Ellora diary !

Straight to the point : The magnificence of Ellora must be seen to be experienced.

Just imagine carving a huge temple out of sheer rock and mountain. Built in the 5th / 6th century ! When there was no 3D animation, double certified architects, safety standards or hopeless bureaucracy in the name of standard operating procedures!

The Kailash Temple. With Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Double the size of the Greek Pantheons.
The entire structure was carved out of one rock. Top down. Over 5-6 generations.
Would you want more proof to believe that we have indeed regressed ?
The ‘Glory Post’. The solidity of the lines, the curves and the majesticity against the blue backdrop.
Indeed a glorious post !

The structure that was created back then, stands the test of time. Till date. There are so many photographs that sit in the confines of the hard disk that ‘a tough time selecting the ones to post’ is a statement reeking of modesty or falsehood or idiocy !

The Ramayana told in sculpted forms. Perhaps the earliest forerunners of cartoon channels !

Amazing is not the word ! What else would you say if the tourist guide almost had to nudge once in 5 minutes to close mouths. Mouths that often veered to a state of perpetual open mouthed gaze !

Buddha and the beauty of the carving ! Blood numbing !

A row of pillars. For decoration rather than support ! Decoration ! hmm !

Egyptian / Chinese images ! Thousands of years ago, the Chinese had landed ! Trade flourished.
How must life have been ?

Just imagine !

Imagine a temple like this 1500 years ago ! Imagine it being built over six generations. With the barest of the tools ! Picture it being revered. Think of it being vandalised by invaders galore. Visualise it being left to be a resting place for shepherds and other grazers to tie their cattle for a couple of centuries ! And then of course becoming a world heritage sight !

A pillar ! With carving.

Now of course tourists gather in hordes. Clicking snaps amidst endless chatter. Some of them loudly giving out their versions of history. Yet others sitting on the laps of ‘Gods’ for photographs on new digital cameras. Yet others running behind other foreign tourists.

A minority just staring in open mouthed awe. The caves don’t seem to care. They seem just grin and bear. They have done so for hundreds of centuries.

Its a must go place people. Aurangabad is a must visit city. Phew.

More coming.

Tell Tale Signs !

Our road trip from Mumbai to Goa saw us see some amazing roads and fantastic weather.

And hey, the camera also spotted some wonderful road signs. I guess my expectation of the creative talent of those in the Highways department was rather skewed to what was indeed reality.

There seems to be some passionate soul(s) who seems to peep out of every other road sign with a ‘differently’ written out message on road safety ! I clicked some and many others, just whizzed by!!

Image 1

This message was so poignant to me ! The number of drivers with fast machines who thought they were in a Formula One race was not funny. But this sign, set the tone, reminding all that this was indeed a highway. The first time i saw this, an auto smile popped up ! For i encounter morons who think roads are runways. So.

Image 2

This was lucid enough but for the word alignment ! At first glance, as we whizzed past the sign and i read it as ‘Everything is fine in an Italian Accident’. Thinking of it as a work of an ardent Congress party loyalist, we slowed the car down and backed the car up just to re-read the sign post. Relief descended. We drove on !

Image 3

How much more cryptic can you get ?!? Four words. But the message was through loud and clear. Surprisingly we had some good mobile network coverage through most parts of the drive. I guess this sign was indeed warranted!

Image 4

If previous image had four words. This one had three ! This also seemed to hold a message for life & living. Atleast, i would like to think so. ‘Slow & Steady wins the race’ is cliched and passe !

‘Fast Wont Last’ is here, ladies and gentlemen. How cool !

Image 5

For those who have a preference for tea, here is something. I wonder whats is ‘safe’ tea! Perhaps one that you can drink after reaching the safe confines of the destination. Made by a ‘safe’ person..! What is it ?

Image 6

How more direct can this be said ?!? I take a bow !

Image 7

This seems to be a valiant attempt ! But still, it read different. It took a couple of 10 seconds to fully understand what was getting said. But it did sink in !

Image 8

That one was for me. I am happy they are proud of me ! The ultimate recognition from the Highways department….

Ok. Lets get very real here. Well, i am not the best of drivers.
But then that’s not the best of English grammar either. So !

The Road Trip ! Mumbai To Goa

A magical roadtrip would include

Fantastic roads
Green ghats & hill stations
A slight drizzle
Overcast skies
Limited oncoming traffic
Fast car. Clear directions
Good music
Uncrowded & pristine beaches
Portugese architecture & history
Indian minds
Shack food
Great company

That is as magical as it could get. Especially so when its Goa by road !

Thats exactly what we had.

I have come back with about 800 snaps and a million memories. Perhaps more. As much as this was a holiday, it was also some time for intense reflection, juggling of thoughts, discovering of the self through konkan coastline, cuisine and people. We are back in Mumbai with perhaps a lorry load of each.

So much so, that there is realisation that much more needs to be done. Much more ! I am already having a difficulty of excluding the many pictures from being posted here ! But still thats the choice that i have to make ! So, you will find some snaps here and more as we go along !

Overall, it was a great trip.

And my new theory is Goa is great. Especially in the monsoons. So the off season is really the season of seasons !

Here are some snaps ! The details follow !

At Fort Aguada

The Road

Beside the Road

Approaching rain at Calangute Beach

Bambolin Beach

Bright Red. Bright Yellow. All seem to be preferred exterior colours !

The Independence Day Spirit

Caves Up the mountains

A church on the way to Calangute