Khajuraho Experience: The first thing that is quite noticeable about the flight to Khajuraho is the ratio of foreign nationals to Indian nationals is quite high. It seems that the Indian tourists are not much interested about this place. This is a bit sad, as the temples here showcase the zenith of the stone curving in Indian architecture. Khajuraho is well known for its ornate temples, which are one of the most beautiful temples in medieval India. The temples are famous for its erotic sculptures. However, the erotic sculptures are less than 10 percent of the curving and the number of curving and sculptures are so high that it gets quite difficult to locate one. The sculptures are quite bold and beautiful. From a distance, you can see the wavy nature of the sculptures.
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: The overall trip can be combined in one extended weekend. We reached in Jet Airways flight and reached at 2 PM. We started the trip with the Southern and Eastern group of temples. It is possible to complete the sightseeing of those temples within a span of 2 hours, which include the remains of the latest discovery, incomplete Bijamandala mound. We had sufficient time to have a cup of coffee, before we went inside the Western group of temples to see the Light and Sound show. The Bamboo restaurant was a convenient location to have the coffee, as it is just opposite to the entrance. It was a great experience to see the show. The lighting with Amitabh Bacchan’s narration makes it an unforgettable experience. Unfortunately there were some interference from the local Bhagabati Jagaran Manch – but those the minor irritants. It was quite useful to see the Light and sound show, before seeing the temple complex. The first half of the second day was spent in seeing the Western Group of temples – which is the ultimate experience. After the light and sound show, one can spend about 1 hour of shopping in the nearby market, fondly known as Connaught Place. It was mainly the sculptures. Raja Cafe is popular eating point, but it may also be worth to try the food in Siddharth International, which is just behind Raja Café. Avoid taking food in Jhankar hotel (MPTDC). The quality and quantity is inferior to Siddharth International or Raja Cafe.
Activities & things to do: It was our driver who suggested to go for further sight-seeing – off-the-beaten-track. We first went to Raneh Falls. It was a great falls, with is situated 25 kms from Khajuraho. This is mini Grand-Canyon and the land-formation at that place is just awesome. The combination of red sandstone and granite and the dark green basalt stone, which formed from magma is great. It was a great experience to see such unique land formation. After that we went to see Pandava Falls. In between we had our lunch in tree-top restaurant, an unique restaurant which is at tree-top, beside river Ken (Karnavati). Pandava falls is another unique experience. The only negative point is the number of stairs. However, avoid the place during evening – as the place gets quite lonely. We had the company of 5 more tourists only.
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Avoid the place during extended summer season. Otherwise, the weather is quite pleasant. Avoid the local touts and some of the guides. They seem to over-emphasize the erotic sculptures with added spices. That gets a bit irritating and one actually misses the beauty of the scenes, which can be enjoyed with minimum words. The poetry is already written in the stone and you do not need any interpreter to understand the same. It is best to buy the World Heritage Series book on Khajuraho. The book is by Archaeological Survey of India. That is the best available book for the general tourist. Also, it is worth taking a local taxi-driver, as they know the places well. Without their help, one cannot see the Southern and Eastern group of temples. Remember to see the location of old Khajuraho village and the Ghantai temple. An extended weekend worth spending.
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