Ajanta caves. Ancient! Dating from the 2nd century BCE, the massive Ajanta site includes Buddhist temples, monasteries and worship halls–all carved out of the solid rock hillside. It was once forgotten. But, covered in jungle, the caves were rediscovered in 1819 by a British tiger hunter.
The carvings and paintings at Ajanta influence the colours and forms of modern India art. Especially the Sir JJ School of Art in Mumbai which intentionally looked to Ajanta for inspiration. We saw some JJ school examples back in Mumbai at the restored Victoria and Albert Museum (now, the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum).
A Mini Taj
The Mughals were strategic, brutal fighters who amassed wealth through conquest. In turn they built massive forts, palaces and gardens across India. We visited a Mini Taj, constructed by the grandson of the Muhgal Taj Mahal builder. In memory of his mother (and, I like to think, no less heartfelt despite its size), it’s a popular place for local families and young people to visit.
Beautiful beaches on the Arabian Sea. Goa is a global destination resort. Beaches. Cheap alcohol. Palm trees. Sunsets.
Goa, India’s smallest and richest state has the highest standard of living in the country. Governed by the Portuguese from the 16th century until 1961, India took military action to persuade them to leave. It took until 1987 to complete the paperwork, but Goa finally became an independent Indian state
(This is likely the last itinerary-based post I’ll make. Linearity doesn’t quite work here.)