We arrived in Aurangabad by train from Nasik. After checking in to our hotel, the Hotel , we were ready to settle in for a few days and explore our new temporary home.
Aurangabad is not as busy as Nasik and better still it is nowhere near as polluted. Our lungs were very thankful that there are not quite as many of the the two stroke air polluting engines of the auto-rickshaws here as there were in Nasik.
Since we have been in Aurangabad we have had a pleasant mix of activity and relaxation.
One morning we got an auto-rickshaw from our hotel and popped in to the Taj Residency hotel for a bit of peace and quiet, and a beer – of course. :d Auto-rickshaws are not allowed through the gates at the Taj so we had to walk to the hotel, which was quite a long walk and not pedestrian friendly.
We wanted to sit in the bar, but apparently it doesn’t open until 3pm. That almost made me feel glad I couldn’t afford to stay there – if I was a resident I would not be impressed by the bar not being open all day.
The building itself at the Taj Residency was a bit tatty and there were hardly any guests there when we went which I think made the place feel sad.
We sat outside the restaurant overlooking the croquet lawn which would have been nice and peaceful if it wasn’t for the half a dozen men mowing and clipping the grass in to a neat stripy pattern. Whilst we sat there relaxing we managed to get lots of posts written and set up the Vodafone dongle internet etc. The service at the Taj Residency was excellent and we always had at least one waiter standing near to us to attend to our every need, although maybe it wasn’t good service, maybe they were just making sure we didn’t pinch anything. ;o We spent a few hours at the Taj Residency, it was really lovely to get away from the noise of the city and it would have been perfect if we hadn’t been attacked by millions of midges and flies.
The main reason we came to Aurangabad was to visit the Ellora caves, and during our stay in Aurangabad we spent a day, about 5 hours of it, wandering round the caves at Ellora.
We also went to the Bibi-ka Maqbara monument aka the mini Taj Mahal.
Apart from that we have spent our time chilling out eating and drinking in the restaurants and bars that line the road along from our hotel, including the Trupati Hotel restaurant, the New Bharti restaurant, and the Prem Popular Punjab bar, which is good for ladies as we are permitted to sit outside at the front and watch the world go by as we enjoy a beer or two. Expect to get some odd looks though from the many men who frequent the Permit Room. We sat outside the Prem Popular Punjab Bar almost every night we were in Aurangabad, and every night the local men would stop and stand and stare at me for a while before entering and leaving. I’m not quite sure what they found so interesting about me? ;o
Both Richard and I received a lot of attention everywhere we went, as I’m sure all of the other foreign tourists did too. We were especially popular at the Ellora caves, where we were constantly being asked by Indian tourists if they could take our photo, and often having our photo taken sneakily by people using their mobile phones. It seems everyone in India has the same addiction as we do in England – they can’t stop playing with their mobiles. Maybe they think we’re famous? ;D
All of the restaurants we ate at in Aurangabad offered a choice of Indian and Chinese food. We tried both, but only a little at a time as we were both still feeling a little unwell. We snacked rather than eating large meals. Richard was feeling far worse than I was and we planned most of our meals around his upset tummy, only leaving the hotel when it was safe to be away from the loo. Needless to say he was not really in the mood to scoff lots of food, preferring to keep things as light as possible. One of Richards favourite things to eat was soup, but then he has always been a fan of the liquid diet, except usually his liquid of choice is red wine.
I really liked the Puri Baji, which consisted of 5 lovely fluffy fried round pieces of bread with a dish of very mild potato and cauliflower curry.
When we arrived in Aurangabad we’d met a tout at the train station, M Shaikh, who we later realised ran his tour business from our hotel, the Hotel Preetam, so we arranged for him to drive us to the Ellora caves and wait for us while we explored them. He also introduced us to an auto-rickshaw driver who we booked for a few hours to take us to the Bibi-ka Maqbara (aka mini Taj Mahal) and various other sites of interest in Aurangabad. M Shaikh offers all types of taxi at reasonable prices. We were driven in his Tata car.
Tata is ‘the’ Indian brand, it’s not a question of what do they make, it’s more a question of what don’t they make?
I wonder if Mr Tata would be interested in adopting a lovely, weary, couple from England (who are now way too old to be back-packing) but who are very comfortable living a 5-star life of luxury, but can only afford 0-star, and whisking them away to a life of utter bliss? :d
Maybe I should email him? As my dear old nan always said, you don’t get what you don’t ask for……. Dear Mr Tata…….
Aurangabad is a bustling friendly city with enough to do to keep you occupied for a few days, or if you’re like us; professional time wasters, there’s enough to do (or not do) to keep you occupied/unoccupied for days and days………..