Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cave Hunting

After a short stay in Goa to recover from the long journey we made our way to the ancient caves of Ajanta & Ellora. These caves dating from 200 BC to 1100 AD are cut from the volcanic lavas of the Deccan trap in a steep crescent shaped hillside in a forested ravine of the Sahyadri hills. After the seventh century, the jungle took over and the caves lay unnoticed for centuries until in 1819, a party of British army officers chanced upon them while of all things tiger hunting. One of the tigers they were hunting sought refuge in one of them. So really the credit should go to the tiger.

Everywhere we went in India there were animals and Aiden's fascination with them grew each day. He does a few animals sounds and signs like dog, cow, monkey, horse, tiger etc but any animals that he does not recognize are put in the dog category. All along the road he would go ruff ruff whenever he saw goats, sheep etc. He was so excited when he saw this sculpture of a cow and wanted to ride it. Little did he care that it was a centuries old treasure that probably should not be treated like a pony.
It was so incredibly hot that we had to bring out the spray bottle to keep Aiden from overheating. But you wouldn't guess that it was hot if you looked at these folks who were dressed in full winter clothing. They were from Ladakh which is near Kashmir in the Himalayas and it's always freezing cold there.

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