[Day 21] Today I decided it would be a good thing to concentrate on getting two good meals in, something we have only occasionally been able to do on this trip, which was really starting to tell on my strength and health.
So rather than go for any further photography at Ellora, we headed off for Ajanta, and we did indeed get a couple of worthy meals on the way. From morning I started sneezing and although I don’t have any flu symptoms, the sneezing and non-stop runny-nose continued all day.
Ajanta itself is near to Fardapur, but around 20 km before that village there is a turn off that goes around 8km to an Ajanta Caves Viewpoint, on the top of the opposite cliffs. I have seen this viewpoint in many photographs, but it is breathtaking to see it in its natural surroundings. I managed to get some good panoramic photographs of the horseshoe-shaped cave settlement.
Just as we were leaving I saw on the right a gate, and decided to see where it led. It began descending down the cliff and eventually we could see it would lead to a platform on the same level as the caves, perhaps a kilometre down the cliff. Once I had worked that out I decided not to proceed, fearing another Pitalkhora-type climb out in the middle of the day.
The Ajanta caves are closed on Mondays, so we were unable to go in today, and one major disappointment we found out when we got here is that the caves themselves open only at 9.00am, which is not far off the time we normally have been finishing work at the other places, having been used to starting around 6.00am, before anyone else arrived.
This is going to seriously impact on the amount of time we can spend here, and evidently we are in for a difficult couple of days ahead, both in terms of crowds, and of food and day-time heat exhaustion.