With driver and guide we explored a 14th century hill fort (Daulatabad Fort) and the Ellora caves.
The fort was started at another location. But the builders decided it was not to their liking so abandoned it. The original partly-built construction was repurposed in antiquity as a shrine.
It’s said the fort was never conquered. Does that mean it was supremely constructed for its purpose or that it was never tested in an attack? I do not know.
Invaders would have encountered dark mazes and misleading passageways, defenders poised in cul de sacs to attack. Once dispatched, to keep the passage clear, built-in chutes made it easy to drop their dead bodies into the moat.
Luckily, in the 21st century we only met friendly selfie requests.
Once we’d made our way down, we headed off to the Ellora caves. Caves of the human-built type.
Starting from either the top or the front, enormous shrines and temples–entire monasteries!–were carved out of solid rock. Just like, “Who was the first person to intentionally throw a back flip?” I wonder who was the first person who thought this might be possible.
Even though we’d had just three and a half hours sleep we were inspired by the people we met, the fort, the caves and the fascinating stories told by our guide.