Khajuraho is not like the Kajagoogoo song..Too shy
Trip Start Aug 26, 2012
129Trip End Dec 22, 2013
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From what we could tell and from the information we got from the locals, it was a head on collision between a lorry, having a driver and passenger, and what they call a jeep which was carrying many people. There was also a pick-up truck and car in the ditch
About an hour outside of Khajuraho we were met by the owner of Ken River Lodge and were escorted off road to a very seclude spot on the river. Most of us decided to upgrade (at a very reasonable price) from camping to a room which really was like a palace. A very wise decision as our stay here was probably the two coldest nights we’ve had to date
Driving back into the town of Khajuraho the next day we had another small delay not two minutes from departing; a hissing soon to be flat tire on the truck. The tire apparently got sliced by a sharp branch we drove by. Passing time while the tire was getting changed (Clive was our hero), Tanya provide entertainment by way of teaching people how to make animal balloons. Zoe and I tended to Flappy and tried to find her some ants but the ground was lifeless.
Finally getting into Khajuraho about an hour later we met our very formative guide, Anoo who give us a very informative tour of the western group of the temples (five of the twenty-five that remain), known as the erotic temples; the first of many world heritage sites we will be visiting.
Originally there were 85 Hindu and Jain temples in Khajuraho built during a century long burst of creativity from the Chandela dynasty from AD 950- 1050. They were built in three geographic groups, western, eastern and southern. Preservation of the temples was due to the remoteness and inaccessibility of Kharjuraho and the fact that Muslim invaders inflicted on temples elsewhere. Eventually Khajuraho was abandoned and over taken by jungle and the temples weren’t found again until 1838 by British officer TS Burt
The temples provide superb examples of Indo-Aryan architecture but it’s the liberally (read erotic) embellished (read life like) carvings that make them famous. The pictures I took don’t do the detail justice but the level of detail in the carvings is amazing; from muscles, to the detail of saris and bracelets on the women.
The first temple we visited was the Lakshmana temple completed in AD 954 took about t 20 yrs to build and is dedicated to the god Vishnu. Anoo, our guide took a long time with us at this temple explaining the different parts of the temple and that all temples are built this way. He also showed us around the temple explaining the meaning behind various sculptures; even the erotic ones. He was so matter of fact about it that it made some of get the giggles. Taking our shoes off we were allowed to go in and see the inside of the temple where Anoo further explained the architecture and how the temples are built to take advantage of daylight to provide light inside.
The second temple he guided us around was the Kandariya Mahadeva temple, built from 1025 to 1050 AD, and dedicated to Lord Shiva, and is the largest temple of Khajuraho
Since the temples are all constructed similarly our guide let us have a wander on our own to look at the remaining three temples; though one was closed for preservation repairs. Interesting to note is that because it is a world heritage site if they replace a piece of the temple with new sandstone they sand stone cannot be carved to match the surrounding sculptures. You will see this in some of the pictures.
My last visit was to the Nandi shrine a detached pavilion from the Vishwanatha temple, another temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The shrine is a square pavilion that rests on twelve pillars and enshrines a massive image of nandi, the bull vehicle of Shiva which faces the main deity of the Vishwanatha temple.
After the visit to the temples and some lunch (Raj café) we had about an hour to explore around the town and hit the ATM
A peaceful afternoon by the river at the lodge was just what the doctor order for the entire group as we re-charged our batteries to get ready for the long drive to Agra.
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