One fine day, my mother was planning to go to Grishneshwar Jyotirling. I nodded head in yes, that let’s go some weekend. Its close to 5 hours drive from Pune.
Then, I picked up my phone to check what more places can we explore nearby. It is then my eyes got big with excitement. The world-famous, Ellora Caves, Daulatabad Fort & Bibi ka Maqbara are here to explore. All my history chapters from school started flashing one by one.
With enthusiasm and exuberance, we planned the trip soon.
Started early morning & by 11 am, we were in the temple premises. The crowd was at the peak but since it was organised, we got our turn soon. At this jyotirling, males are not allowed to cover their upper part of the body. We were not allowed to touch the shivling, only darshan & can view the shivling clearly on the big mirrors placed above. We offered our prayers, came out & got the sweet halwa as prasaad.
Next we moved to Ellora caves as it is located close to the temple. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site & has the largest rock-cut monastery temple cave complex in the world.
The first time when I saw the caves, I was like, am I really standing here?
Not even thought in my wildest dreams, that I will ever have the opportunity to see it. The caves were not different from the pictures of a history book. This place required a lot of energy to move all-around & explore architectural beauty. The caves featured sculptures of gods, goddesses & mythologies.
It was a sunny day & walking, made us too exhausted. Old stones with various scriptures & many stories behind, as narrated by the guides there. The part of the monument was constructed by Rashtrakuta dynasty & another half by Yadava dynasty. And to build the monument, royals & traders gave the funds back then. Today it is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India. Finally, we clicked lots of pictures & moved ahead for lunch.
The next beautiful destination was Daulatabad fort. And as it was a fort, too much of trekking, to view the beautiful city, Aurangabad from top. The climb was not flat, so it was again very tiring, but with family around & doing all the fun gossips, it was a such a walk to remember. Daultabad fort had a lot of connection with the emperors I remember till date, such as Muhammad bin Tuglaq of Delhi Sultanate & Alauddin Khilji. After visiting such places, you tend to read about them again & their supremacy.
Last stop was Bibi ka Maqbara/ Tomb of the Lady. Commissioned by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in the memory of his first wife, Dilras Banu Begum.
At first look, you will get a feel of mini Taj Mahal, if you have been to Agra first. Just that, Taj Mahal is more elegant though the structure looked the same. These both monuments share striking resemblance, popular as Dakkhini Taj/ Taj of the Deccan. And its the largest structure that Aurganzeb had ever built.
As it was already evening, cool breezes & greenery around gave us a sigh of relief. By now we were totally drained & there was 5 hours drive back to Pune too. Bought already cut pineapples near the car parking & wrapped up the visit to this historic city with many wonderful memories.
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