanta, that of the reclining Buddha depicting his ultimate salvation from the cycle of rebirth - the Mahaparinirvana.
Of all the Hindu Temples in India, none impressed me more than the Kailash Temple here at the Ellora Caves. It took about one hundred years for the craftsmen involved to carve this temple out of the rockface. This temple, constructed back in the 8th century is considered to be the largest rockcut temple in India. Apparently it took over 100 years to carve the structure out of the rock.
The temple itself is covers about the same surface size as Athen's Parthenon however it is 1.5 times as high. Kailash temple is divided into 4 sections which include the main body of the temple, the gateway, the nandi shrine and the cloisters that surround the temple. The carvings that decor the walls of the temple are awesome however it is easy to overlook them as you ponder the magnificance of the actual temple structure.
For me it was worth going to Ellora just to see the wonderful temple. However this does not mean that the rest of Ellora should take a backseat to Kailash as these cave carvings, though smaller, are equally wonderful.
Favorite thing: Cave 1sits at the southern most end of the Ellora Caves and are made up of threecells. These cells seem to be used more for storage rather than for religious reasons. The location of the caves is particularly attractive because of the lovely waterfall that dropped down the cliffside into a creek below the caves.
Favorite thing: Cave 17 has more murals than any other cave at Ajanta. Amongst the many high quality murals are paintings of beautiful women flying overhead, a princess surrounded by her attendents(pictured here) and numerous images of the Buddha. The pillars that support the ceiling are carved in the likeness of dwarfs.
Favorite thing: This is obviously the first cave that you reach while visiting Ajanta. Inside are several extremely interesting frescos of Buddhist origin that date from the 2nd century A.D. During my visit, the lighting in the cave was enhanced by television lights as some TV program was producing documentry on the caves at the time.
Favorite thing: This is another of the wonderful frescos in the first cave at Ajanta. This cave was actually very crowded during my visit with loads of tourist being guided through the cave complex. The caves are actually a very popular bus tour destination.