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October 25, 2003

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India straddles the middle of the world, so it's no wonder that Indians have practiced every major religion. Today we experience Buddhism, Indian style, by visiting remnants of ancient Buddhism at the Ajanta caves. To get here we left Mumbai on an overnight bus that carried us 400 kilometers and then dropped us off in Aurangabad. We found the caves after another 105 kilometer bus ride. Buddhist meditation helps us recover from long bus rides.
The Ajanta caves. Carved into a horseshoe shaped cliff. Inside rest thousand year old frescoes of ancient Buddhist art.
Awesome spot for meditation.
At night the Diwali festival takes over. This is like an American 4th of July celebration on steroids. It's the biggest festival of the Hindu calendar and the start of the new financial year for Indian companies. The celebration lasts five days, each day holding special religious significance. The fun involves giving sweets to children, lighting fancy oil lamps, and blowing up firecrackers.