The Ajanta Caves
Ajanta Travel Blog› entry 23 of 36 › view all entries
Jalgaon is a fairly non-descript town, something akin to Swindon or Crewe as a railway hub, but it is the best point for making the day trip to Ajanta. The hotel and restaurants in Jalgaon were, however, surprisingly good, and the hotel manager was a mine of information.
We hopped on the bus to make the 60 minute journey to another World Heritage Site. The 30 caves had been carved into the rocks between 200 BC and 650 AD, when they were deserted as the Buddhists were driven out. They remained undiscoverd until 1819 when a British tiger hunting party followed their prey through the then thick jungle into the caves and realised their importance. The area has since been cleared of undergrowth and is a stunning horseshoe rock gorge with the caves carved around the outside. We took a guided tour which was very informative and well worth the 100 rupees or so each cost.
After a couple of caves I was taken aback by shouts of my name from behind, and turned to see the two Mariekes from Palolem running up behind us, a great surprise. They joined us for the rest of our tour and headed back to Jalgaon with us that evening.
The Ajanta caves really were stunning and well worth the day-trip. The area in which they are set is very beautiful, with birds of prey gliding above. But we had a new target in our sights, and this was Udaipu, via Ahmedabad.