The Aurangabad Journal
Posted by Indranil Bhattacharya on June 6, 2017
Once in awhile in our ever so eventful life, we tend to get bored with the monotonous chores. This is when our mind starts wandering, and we suddenly find ourselves thirsting for something more, something different. I had a moment like that sometimes back, and that is when I decided to write travel blogs for myself. This way I could concentrate on my daily life and at the same time look forward to the small trips for my blogs.
I recently went on a trip around Maharashtra, for my travel blog. My journey began from the geographical center of India, Nagpur on a bus to Aurangabad. I booked a Volvo from Sagar Travels, the service provided by Travelyaari, and the moment I stepped into the bus, I realized my traveling experience just got a level-up. The interiors were spotless and cozy. There was not a speck of dust, and it had a regal feel to it. The Volvo, having an automated gear-changing system made traveling easier for both the driver and us. The bus stopped plenty of times for short 10 minutes breaks and about 40 minutes for dinner. What made the journey even more enjoyable was the company of cheerful bus attendant and driver.
My journey began at 8:30 pm when I boarded the bus, and I reached Aurangabad at 6:30 am the following morning. Aurangabad has long outgrown its roots as Aurangzeb’s capital, but the colossal gates speckled through the city are stubborn aides-mémoires of its glorious history, culture, and spiritualism. My intentions were though, visiting and exploring the hidden gems veiled by the city’s brilliance. I quickly checked myself into a hotel on Jalna Road. After freshening up a bit, I packed my backpack for the day ahead and headed to Islami Hotel at Delhi gate of a traditional Paya-roti breakfast.
Post breakfast I headed out to visit the Tomb of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, in Khuldabad which was about 45 minutes away. Here, at a far end of the dargah or shrine of Sheikh Zainuddin, an unmarked tomb is now the residence of Aurangzeb’s remains; a hard-hitting reminder of the unimportance of materialistic fortune. I spent around an hour or so marveling at the intrinsic marble carvings and soaking in the serenity. My next stop was Ajanta caves, about 2 hours north of Aurangabad. I took a detour to Gulmandi where I had my lunch at New Maratha Hotel. I continued my journey to Ajanta caves and reached there by 2:30 pm. The series of about 30 caves built in the shape of a horse-shoe, with the river Waghur passing below was a sight to behold, especially since visiting Ajanta was a childhood fantasy, courtesy: History.
After two and a half hour of beguiled admiration, I headed back to the city for some handloom picking at the Paithani silk weaving center at CIDCO, Town Center. After having shopped to my heart’s content, I headed to the famous Buddi Galli and was immediately greeted with a mouth-watering aroma of slow cooked culinary wonders. I relished the Naan-Qalia, a dish true to its fame, followed by Munna Bhai’s signature desserts—Mango Rabri, Doodhi Halwa, and Apricots with Cream.
Thoroughly contented with the daylong tour, I went back to my hotel room to get some shut eyes before my Bus to the next destination, Nashik.