After a sudden change of plans and a two-day visit to Chanderi, we are back on our pre-decided plan. As per the plan we have to reach Khajuraho today. Its an almost four and a half hr drive from Chanderi. The drive is pretty ok, as a condition of the road is good despite being in MP.
After having a magnificent evening at Chanderi, we had a peaceful sleep at our own Kothi. The next morning started with breakfast in bed and we were ready to move to our next destination. “The land of erotic beauty” built by the Chandela dynasty, Khajuraho. Which includes artistic stoneworks of gods, goddesses, warriors, musicians, real and mythological animals, sensual and dancing postures of nymphs. All these showcase the great skill of sculptors.
Why Not Just The Tale of Kamasutra
To illustrate the idea of life that engaged an aesthetic object to create something inspirational, has been overshadowed by the petty representation of Kamasutra in the carvings, in these beautiful temples. These erotic sculptures comprise only ten percent of the Khajuraho temple complex. The rest of the carving shed more light on the daily life of commoners, that existed during those times. Just to give you a few examples, there are sculptures of women apply makeup, potters, musician, farmers, marriage proceedings, hunting, etc are found in abundant.
This place is well connected from Jhansi via NH39, at a distance of approx 175km, which will take 4h 30min to drive down. Been a popular tourist destination this place has multiple options for stay, varying from homestays to five-star hotels. We had booked our stay at the Syna Heritage Hotel, which offered us a good deal as it was offseason. As we reached Khajuraho around 1330h, we had a complete day in hand with us to explore the town.
Legends assert the Khajuraho was built by the son of the moon god, Chandravarman. Originally 85 temples were built but only 25 had stood the test of time. I was surprised to know that, these temples were lost for very long. These were found in 1838, by British officer T S Brut who was apparently guided to ruins by his palanquin bearers. Britishers were the first ones to start the restoration work in these temples. It was the Vindhyachal ranges and its vegetation which saved these temples from Mughal’s onslaught on various occasions.
Khajuraho Temple Group
Khajuraho temple is divided into groups as per the cardinal direction as Western group, Eastern Group, and Southern Group. Western group of temples is the main attraction being conserved under the UNESCO world heritage site. But it doesn’t mean that the other two are not in competition. The tour started with the booking of a tour guide. There will be two kinds of guides available. One of Madhya Pradesh tourism official guides and second are local guides. Official guide charges approx Rs 1650 only for the Western group and local guides will charge you approx Rs 500 for the other two groups. Being the off-season we could bargain only for Rs 500 for all three groups.
It’s mainly the western group of temples you should be focusing on. The construction and the sculptures of temples are generally on the same lines. I wanted to give out a brief of each temple but Ritesh didn’t agree. He just said, let the readers go and enjoy the beauty by their own experience. In the evening there is a light and sound show. To add a cherry on the cake the entire show is narrated by none other than Mr. Amitabh Bacchan.
To have a delicious meal right in front of temples you should visit Raja Cafe. There are other good restaurants as well but you don’t get the opportunity to have dinner with Khajuraho temple right in front of you. Just 18 Kms from there are Raneh Falls. If you have the time left with you and not much is planned, then go enjoy the evening at the falls. For shopping, I will suggest you can buy brass stuff at better prices, but remember I’m talking about off season rates.
The market generally closes around 2100h, and around 2200h the entire city turns isolated as haunted town. We returned back to our room by 2200h and called it a day.