Dec 072013

November 2013

After our lovely morning in Udaipur we flew to Mumbai.  The hotel was a lesser quality as it was near the airport.  It was absolutely packed with 20 somethings participating in a karate tournament.  The most fascinating were the girls from Iran with their head scarfs and nike shoes and sweats.


The bar was hysterical.  Black naugahyde benches and chairs, a stage set up for karaoke, mirrors every where, and the worst service we have ever encountered.  Which is saying something as waiters in India fawn over you, almost to the point of annoyance, so to be ignored by a waiter is shocking.

After a horribly ridiculous early morning we flew to Aurangabad.  We touched down and drove straight to Ellora.  Here we go again, how does one describe Ellora.  There are 34 caves carved out of a mountain.  The caves stretch for 1.3 miles.  Did I mention they were carved from a mountain.  You can not even fathom the time and manpower it took to even begin to do the basic digging, let alone the elaborate carving.
The caves fall into three distinct categories. 
Photos don’t do this justice.  This Buddha is 10 feet tall
The first was Buddhist. Carved between the 7th and 8th century.  There are monks quarters and then an amazing (sorry that word is becoming overused lately) Buddhist temple.  Our guide began reciting a prayer and the sounds that reverberated throughout the temple just sent chills down my spine, it was sooooo beautiful.
Then there is a very involved wandering series of carved caves that form a Jain temple.  These were the last to be carved and were done in the 9th century.
The third, and most magnificent, is the Hindu temple Kailasanath which was done in the 8th century.  During the carving of Kailasanath they removed 85,000 cubic meters of rock.  They started at the top of this giant rock and just started carving down from there.  Think about that, you carve DOWN.    





There is a lot of questions as to how long these carvings took, but we are discussing hundreds of years to their completion.
I mentioned how much the Indian’s seem to like us and want pictures taken with us – here is a sweet moment we encountered in Ellora