Aurangabad, India. December 2013.

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December 27. I have never heard of Ellora or Ajanta Caves and after seeing Agra, I haven’t expected Aurangabad to impress me, however, it turned out to be a pretty remarkable place, worthy of a detour from the “standard India package” destinations. Malik Ambar, the Prime Minister of Murtaza Nizam Shah of Ahmadnagar, made Aurangabad (at that time still a small village called Khadki, and later Fatehnagar) his capital city in 1610. Due to Ambar’s love and talent for architecture, it took only a decade for the village to become an imposing city. With the capture of the impregnable Daulatabad fort (i will talk about it later) by the Mughal …

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Khajuraho to Aurangabad, India. December 2013.

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I can’t call it anything but The Long March Forward. Just like Mao Zedong, we made a lot of sacrifices to get to our next destination, despite all the obstacles and obvious insanity of the idea. The original plan was to leave Khajuraho by train in the morning and transfer in Jhansi for an overnight train to Aurangabad, which would get us to the final destination by 11 am the next day. However, after listening to my complaints about the roach-infested, 8 hour delayed trip from Varanasi to Delhi, Dimitris came up with a “brilliant” idea to skip the train ride altogether and instead hire a car for a 1,000 …

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Khajuraho, India. December 2013.

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December 25. The best way to get to the sexy temples of Khajuraho is to take a 45 minutes flight from a military airport in Agra. After a morning visit to the Tomb of Akbar the Great in Sikandra, we drove to the airport, where I, simply by chance, went through my belongings and found out that a significant amount of money was missing from my travel emergency cash. I have a long list of countries I have been to, and depending on the information I gather about my next destination, I usually decide the possible ways of payment while traveling. Obviously, Amex and credit cards with no foreign exchange …

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