Friday, February 24, 2006

Paul's arrival

Well, it just seems that everyone is tougher than we thought. We picked up Paul at the airport in Bombay and immediately started the "see how long 'til he dies" treatment but he is still alive and not even complaining yet! First we did the 1 day Bombay blitz. Honestly there isn't much to do aside from seeing the British architecture. 1 day was enough. That city is still massive though. Very different from the rest of India with no tuk-tuks in the center and way more private vehicles causing traffic on the road. His first night was an overnight train of only 7 hours northeast up to Jalgaon from where we took off to see the Ajanta caves before spending the night in Aurangabad. The next day was another round of caves, this time the Ellora ones.
By caves I am talking about temple caves carved into the side of cliffs in the middle of nowhere. I suppose at the time it was somewhere but now it's just hot, dry and dusty. Summer has started out here with temperatures already up to 38C! The caves were interesting, personally I like the Ellora ones much better. Ajanta caves are much older (up to 2000 years old), Buddhist caves known for their painting work on the walls. Ellora's caves on the other hand are more scuptural and consist of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain temples side by side. Ellora also has the world's largest monolithic structure carved out of the side of the cliff. It's a full temple complex and not a cave (despite being listed as cave 16). Very cool but at the same time very similar to the Cloud Ridge caves that we saw in China. The following day it was a 24 hr ride to Delhi where we've just arrived and will be for at least the next few days.


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