05 April 2010

Ajanta and Ellora trip

When: It was a long weekend on account of holiday for Good Friday and I made the best use of it by making a trip to Ajanta and Ellora, well known world heritage sites in Maharashtra.
Where: My base city was Aurangabad which is just an overnight journey from Mumbai. From Aurangabad city, Ajanta Caves are 100+ kms and Ellora Caves are 15+ kms.
Planning: There was no hardcore planning as such since I was travelling alone and many decisions were made on the fly. Got some basic info from my PGPM classmates Sameer and Sorabh, as the city is hometown of the former and the latter had done his engineering at the same place.

Travelling from Mumbai: Had thought of doing it by train but after seeing long waiting list, I decided to both to-and-fro travel by Neeta-Volvo. Yeah that’s how the service is commonly known in Maharashtra. Not sure how by word-of-mouth an international automobile brand got attached to the name of an Indian travel agency :). Being in Navi Mumbai, I was in advantageous position to board the bus very late relative people in Mumbai. In fact, I boarded the onward journey bus from Vashi at 11:45 pm which would have started from its originating point in Greater Mumbai around 9.30 pm. Such kind of luxury is not there w.r.t trains for Navi Mumbaikars.
Travelling around: Being alone and for various psycho-economical reasons, I opted for conducted tours of ITDC which turned out of pretty decent and much better than my previous experiences of conducted tour at other places. Ajanta was covered in one-day dedicated trip and whereas Ellora was covered in a trip combined with Aurangabad city tour.
Accommodation: I stayed in a dormitory at Hotel Manmandir for 200/- per day. Pretty decent place in terms of facility, as in the same complex other than dorms there’re executive rooms, bus terminus for private buses, veg-restaurant and a travel booking centre where you can book tickets for any mode of transport(including ITDC excursions). Believe it or not,  I never boarded an auto in Aurangabad since the pickup and drop points of both ITDC tours and Neeta-Volvo were from the same place.
Sightseeing: As I already mentioned ITDC packages were above average it terms of value for money. Also, there were sufficient logical breaks given by the guide so that tourists can spend some leisure time at locations on their own. Other than Ajanta and Ellora, the historical Daulatabad fort was surprisingly refreshing. It was nice to visit a fort which has such a deep history and once upon a time was 'Capital of India'. It was one of most secure fort at the time of its operation and it’s speculated that the security aspects from the same fort have been copied while constructing other forts in medieval era.
Traveling alone: Since it was very engaging trip I never felt bored travelling alone. Also, I made a few on-the-spot friends in ITDC trips. One was Naveen, a chartered accountant from Bangalore who was in Auragabad for some business purpose and other one was a very distinct senior person, an aeronautical engineer working for an Australian firm. A very enthusiastic person, due to his demanding profession he had travelled several countries around the world. 


  1. Good write up. I'd visited these caves once when I was a kid. Don't remember much now

  2. good concise post, covering all things. Photos wanted in main post itself!! Atleast some of them.

  3. @srinidhi: thanks, agree with your point, we hardly remember about places visited during childhood days.

    @raveesh: thanks for the complements. I have embedded a photo slideshow at end of the post.

  4. I meant along with the embedded link, few snaps can be in the main post!

  5. Very informative post! The Ellora Caves, an extraordinary compound of Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain cave shrines, are situated near the Aurangabad town in Maharashtra. Chronologically numbered, there are 34 caves whose visit starts from the most ancient Buddhist caves at the south. Out of these 34 caves, 12 of them are Buddhist caves made in 500-750 A.D., 17 are Hindu caves made in 600-870 A.D., and 5 are Jain caves carved in 800-1000 A.D. For more information visit Ellora Caves

  6. Hi,
    Thanks for the post.
    We plan to visit aurangabad for 2 days site visit by 1st week of august. Pls inform how to book itdc package. Pls inform the contact details and budget to karthikeyanv2000@gmail.com

    1. Hi Karthik, I booked the the ITDC package on the spot at booking counter in Manmandir Hotel. Just call up helpdesk number of Manmandir Hotel and check the details.

  7. Satyanarayana10:16 PM

    Thank for sharing