Summer Vacation Trip Part 1

Hello my readers and fellow bloggers. I am back from my 12 day trip. And such a long trip deserves more than one post πŸ˜€ This is the part 1 of the series of posts. As I had 4 senior citizens with me, I had made this long schedule with plenty of rest days thrown in and it proved to be successful.

5th June 2009 :- Hometown to Manmad. Had to get off at 3.30 am! Train to Aurangabad (2 hrs journey) was at 5 am. Though it started from Manmad itself, it came and left at 7.30 am. It was a passenger train and that meant seat for the quickest πŸ™‚ Thankfully we got seats. Both Manmad and Aurangabad stations are lacking in coolies (porters). Checked in a hotel at Aurangabad and went sightseeing in evening. Hotel experience was not good due to power cuts and bad food. But the evening was well spent at Bibi ka Maqbara and Panchakki (water mill). I realized that photography is very difficult in India as people don’t move out of frame even on request!!

The Bibi-Ka-Maqbara is a beautiful mausoleum of Dilras Banu Begum, the wife of the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb, constructed by her son Prince Azam Shah. The mausoleum was intended to rival the Taj Mahal, but, the decline in architecture and proportions of the structure had resulted in a poor copy of the latter.




6th June 2009 :- Checked out of hotel at Aurangabad and left for Ellora Caves (30 kms from Aurangabad) in a hired car. We stopped at Daulatabad fort on way to Ellora but didn’t have the energy to climb it.


There I found guava sellers coloring their guavas to decorate their baskets. They too had a sense of color and style!! πŸ™‚ I took a snap with a seller’s permission.


Then we went to see Aurangzeb’s Tomb. It was a simple building and the tomb was nothing special. Apparently Aurangzeb lead a very modest lifestyle.


Aurangzeb’s tomb

Then we reached Ellora. We were awestruck to see the monumental caves and sculptures made by cutting the rocks and faces of the hills. Ellora, a World Heritage Site, is something that needs to be seen to be believed. The most famous cave of Ellora was the Kailash Temple. Such intricate and difficult work after cutting a hill is unthinkable.

Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture. The 34 “caves” – actually structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills – being Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cave temples and monasteries, were built between the 5th century and 10th century. The 12 Buddhist (caves 1–12), 17 Hindu (caves 13–29) and 5 Jain caves (caves 30–34), built in proximity, demonstrate the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history.

Click on the collage for an enlarged and clearer view.


Ellora has a lot of shops and restaurants nearby. My Bong readers must be aware of Feluda. The Kailash hotel and Ellora reminded me of the Feluda movie “Kailasher Kelankari”.Β  After a nice lunch we visited the Ghrishneshwar Temple that enshrines one of the 12 jyotirlingas dedicated to Shiva.


After this we headed to Manmad to catch our night train to Pune.

61 thoughts on “Summer Vacation Trip Part 1

  1. I realized that photography is very difficult in India as people don’t move out of frame even on request!!

    They don’t, anywhere, be it India or abroad! You can’t make someone get out of your way, others wanna have a look & take photos as well. You have to involve people into your photo, they bring life into them! With practice you will learn, its not an easy thing. πŸ™‚

    Personally I find it very annoying when I’m trying to take a photo & someone taps me on the shoulder & asks me to get out of the way so they can take a photo of what I was trying to shoot or a family photo! At that times I’m like “WTF, am I not trying to take a photo or is the other person Ghenghis Khan for whom people have to move out of the way”!!

    I took a snap with a seller’s permission.

    Thats the civilized way. Usually people don’t mind if you take their photos, I’ve even gotten persmission to take photos of mullas in mosques, if asked politely they allow you take their photos mostly. But most people are just uncivil in this regard, they just push cameras in others’ faces & take photos & go on their merry way, like the other person was some dead statue!!

    Then we went to see Aurangzeb’s Tomb. It was a simple building and the tomb was nothing special. Apparently Aurangzeb lead a very modest lifestyle.

    Maybe I’ve read wrong but no, he lived life king size, no pun intended! πŸ˜‰ The reason for simple tomb might be that the kingdom was in tatters politically & financially after his death. Besides I can’t recall a Mughal emperor other than Humayun & Shah Jahan having magnificent tombs. Its usually the begums who got the better deal in this regard since theirs were built by their kings. Babur’s tomb is a simple one in Kabul. Humayun’s tomb in Delhi was built beautifully by his wife who loved him. Akbar’s tomb is simple in Fatehpur Sikri. Jehangir’s tomb in Lahore was built on somewhat high standards by his son Shah Jahan who ofcourse was a brilliant engineer & went on to later construct one of the wonders of the world Taj Mahal & was eventually buried there.

    Aurangzeb’s sons were not so bright given that their father kept them illiterate for the fear that they might rebel against him just like he had rebelled against & imprisoned his father Shah Jahan. Another reason for the bad shape of his tomb today could be lack of care by ASI etc.

    Good photos from your trip so far (waiting for more). I envy you, but one day I’ll so go to Ajanta, Ellora, Mahabaleshwar, Hampi etc. Damn, too many places to see in India alone, eh! πŸ™‚

    • My sister who lives in Paris tells me something different about the French. They literally run or duck and say pardon if they see anyone trying to take a snap.

