Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.
Daily “routine” is never “evergreen” – it’s bound to get tiring at one point, leaving us gasping for the much needed breathing space. A timely “time off” is a key to break away from the shackles of monotony and perhaps a way to discover or rediscover the “real” oneself.
I’ve always been very enthusiastic about travelling and knowing more about the never-ending list of unknowns. My last vacation, probably more of a journey, took me to a once forgotten place, where nature is keeping her secrets along with the long forgotten history of human settlements thousands of years ago.
The place is laden in the cradle of rugged mountain ranges. Unlike the mighty snow-capped mountains we are mostly familiar with, these mountain ranges are much smaller in height and due to seasonal rainfall, greenery drapes the otherwise dry and rough terrain. Numerous seasonal unnamed rivers drench the surroundings during monsoon. Along the horseshoe shaped course of one such river, lay thirty well-exacavated caves, which were once inhibited by our ancestors more than two thousand years ago. Most of these caves are painted (entirely or partially), some of which are considered as the masterpieces of ancient art in India – the oldest surviving sample of the paintings dating back to at least 200 BC. The serenity and blissful surroundings of the place, deep echoes of the exquisite history and spirit of creation, sounds of the wild along with the amplified sound inside the caves created by countless number of waterfalls emerging during rainy season – all these makes the time stop. Of all the trips I have made so far, this one has perhaps impacted me the most and helped in making a deep discovery of myself.
So far I’ve not mentioned the name of the place – the reason was I wanted to emphasize the beauty and exquisite nature of this place, keeping aside the religious nature. The picture I used here is from the same place. This place is currently a UNESCO World Heritage site and known as “Ajantha Caves”. Like most of the historical places and artistic marvels of India, this was also a religious place – dedicated to the Buddhist monks, which was in use till 10th century CE – giving us an exquisitely enriched history of more than thousand years. In a fast moving today’s “modern” life, isn’t it necessary to turn back the time for a while to really enjoy the “time off”?