Weekend getaway from Mumbai: Aurangabad-Ellora-Ajanta / 出孟买记:Ajanta周末行

Except for the party animals, Mumbai is a pretty boring place. The past weekend is, however, a highlight of the trip; the KSF is that you just have to plan a getaway trip. A few people suggested Goa, but really, there are too many places in the world where you can have nice beaches. The less known Ajanta was chosen and it turned out to be such an amazing place to visit! Indeed amazing India!!

Will need some time to digest what I saw before sharing. Here goes some logistics tips first:

孟买总是很无聊,除了去Trishna 吃螃蟹龙虾外,没别的事好做。连吃了两天,他们的门卫都跟我说“明天见”了,这样也不是办法,总不能周末三餐再去报到吧。很高兴做了个周末旅游,Ajanta真是太值得去了。两天来回,赞的不得了~ 
080824 Ajanta 088
Ajanta 阿旃陀石窟
 

Day 1

– Morning flight from Mumbai to Aurangabad arriving at 8am

Round trip ticket can be booked on line at Jet Airway, ~Rs 12,000 (US $300). Deccan operates a return flight also in the evening but I didn’t manage to pay by credit card online, otherwise another Rs. 3000 can be saved.

– Prepaid taxi to Classic Tour or MTDC Tour (Rs. 200 = US$5)

    Same place two companies, running similar tours. Entrance ticket fees not included in the package. Tel of Classic Tour: 0240-233 7788

Ellora Day Tour (Rs. 200)- Daily departure at 9:30am, covering several sites:

– Devgiri Fort: a lot of hiking.  

– Ellora Caves: a lot to see. Need to make sure you have at least 2-3 hours here. Hiring a guide costs Rs 600 for >5 people group but the guide only covers a few caves for 1.5 hr so better leave another hour to wonder by yourself.

– Ghrishneshwar Temple: must be a very powerful temple with a super long queue which was said to take hours to enter the temple. Gave it up, but a walk around the lively gathering around the temple is interesting.  

– Bibi Ka Maqbara: It’s called a poor man’s Taj. An imitation of Taj but not so grandid.

– Tomb of the last Mogul King: Don’t quite understand if he built the nice tomb for his queen, why he wanted to be buried separately?

– Panchakki (Water Wheel): a mosque with a water wheel which was supposed to be able to grind crops by water system similar to aqueduct by Romans but at a much smaller scale

– Back to Aurangabad at 17:30; hire an autorickshaw to hotel for check-in with complementary shopping trips along the way (Rs. 100). The typical lines: Aurangabad is famous for silk sharee, you should really see this sharee factory…

 

Day 2

Check-out from Hotel: Taj Residency is pretty decent. It feels like living in a Mogul palace though the room facility is of 3 star only. But can’t really complain since the price (Rs 3,400) is only 1/3 of a 5-star hotel in Mumbai. If you stay at Taj, bus for Ajanta tour (daily departure at 8:30 am) can pick you at the hotel gate on the way to Ajanta.

– Ajanta Tour (Rs 300/US$7 for bus tour and the guide + Rs 250 for entrance): 30 caves of many monasteries and a few temples for Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhist practitioners, carved out of  one whole piece of stone (or I should said the mountain) dated back to 200 BC – 600 AD. Only discovered by a British soldier in 1840’s. A must-see in India with statues and colorful wall paintings. Better have 4 hours around. I had only 3 ½ hour so was literally running in the end.

– Back to Aurangabad at 18:00 and rush to airport to catch 8pm flight back to Mumbai (Rs. 100 by autorickshaw and some more shopping stopby is possible depends on your tolerance level)

第一天 

搭早上飞机从孟买飞到Aurangabad (45分钟,来回12000卢比,约三百美金)

出了机场直奔9:30 发车的 Ellora Tour。旅行社有两家,都在同个地方,离机场约15分钟。Classic Tour (电话 0240-233 7788) MTDC Tour 机场的预付费计程车(Rs 200) Classic Tour 公司的,可以让司机在路上就帮你订好位。

Ellora tour (200卢比,约5美金,含来回车资和导游,不包景点门票):我去的那天人少,只出了一台7人坐吉普车,没有导游,印度就是这样,没什么事是一定的,所以他们比较不受二元想法制约?200卢比涵盖了很多景点(见上面英文简述),最好让大家抓紧时间,多留些时间在Ellora 岩洞那里,不然地方大会看不完。我就跟着当地雇的导游,看了几个洞(佛教、印度教、Jainism 各几个),然后趁其他人吃中饭时把佛教的洞逛一圈就把2.5小时全用完了。

回到Auragabad 大概5点半,Classic Tour 门前叫个三轮车去饭店check-in。三轮车一路上会走很多小巷,很有趣,也不断跟你推荐各种店:沙丽工厂、工艺品店等,有兴趣可以晃晃,不买也没关系。

 

第二天 

早起可在酒店散步。Taj Residency 就国内三星的水准,但是环境很好,像住回教王宫一样。

Ajanta tour (300卢比) 每天早上8点半发车,Taj Residency在去的路上,约好在饭店门口等。Ajanta离市里100多公里,要开上2个小时。里面30个洞穴是从山岩开凿出来的,全部都是佛教的,从西元200年前到600年前,比Ellora 早,到1840年才被英国人发现,因此保存的很好。有声闻乘的石洞,也有大乘的,以后慢慢介绍。看过这个后,Mumbai旁边那个Elephanta真的就不推荐大家去了,那个地方去郊游踏青还可以。

晚上6点回到市区酒店前,坐上早上约好的机动三轮车去机场,理论上9点到孟买,10点回到市里飞机延误,所以我弄到凌晨两点才上床,不过没误了周一上班也就谢天谢地了。

I was a bit worried to travel alone in India, especially when I only got the flight ticket and hotel covered before departure. Aurangabad turned out to be a better city to visit in India, probably thanks to many foreign investments there, it’s green (in Aug), quite clean, and similar to a 3-4 tier city in China.

出发前对一个人在印度玩是有点害怕的,只在网上订了机票和酒店,还好Aurangabad 这个城市算不错,类似中国34级城市,有些外资,所以大部分是工薪阶级或做小买卖的,反而不怎么见到赤贫要钱的。他们挺看不起德里遍地是骗子的情况,虽然这里的三轮车夫也还是很热情地要带你去购物,但是算是很客气,说不去也无所谓。到Mumbai的人要是错过Ajanta 就太可惜了。


Taj Residency Hotel
080823 Aurangabad 187
 080823 Aurangabad 184

Grandid property with only a tiny bed in the room, plus 4 sofa chairs and 3 regular chairs. Why would someone in a single room need 7 chairs?!
外表很气派,里面一张小小的单人床;奇怪的是,这个小小的房间有四张沙发椅,
3张餐桌椅,我一个人对着一屋的椅子有点呆了。
080823 Aurangabad 177

Aurangabad 的释迦和芭乐都小小的,释迦没有台湾甜,但是不用洗就能吃,算是比较安全的选择。
080823 Aurangabad 027

 

 

 

路边烤饼的店家。People making Indian bread at the street 080823 Aurangabad 174

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