Are you embarrassed by your fellow-travellers? Do you cringe and step away to disassociate yourself from selfie-obsessed loud littering tourists? Do you groan at the sound of passengers unbuckling themselves from the shackles of the airplane seat-belt the second the wheels touch land? I do.
Why do people leave garbage at monuments? Why do we scribble on the walls? Why must we express our love for Mona and Shona and Ramesh on ancient structures? Nobody cares that you <3 Kishore, Laila!
This unsolicited marking of territory is no better than the apartment kitten I feed everyday, who has recently discovered he is a boy and must wee on my couch to announce his existence. He has been christened Lulu McSusuFace, and is not allowed inside my home anymore. Ah who am I kidding. Of course he is. Look at that moonji.
On this trip to Aurangabad, apart from the beautiful caves, I saw the following:
- Morons climb up an ancient monument with their shoes on to get selfies, and then walk past the rest of the temples without even looking.
- People scribble on the walls of the 2000 year old cave structures.
- Families have a picnic in the lovely lawns, and then leave their garbage there.
- Stone-carved goddesses with well-worn breasts and thighs because guess where people like to touch the statues the most.
- Flash photography inside the dark caves that house the world-famous Ajanta paintings.
- People scream at their kids to stand still for photographs inside the Buddhist shrines, while the serene chanting was in progress.
- People scratch the painted walls and then say “huh, it’s not very well maintained, the paint is coming off.”
If you plan a trip to Ajanta-Ellora, please do your bit to not destroy what remains of our heritage! Continue reading The Allure of Ellora & Ajanta