So I completed my tour to Aurangabad. And am back with some good memories, and few bad ones too.
To say about Aurangabad, it seems just like any other cities of India, hastily developed, neglected. But its proximity to many of the tourist destinations, has kept the city on the map. First, it has the panchakki (a mill running on a water driven turbine, the water for which comes from few miles away, naturally) right in the heart of the city. Then there is the Bibi ka Maqbara(the tomb of Aurangazeb’s wife). This monument is built on the lines of the Taj Mahal in Agra, except that it is bit smaller. Then we have the Ajanta and the Ellora caves, with all their carvings, paintings and sculptures on rocks. The grandeur of these places is quite spectacular. Also there is the Daulatabad fort, which I managed to climb only half the distance because of tiresome mount. With all this historical places surrounding it, Aurangabad is one big center for tourism in India.
All these places have many things in common. They are very old. They are spectacular. And they are not maintained properly. The fort was completely grass ridden. There can be spotted few futile attempts to restore the surrounding of these places, but the entire process of tourism is not in place for the ease of the tourists. And this, after paying for the entry tickets at each of these places. There were around 3,00,000 tourists on that single day when I visited the fort, so the calculation goes to 1500000 rs per day during the holiday season.
Speaking of tickets, each of these places had different rates for Indians and foreigners, which does not go well with me. And so I comment. The ticket price for foreigners, was rs 250 where as for Indians was rs. 5 at the fort. Shocked by the difference? You go to a tourist destination in the world, and I don’t think there are separate rates for different people. Its a well known fact that most of the foreign visitors to India are cheated/looted in one form or the other. But this by the government!! This can be likened to racism. Though, we would label any such act by other country as racism, in this country we call it tourism.
With all it splendors, and all its shortcomings, this truly is “Incredible India”