Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ellora Caves

We are currently in Delhi for the last bit of our time here in India. It’s been an amazing trip so far with plenty of crazy and amazing experiences. We have all started to acquire the Indian head bob while talking to other people and now require our food to be extremely spicy in order for it to taste right. We have all pretty much become seasoned professionals at snagging a good deal with the rickshaw drivers and bartering down the prices at all the shops for as much as 1/50th of the original price. India is a totally different culture than what we are used to, and it has been so fantastic to be able to start to blend in here. Well, we will always be stared at as we walk down the street in a single file line as the only white people in the entire city, but we are starting to get much more confident in knowing where we are going and what we are doing. Only a few people have had collisions with motorcycles while trying to cross the street, and I managed to get head butted by a cow yesterday, but we’ve all managed to make it without injuries even though we’ve had a few close calls. Oh how we love India.

We’ve been incredibly busy exploring everything Kent has planned for us to see, it’s been somewhat difficult to keep the blog up to date, so I’m going to write a little bit about one of my favorite places we got to visit here. On January 15th we were in Aurangabad and went to visit a place called the Ellora Caves. These 36 caves were built between the 7th and the 9th century, and were carved out of solid rock from the side of a mountain. Caves 1-15 were Buddhist, 16-28 were Hindu and the rest were Jain. We spent several hours running around the caves and exploring all of the dark rooms and tunnels full of bats. We climbed any staircase we could find, hiked up the mountain to see the view below and took pictures of the many detailed carvings. The most magnificent cave was cave 16 which is a giant Hindu temple that is so huge and so detailed it’s almost impossible for pictures to capture. We had an amazing time exploring these caves and it was a definite highlight of the trip for everyone.

-Rebecca Meyer