we took a bus to Ajanta, the "Louvre of India" the next morning. lost for hundreds of years, and thus very well protected from humans, the Ajanta caves are a series of temples and monasteries carved out of the rock face a narrow valley. built from 200BC-500AD, there are also the best surviving example of early Buddhist art and architecture. they do no disappoint.
talking about the caves seems silly. the scale, the scope, the splendor - just can't be explained. even sick as we were (yup, relapsing ...), we were impressed. although i took pictures and video to share later, i would rather leave you with this short episode from our day there:
at one point we were standing in a vast, unfinished hall which i regarded as "something out of lord of the rings." we were both staring around us at the huge columns, towering statues of Lord Buddha, and deep foreboding meditation chambers - all sculpted out of solid mountain - when we both lowered out cameras. i turned to eliot: "it's times like these when looking around i wonder how, even with photos, i will explain this to people back home." eliot agreed. there's just no way to sum up some of these places. the pictures look nice, to be sure, and they will give a sense of the place. but when you're standing in it - really wrapped up on all sides by these places that are 2000 years old - there's just nothing like it. it's like religion or something, it just can't be explained.
the point is, check out the photos. or google image some of these places. better still, buy yourself a ticket to india and see them for yourself. you won't be sorry.