Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ajanta Ellora

We hadn’t done a driving holiday yet (though we had been to Pune in the car), so we were on the lookout for an opportune time and a destination. The time appeared in form of Gandhi Jayanti on a Tuesday – the last long weekend of the year. And for a while I had been itching to visit Aurangabad – to see the Ajanta and Ellora caves. They are supposed to be one of India’s foremost historical treasures, among India’s first World Heritage sites, and so close to Bombay. I had never seen them – the wife had seen them as a kid a long time ago.

Aurangabad is 365 km from Bombay, but there is no direct highway to it. Preliminary searches suggested taking the NH3 via Nasik was better than the NH222 via Malshej Ghat. And by the results from Google searches, it seemed like not too many people from Bombay took the road route to Ajanta Ellora – maybe they preferred the trains (there is a Shatabdi to Aurangabad). Travel websites like had a few travelogues which confirmed for us that this was a doable drive for one person. We were toying with the idea of asking someone else to join us, but then decided to keep it just for the two of us.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012


If you’re a travel enthusiast in India, Ladakh has to feature high on your list of must-see places and we are no different. Because of its remote location and tough terrain, Ladakh is best enjoyed in a group and it requires a week at the very least. Hence, it had remained on our to-do list for far too long. So when an opportunity to go to Ladakh turned up, albeit with a relatively unknown group of people – we jumped at it. It’s another story that from the original planned 11-12 people, we ended up being only a group of 4, not that that reduced our enthusiasm levels. After a whole lot of planning, re-planning, shopping and packing, we were off in the first week of July. We had a long itinerary of 16 days starting from Mumbai > Delhi > Manali > Ladakh > Srinagar and returning by flight to Mumbai.

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Sunday, February 5, 2012


We did a Bandhavgarh National Park + Khajuraho trip over the Republic day weekend. The travelog for Bandhavgarh can be found here

After another hearty breakfast, we bid adieu to the Tiger Den resort at Bandhavgarh and started for Khajuraho (230 km away) at about 8 am. We figured we should reach Khajuraho by 12.30 pm – accounting for the not-so-fast MP highways. What we didn’t account for was the difference in standards of service between the Shining India (Bombay/Delhi/Bangalore) and the interior of India. Our only black mark on the trip was our driver. He just couldn’t wait to solve some crisis back home in Jabalpur, and he would be on the phone every 15 min for the first 2 hours of the trip – and keep searching for mobile signal on his cell phone the rest of time (because we were in a forest area) – all the while driving.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bandhavgarh National Park

When we first drove through Bandhavgarh National Park, all we saw were the godawful roads inside the sanctuary. It was a neverending series of potholes which even backward Africans would refuse to acknowledge as a road. At 9 pm in the night, after 2 hours of traveling in the car from Katni station over Madhya Pradesh’s not-so-good roads, immediately after a 21 hour train journey from Mumbai, we were at the end of our lines – just hoping the journey would get over soon. However the road conditions ensured that the last 15km stretch took us an hour to finish.

Only once we reached Tala gate and found our surprisingly plush resort that we heaved a sigh of relief and attacked the homely food with gusto. January in Central India is quite cold and the entire place was covered in mist. However, our cottages were equipped with serious-looking room heaters and the warm service of the staff of Tiger Den Resort soon made us at ease. After the meal, the smiles were back on our faces and we retired early to get up in time for our first tiger safari

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