Khajuraho is a beautiful place stirred with a history dating 1000 A.D. Beautiful temples carved erotic out of sandstones withstanding the plucked-out-marks gifted with chisels by its raiders. Glided across by a water-sculpted canyon. Yes, Khajuraho has many stories to tell.
Unlike any urban city, Khajuraho sits in the lap of nature acquainting one with the rich tradition and tale of nature lost in time.
No, this blog ain’t an excavation to find tales of history, but rather what Khajuraho depicts to a traveler when it arrives at the place, and yes, it would be bit of the ramblings of dos and don’t and how and whats.
The booking of UP Sampark kranti train on 5th August, for a ticket of 7th August, got me an RAC (everyone in India knows, when a ticket is booked under RAC, it means that it will 100% eventually confirm, unlike when booked under waiting list)
I started my Journey from Delhi on the Night of 7th August, 2015 to comfortably reach at 6:30am on the next day morning.
Thankfully, my decision to have previous night bathing and personal hygiene kept me fresh throughout the early part of day.
It was a pleasant morning.. I mean.. simply wow.
After boarding the train, do not expect, and I mean it, do not expect to find even a pan shop as you come out. Luckily my stars were kind, I located a single pan shop serving tea at 6:15am in the morning (yes, we arrived at 6:00am, half-an-hour in advance to schedule arrival, this happens especially when the station you are arriving is a terminal)
Okay, the pan-wala gave me a tip-off of his cousin who is a Rikshaw driver (Piago autos, also known as Dam-dam gadi (hindi slang) / Dukar gadi (Marathi slang)
India’s Grand Canyon
I mentioned Rahne falls, based on the research I did before arriving this place. It was 20km from the railways as per Google maps, far and interior, no public bus connects it. And Hence, a price was bargained to a 500 rupees to-n-for ride to the rahne falls (well, it did turned out to be a smart deal, as road are pretty rough, and the to-n-fro ride ended out to be more than 50km, as we explored past in whish-a-whoo, as a thumb-rule 10 rupees/km is never a bad bargain to make)
Rahne falls, lies on the way that leads to Panna Tiger reserve. There is a right from where another 30km takes you to the sanctuary and five km on left takes you to the Rahne falls.
Just at the spot, you are asked to pay 100 bucks for your Autoriskshaw inclusive of entry fee, something which I never understood why, oh yes, it also includes ticket for entering the Ken Gharial Sanctuary, which to my disappointment (well I knew it in advance, but was still hoping that I might) remains closed in monsoons owing to the breeding season of the Gharials (Indian Snouted Crocs)
The scenery was breath taking, as being monsoon, the water fell with full-force, and the sound was soothing, wild and at times timid, as I pasted into the reserve.
Oh yes, the 100 bucks also includes a guide fee, which moves along with you (in fact keeping eye on you) explaining everything about the park. They are sincere and hardworking and never complain if you take a little more time learning about the area. They even tell you botanical importance and identities of Plant species inside the reserve.
Well, I couldn’t spot any much of birds, but yes, one birdie took my heart away. It was the first time, I saw her, as she landed in her nest.
It was afternoon, by then, and we decided to lunch somewhere, we ventured out through the ruralscape to halt a local dhaba (Indian slang to a roadside eatery.) The food served was good and cheap (up to the reputations of Dhabas)
Then, as we spend some quality time, deciding philosophies, and I soon found myself on the listening side, than helping much. The conversation ensured food-digestion. In addition, after one-hour of learning about villages and their men, women and lives, we headed to the much-revered western-group of temples.
The Western Group of Temples
It is the only place in India, which has oldest murti (stone artwork) of Chamunda maa (a goddess known for her slaying the devils and blood-sacrifices)
There is shiv-linga, constructed in 1000A.D. surviving the hammers of Mughal invaders, who found the… oh yes, I did miss why are temples of Khajuraho famous for to say..
Khajuraho temples are marvelous art-works of stone-crafting depicting sex-positions (called as Kama-sutra) on the walls of temples.
Mughals found it profane.
And needless to imagine, how they must have chiseled it.. Thankfully, a messenger from the emperor stopped the hammering, as he declared emperors wish to see it before destroying. And luckily, emperor was a curator of art, and found it too fascinating a work of art to be chiseled away.
The western group of temple is a big complex, and it even houses Varuna, a rare form of Vishnu (one of the three powerful Gods of Hindu, known as a caretaker of the world).
It took me entire afternoon, until late evening, to explore the huge arena.
And yes, it was seriously hot that time, I wondered why, as it was just august. However, no, it was crazy hot. I was sweating like hell. Thankfully, the temples offered me peace, as they were carved out of sandstone, which are very cool to touch.
As the night began to fall, I was reminded to say my final adieu to the sanctum of Khajuraho. I did felt a little sad about having to leave the same day I arrived, but that’s how life teaches us I guess – receive it as you get it.
A Tiwari bus (the bus stand is only 1km apart from the western group of temples) was schedule to start by 7:30pm from the bus-stand taking me to Jabalpur – the next halt in my list.