Aurangabad was quite fittingly, bad. Really bad. The streets weren’t really streets at all, but dusty gaps between piles of rubbish and street vendors. Thankfully, the Ellora caves were nearby. After catching (mostly by luck) the public bus out there we were faced with a series of caves carved out a cliff-face by monks of various religions 1500 years ago. These were impressive. However, the Kailasanatha temple in the middle was rather more so. Carved out from the cliff in one single chunk, it’s twice the size of the Parthenon, covers three storeys and was designed from one blokes head. No drawings. Rather smug that we’d made our way to Aurangabad after all, we headed home in a guy’s jeep (don’t ask) and found out that we had actually made it off the waiting list and on to the sleeper train to Mumbai! Huzzah!
Now, obviously Mumbai is our finishing line so to speak, and we still have 5 or so weeks of travel left in the tank. But our thinking (and what thinking I may add) was that we could dump most of our stuff at the train station (warm stuff from Nepal, novelty hats, trinkets, Tibetan flags etc.) and get moving with minimal luggage and minimal fuss. Mumbai is not conducive to no fuss though. It’s hot, expensive and noisy. However, the buildings are stunning, none more so than the aforementioned train station. All designed by us plucky Brits no less, which got me wondering why most of the towns back in Blighty don’t look nearly so good. It seems colonial architecture was strictly for the colonies only. Shame really, I’m not sure Leeds’ high street looks as good as Mumbai’s.