Casual conversation over drinks and dinner…loads of destinations discussed which I thought would be forgotten by morning...I didn’t really expect these travels to materialize so was surprised to see an email the next morn – “Getting the the hell out”. Some emails exchanged, some recce done, some silence...but then the poke from S. We finally did get out…to a destination that was never really considered initially. No regrets there though…it was a wonderful choice.
Madhya Pradesh, the heart of Incredible India. Really??? If I look at the map, it seems more like the stomach :-). Return tickets booked before the itinerary is finalized…awesome way to get us all committed to the trip.
Considerable reworking of the itinerary …nowhere close to what was suggested at the first instance and Day 1 we are on Delhi Metro for a gastronomic adventure in the Parantha wali gali of Chandni Chowk. Delhi sure welcomed us…what beautiful weather so, so unlike Delhi. Shop after shop selling the famous deep fried paranthas…we finally select one with some empty tables and am amazed at the variety – from the usual gobhi, dal, mooli, matar, paneer, pudina parantha to the very unusual papad, banana, cashew nut, rabdi , Kurchan and nimbu paranthas. My favorite – the Khurchan /karela parantha.
Unfortunately, the famous Ghantewala Jalebi Shop was closed and we had to make do with chat and jalebi from haldirams. After the experience of changing lines at the Central Secretariat station on the Metro, where there was no need to walk…one was just swept away by the crowd, we decided to just take autos to a nice hotel and chill there till our night train to Khajuraho.
The one thing that started in Khajuraho and stayed with us all along was the hospitality of the people of MP. Always ready to help.
After a quick freshen up, we are ready to explore Khajuraho on that hot, hot day. A UNESCO world heritage site Khajuraho is believed to have had over 75 temples of which about 22 remain today. The sculptured temples are dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Jain deities but are more famous or rather world renowned for the sexually explicit carvings both inside and outside the temples because of which they are sometime also called as the Kamasutra temples.
Lunch and some rest and we move to the Western group of temples. Here we got a good guide- quite knowledgeable and quite an entertainer –the way he would relate some of the stuff to the current lifestyle was quite humorous. And of course all those sexist jokes which one could expect as we looked around at the sculptures around each temple depicting couples in courtship, marriage, meditation, sex etc.
As we finish the tour of the temples, we see parakeets coming from all corners - we hang around and watch as there are these 2 particular trees where all converge for the night…in an hours’ time the trees are full and one cannot see even a bit of empty space …
A light and sound show in the temple complex which left much to be desired – the highlight of the show was the drizzle and the lovely weather :-) . At the end of it we are ready for dinner and to call it a day as we have an early morning start to Panna Wildlife Sanctuary the next day.
A day very well spent and its really impossible not to be amazed at the craftsmanship and intricate architecture of these temples built as early as 950 A.D.