15-Oct-2004 -- We reached 20N 74E on a road trip we undertook from Daman. Before that, we had reached 21N 73E and aborted an attempt to reach 20N 73E. After a pleasant and peaceful "darshan" at the mausoleum of Sai Baba at Shirdi, we decided to stay the night at Shirdi before continuing on our way to Aurangabad. After a good night's rest, we set out from Shirdi to Aurangabad. 20N 75E was located very near the road we were going to use. The early part of the journey was on a bad road and it improved after we rejoined the Nasik-Aurangabad highway. 20N 75E seemed to lie to the right of the road and the GPS counted down fairly quickly as we made our way towards Ellora and Aurangabad.
With about 2.5 kilometers to go to the CP, we found a road on the right leading in the direction we wanted. That road led to Lasur. After a kilometer, we turned off that road on to a dirt road and wound up at Denvada, a village that was located about 1.2 kilometers from the confluence. The village folk were extremely helpful and a few of the men decided to accompany us towards the CP. Vinod, Kishore, Goda and I walked through cotton fields and finally reached the embankment of a stream. We waded across the shallow stream to find that we would have to cross the stream again a little further down. After one more crossing, we climbed the bank and reached 20N 75E in a few minutes. It was a long walk in the sun. The altitude recorded was 518 meters and after taking the mandatory photographs and a few of all of us, we made our way back to the village. The folks who accompanied us led us on a shorter route back and on the way walked through their farms. They insisted on plucking corn and other vegetables to gift to us.
We reached the village to find that all the women were having a great time too. The women-folk of the village invited them into their homes and the children came out to play with Aishwarya (my daughter) and Neela (my niece). This was Goda's second confluence and she was extremely excited. After washing up, we climbed aboard and wished all the friendly folks goodbye before heading back to the highway towards the caves at Ellora.
The 34 caves at Ellora contain splendid rock carvings in the Buddhist, Hindu and Jain styles. Invading armies destroyed a lot of the paintings and only a few patches of frescos remain. After visiting the main caves (Cave #16, 12, 10 & 32), we drove towards Aurangabad to stay the night. Once we reached Aurangabad, we went and saw the replica of the Taj Mahal built by Aurangzeb. It is not as awe inspiring as the real thing, but pretty impressive.
So far, we had managed to reach 21N73E, 20N74E & 20N75E. We aborted the attempt to reach 20N73E. We still had one confluence to attempt near Aurangabad - 20N 76E. We planned to do this early tomorrow morning.