      I think its about being patient about your turn and considerate about some excellent photo points like in front of the monument on the bench.

      You can read Prerna’s comment below. It is exactly what I have heard about Aurangzeb.


      • Hmm, maybe people are more considerate in Paris, will get to know when I’m there next time! πŸ™‚

        As for Aurangzeb, like I said, maybe I read it wrong or don’t recall it well, I’ve my doubts there on what I said about him living like a king! πŸ™‚

    • HI, Reema ji… This is an awesome post… I loved it and most of the Aurangabadis like me will also do love it. I can understand that you had a bad experience in the hotel. That’s a 100% truth and reality of Aurangabad city. I am a web content writer and online marketing special in an IT company based in Aurangabad. I would like to share your blog posts about our city on social media, if you permit to do so… If you visit again to Aurangabad please do contact me I will help you out with better accommodation. Thanks and Best of Luck…

  2. We plan to take the AGra- Jaipur trip coming Jan. We have been there but not together. So that will be another experience.
    Like the guava pic.. no pics of taj replica?? πŸ™‚
    also you posing are fun and funny πŸ˜‰

  3. Welcome back Reema, nice snaps. Glad you patented it !

    How I wish I could write a travelogue this way !!! I should be posting my europe snaps too, pretty soon. But it would be just snaps. I dont remember anything that i saw there πŸ˜€ (well, except for the girls).

  4. Hmmmm… Bibi-Ka-Maqbara… Tumko Tumhara Maqbara Kidhar Mangta Hai?!!:);)

    Aurangzeb Led A Modest Life? That’s Tomb My Dear. Apparently, He Had No Say In It…;)

  5. Reema your twitter friends were fortunate to get a day to day account of your trip.
    Aurangzeb led a very simple life,and banned music and paintings so it is logical that his tomb is simple. It is said that he did not draw salary from state treasury but earned his living by selling caps he sewed and copies of Quran he copied by hand.

  6. Saw the snaps in Picasa also!!! Awesome snaps and am sure you had a great vacation.

    But tell me it must have been veeery hot na??? Mushkil nahin hui?

  7. I saw all these places not too long ago and enjoyed them. So you are nearer where I am now, in Pune. How about giving me a tinkle? I had sent you my number.

    • Dear Nita, Hello. How are you? As you didnt comment on my last post where I announced my vacation trip I thought u may be on vacation yourself or just busy in Mumbai. So I didn’t call up to see if you were in Pune. I am back home now i.e. in Bhilai. Hope to meet you next time I am there.


  8. Welcome back πŸ˜€
    Every time I landed on your blog you were either giving exams
    going on a vacation πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

    *trying to mask my jealousy* for the err travel NOT the exams πŸ˜€
    *laughing at my own PJ *

    the pics are really nice πŸ™‚
    I am amazed at the first one..I had NO clue about this one..!
    a replica of the Taj Mahal!

    waiting for more πŸ™‚

    ((hugs)) πŸ˜€

  9. Reema, I can’t accept that as an excuse! Because even if you thought I was on vacation, for all you know I may have been vacationing in Pune. That is where I mostly go for a break! And as for commenting, I check my surfer only once or twice a week these days due to lack of time and do miss posts. But as if you comment on all my posts! Not that I expect this from anyone! Its okay, I know people comment when they can and if they have time.

    • Dear Nita I am not pointing fingers or complaining about your commenting. I was merely citing the reason truthfully and not giving any excuse. In fact I also mentioned that I thought u may be busy. Its perfectly ok if you miss some posts! I have not been at your blog since I came back. Just yesterday I started reading all unread posts and I will be at yours soon. I find it sad to see you interpreting my reason as an accusation. Anyway hope to meet you next time you and me both are in Pune.


  10. Reema, its you who has misinterpreted my comment! πŸ™‚ If my comment is accusatory, it was not meant to be. OK. OK, I agree. Its accusatory!! You came all the way here and you didn’t meet me!! 😦

  11. And yeah saying that you thought I was busy and because I didn’t comment is not an excuse! All you needed was to give me a tinkle. Next time then.

  12. Are you sure, Aurangzeb lead a very modest lifestyle???? I don’t think that matched with what I thought all this while about after leaving school for soo many years!!

    But I can see your fascination for history! Hope you had a blast on your trip and a nice and well deserved break! Will wait for the 2nd post!

  13. Hey! Are you allowed to take pictures inside the caves? I thought they had banned it sometime back. Or was it some other place? 😐

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  19. Awesome place. I was dubbious about going there instead of Hampi. But now, after seeing your pics and all comments, I have decided I just cannot miss it.
    One Q: Do you hire the car once you got to Aurangabad or from time before? How much should I expect to pay (I speak no Kannada).

    • Yes it is. We hired the car once we got to Aurangabad. It took us to Ellora and then to Manmad. So it cost us around Rs 1000 or so as far as I can remember.

  20. Hi, Reema ji… It’s am awesome post about our city… I loved it and I think other Aurangabadis like me will also do. I am from Aurangabad working as web content writer and online marketing specialist in an IT firm based in Aurangabad. I would like share these posts on social media, if you provide me permission to do so. By the way if you visit again to our city please do contact me, I will help you out in finding better accommodation. You can contact me on specialist.noor@gmail or on 9168078652

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