Last night before heading to bed I quickly did some research on optional things I would maybe still like to do or see in Aurangabad in case it would require that I make arrangements with a driver, busses or with my hotel. I quite fancied going to Lonar crater which, if I am correct, was created by a meteor impact. Because it would be a 3 hour drive there and a 3 hour drive back, I was slightly worried that the geo-heritage site would be one of those things that I would find impressive and interesting to see for half an hour and then I would be done with it as it was one large mass of the same thing. As I approached the general manager of the hotel I am now staying at about my idea, he made me shut him off quite quickly when he said what they would charge for that distance. Instead I opted to go back to the Daulatabad Fort so I could finish the trek and enjoy the view from the top, it was only about half an hour away from my hotel anyway and after that I wanted to go to the Bibi Ka Maqbara which is a tomb that looks a striking amount like the Taj Mahal.
I had a decent breakfast this time, an omelette with some bread and my favourite: a good cup of Chai! I do like to start my day with a good breakfast, it sets the tone for the rest of the day. The moment I stepped out of the car at 10:30 AM the salesmen set their sights on me and I was surrounded, I finally reached the entrance of the fort so at least they couldn’t follow me in. It seemed like it was still quite quiet and I would have a relatively peaceful hike up to the top, at least I could skip past the surrounding area this time as I had already explored it a few days earlier. At home I run a lot, I like the way exercise clears my head so I was keen to dig my feet in and get going. I had even put on my hiking boots this time!
On the way to the top, I was quite surprised at how steep it was and how many steps there actually were, I thought I was fit but I had broken into such a sweat! I think it was also because I was going at quite a fast pace trying to get some negative energy out of my body that had been trapped inside of me from the past couple of days. Every time someone would stop me for a picture and get me out of my focus it would really bug me because I was there for my peace and to clear my mind, not to get attention from every single corner.
When I finally made it to the top, I enjoyed the view and rested for a little while before heading back down, 2 men decided that they would guide me down to protect me from whatever they thought I needed protecting from and to make sure I wouldn’t slip down the steps which was very thoughtful of them. On the way down I came across a middle-aged Western man who was apparently backpacking too, we were both equally shocked to see each other only he decided to verbalize this thought whilst everybody stood around us watching and listening to every word we said so I hope it didn’t come across as insulting. At the very end of the hike, about 50 meters away from the exit, some guys who were probably around my age wanted to take pictures together, one was overpowering and ordering his friends on how to take the pictures. He then tried to kiss me on my cheek so I hand palmed him then felt his hand try and grab my boob. I flipped, slapped him and made a scene. Other people came to defend me and started shouting at him and wiggling their fingers and then he shouted at me ‘ I am a prince, you do what I say’. Some other guys who seemed to be on the more muscular side headed toward this ‘prince’ and he ran off. Pussy. Even though something less fun had happened I was very happy that people stood up for me the way they did and seemed to be absolutely embarrassed by his behaviour. Thanks, guys.
In the on the way car to Bibi Ka Maqbara, I needed to pay 10 RS as a parking fee, as I was sorting my money out I was about to unfold my note as I keep them folded within each other to save space, the drive grabbed the 10 RS note out of my hand and gave it to the parking guide. I immediately got cross with him because there was a 2000 RS note in there and he thought it was 50 RS so I was shortchanged a massive amount. When I told him what he had done he got so pale and this grown man looked like he was about to cry or be sick. I was really pissed about but decided to get out of the car and walk around the sight so we could both calm down a bit. Let me fast track to the ending of this situation, by the genuine look of distress and regret on his face and his nice and respectful behaviour towards me I guessed that it had been an honest mistake. It was a fair amount of money to me but if I would complain to my hotel manager and get this man fired, it would cost him so much more than it was worth to me so I decided to swallow down the pain and keep my mouth shut. Karma owes me big time. I asked the driver if he wanted to get some lunch together and that it would be my treat as I had noticed the previous days that the drivers don’t seem to eat or drink when they are working. He refused so instead I bought some water for him I also bought some bananas and we shared them for our lunch in the car while we sat in silence. He was obviously still upset about what had happened.
The Bibi Ka Maqbara truely seemed just like a small version of the Taj, it was really beautiful and the grounds surrounding it so surreal. I absolutely love Moorish architecture so this was right up my street, it gives such a warm and glamorous feeling, its personally reminds me modest luxury, not pretending to be anything it isn’t, just simple beauty. It was a shame that I couldn’t walk around without a minutes moment of peace to take it all in as people were so excited to get their pictures and have chats with me. I have met some lovely people here but at a certain point, I was just really done with all of the attention. I am an extroverted introvert but there is a reason that I am travelling alone, I enjoy time to myself.
After walking around the building I went to escape the people by walking through a gate to the surrounding ground where it was so much quieter. I found a nice corner where 2 women were working, they were taking out the weeds with a little hook, it was just the 2 of them and they still had acres of ground to go. It was so peaceful being sat with them, we had a chat, I took some pictures and just rested for a while as they fussed over me, giving me cardboard to sit on, some water and Chai. They were really lovely and would tell the people who came looking for me to take a selfie that they would only get 1 and that was it.
When I got back in the car, the last stop was supposed to be Pancakki, some kind of water pump. When I got to the ticket gate and peeped inside I nearly laughed at the fact this was seen as a tourist attraction. It was tiny and had not been well maintained what so ever. I headed back to the car and asked the driver to take me back the to the hotel so I could just hang out and relax a bit after such a mentally draining day.
As I went down to have some dinner, I was one of the only people in the restaurant and I was alone, I wouldn’t have minded so much but then I could tell that waiters were watching me so I felt a bit nervous. I don’t like when people watch me eat because it makes me feel like I am doing something wrong. It was very nice food though and I very much enjoyed it. As a dessert, I had ordered some Lassie as everybody seems to be raving about it. I had sweet and salty as that was what the waiter recommended but I was not impressed, I gave it a couple of goes but it really wasn’t very appealing to me. It wasn’t a mango one so I definitely want to give it another shot somewhen. Because I had left the remainder of my drink I got a phone call in my room, asking me if I would like something else instead as they felt bad for me so I ordered an iced coffee. When I got it, it was definitely more like a chocolate milkshake but very nice nonetheless. I just hope the milk wouldn’t upset my stomach.
After doing some more writing and listening to some music and finishing off a couple of hotel bookings I went to bed quite late, it was a nice feeling to be able to have a lay in the next morning and not have to deal with picture taking people!
As a reflection of this day by myself, I must say that I really did enjoy myself. It is nice to people to do what you want, when you want and to be able to become one with yourself in a way that seems only possible when you are halfway across the world by yourself and you don’t know anybody. No one knows who you are or your story, you can be whoever you want to be. I love how travelling really makes you have to grow and develop yourself, there is no escape, you either sink or you swim.