Yeah I know I have been away for almost a month, not visiting any blogs, nor posting any of my own. Been a hectic past few weeks, with a long awaited trip to Aurangabad, pending assignments, my 23rd birthday and then the entrance exams. Phew!! Not much I say.
Lets just cover the Aurangabad Trip today. I reached there on the 18th of April, the train fashionably late by over an hour. Sari Bua and Reggie fufaji were at the station to pick me up past midnight. Once I reached their home, I was greeted by the oh-so-adorable and excited Benji. I fear canines....make that "used to"...thanks to Benji now :)
19th to 23rd went mostly in finishing my assignments which I had carried along with me on the trip. We had a few sessions of IPL , Formula One and shopping at various places that Sari Bua took me. I also learnt a new method of making tea (some of you might already be knowing the same, but new to me...so...). :P Also checked out Sari bua's amazing new home (Still under construction....but was blown away by the view...majestic!!)
My friend Snehal arrived from Ahmedabad on 24th and we decided to let him rest a while (16 hour bus journey is no easy feat!!! Especially in this heat!!). We decided we'll start our sight seeing with the nearest spots of interest.
First up -----> Bibi Ka Maqbara
Sari Bua calls it a "SAD LOOKING TAJ MAHAL". Indeed it does has an uncanny resemblence to the famous monument of Love. It was built by Prince Azam Shah, Aurangzeb's Son, for his mother. I overheard a guide refer to it as a "Poor man's Taj Mahal". Yeah it does seem so. I was telling Snehal that it looks like they squeezed up the Taj on available piece of land... I dont really understand the fuss behind Taj, I've been there 3 times and I could find absolutely nothing there that impressed me. Then again, personal opinion.
As with most other monuments of India that isnt under the "World Heritage" or the "Archaelogical Survey of India" radar (it must be, but probably not so important...), the place was unkempt and neglected. Even so, the minarets were quite impressive (probably coz I havent been to the Taj in over 10 years now and havent been remotely close to a minaret in...god knows how long a time).
We spent about quarter of an hour at Bibi ka Maqbara and decided to head for our next stop.
When we arrived at this place, we were actually wandering around like silly tourists and trying to figure out what we were looking for. We just asked the auto wallah to drop us off at Paan Chakki and when we reached the place, well...there it was right in front of us. A 17th century structure of Medieval Engineering. Google it if you like, as we ourself didn't spend more than five minutes here.
It was probably the chicken I ate the previous night and I had begun to have some sort of stomach cramps. We initially decided to head back home after Bibi ka Maqbara and Paan Chakki. Having saved ample time after the disappointment that was Paan Chakki, we decided to cover the "Aurangabad Caves". It was supposedly a 6 kms walk away from Paan Chakki, but thanks to my tantrums ("I dont feel like walking so much in this heat"), we took an auto to this destination.
This was the best part of the day's trip. We reached just about in time for the caves to close, but we managed to rush up there anyways. Buddhist sculptures lined up everywhere and it was a mini-ajanta of sorts. Really nice, and the view of the city from up there was pretty amazing.
We returned home, a little tired, a little hungry and very very very thirsty. Headed out for dinner with Sari bua and Reggie fufa, to this Rajasthani Joint called "Thaat-baat". Not being a foodie, I didnt really enjoy the food....Snehal, Fufa and Bua did. We retired early for the night, as we had the bus to catch next morning to Ajanta Caves.
Snehal was royally woken up by Benji at 4 AM or so. Of course I was Benji's next target when he came to the room I was sleeping in and woke me up too. We started pretty early at around 7.30 AM to take the bus from a nearby place. A two hour journey, and I might have bored Snehal by falling asleep, thanks to my nausea. When we finally reached Ajanta, it was hot as hell. Lots of monkeys around and I was dreading the long steps, yet again.
The caves were pretty awesome. Buddhist sculptures and paintings lined the magnificent caves. Thank goodness for the guide, we had a pretty good time trying to understand the paintings....otherwise I am sure I wouldnt know a damp patch from a painting. We made our way back at around 3 PM and were back in the city at 5.30. We had some rest and got ready again to celebrate Sari bua and Reggie fufa's 28th Wedding anniversary
---------> Sari Bua and Reggie Fufa's anniversary <------------
We went to this restaurant Amarpreet, where apparently you get the best non vegetarian food. I had some tasty cheese dumpling kind of thing, I dont recall the name....but it was pure heaven....yummmm. I also tried "screw driver"...can safely say I aint trying that one again. It was a nice time that the four of us spent. I might sound cliched but I sometimes wonder when I am married for 28 years, will I have the same kind of love that these two share?? I mean its the kind of love one can actually feel by just being in their presence. Same goes for Appu and Kalyan. :)
We went back home, clicked a few pics and retired for the night with Ellora on our agenda for the next day.
We started around 8 in the morning for Ellora Caves. Weather wasnt too bad and the four of us took Reggie Fufa's grey goose (Lancer). Amazingly smooth vehicle....very very comfortable, I fell in love with it. On our way to Ellora, we saw Daulatabad Fort from a distance. Iwish I could climb up there, but my fitness .... baaah lets not go there :P
Snehal got out of the car to take the pics of the fort. Something about ruins and forts presents an impressive image....all the past glory that withstood the test of time. We proceeded towards the caves and I must say, they were a thousand times better than Ajanta.
I had a sort of "Buddha Overdose" after Ajanta, and seeing other sculptures was a sight for sore eyes.The carvings were impressive to say the least. If I could live there, I gladly would.
These are few of the pics that I absolutely loved. Snehal was like a tour guide to me and kept me busy with the "Dashavataras" and other stories. For a software engineer, he sure has his mythology in place :P
Mhaismal was this beautiful place about 12 kms away from Khuldabad. Its 1067m above sea-level and is a sort of hill station. It was the coolest place in all of Aurangabad (apart from Sari Bua's home of course!! :P). The view was amazing, the wind was amazing....in short, everything about the place was amazing. It was s quiet that you could hear the birds chirping. And you could also hear the wind......awwwssoome. We spent a few mins there and made our way back to have lunch.
After lunch, we started packing our bags. Snehal was leaving on the same day for Ahmedabad. Me and Sari bua had a train to catch at 4 the next morning. So after a much needed rest, packing of bags, wasting time online...it was time to bid Snehal goodbye and thank him for the amazing company he gave me the past three days.
Once he left, I spent some quality time with my darling....Benji. He had finally tired out of chewing my socks and lay at my feet most times, as if knowing that fact that we'll be gone tomorrow. He is sooooo adorable... Just love him immensely. Reggie Fufa commented: "I never imagined I'll be seeing Dolly play with Benji....remember how she was jumping around in fear on the first day and see her now". Yeah well... Thats Benji Magic talking :D
For more pics (All clicked by Mr Patel ;)), go HERE
All in all, the trip was pretty tiring but a lot of fun too. Sari bua and me came to the Hyderabad. We celebrated my 23rd birthday on 3rd May and she returned on 4th. After that, its been exams and preparations.
I'll be slowly going around all the blogs soon. Just to remind everyone...I am invisible, not dead ;)