Date with “Garden of Dates”

Wondering what I am upto this time ?? Well, this is about a much talked about, less visited place. Its a world-renowned place, recognised by Foreigners more than Indian authorities. A place that has given India a unique recognition.

Its none other than the “Garden of dates” aka “Khajuraho“.
About the place:

One thousand years ago, under the generous and artistic patronage of the Chandela Rajput kings of Central India, 85 temples, magnificent in form and richly carved, came up on one site, near the village of Khajuraho. Today, of the original 85, only 22 have survived the ravages of time.


Another story about the place goes like this.
Hemavati, the beautiful young daughter of a Brahmin priest was seduced by the moon god while bathing in the Rati one evening. The child born of this union between a mortal and a god was a son, Chandravarman. Harassed by society, the unwed mother sought refuge in the dense forest of Central India where she was both mother and guru to her young son. The boy grew up to found the great Chandela dynasty. When he was established as a ruler, he had a dream-visitation from his mother, who implored him to build temples that would reveal human passions, and in doing so bring about a realization of the emptiness of human desire. Chandravarman began the construction of the first of the temples, successive rulers added to the fast growing complex.

Getting there

Khajuraho is well connected by ………………

Air and Road (Rail+Road).

Jet Airways flies one flight per day to Khajuraho from Delhi and back.

Road: This is the only other option as there are no direct rail connectivity to this place. From Delhi, the best option is to take a train till Jhansi, and then take a bus to Khajuraho, which is 4 hrs drive via Orcha and Chattarpur.

The best option is to take the Bhopal Shatabdi that starts at 6 AM in N.Delhi and reaches Jhansi at 10.30. There is a bus that co-incides with Shatabdi’s arrival to take you to Khajuraho. This bus is not a luxurious one. It has a frame over the wheels with a few seats nailed down to the floor of the bus. It gets crowded as the bus proceeds and most of the crowd dismbarks at Chattarpur.
Also, be prepared for a bumpy ride here and there as the roads are not that great(forget the state of the bus ;-) )

Driving down from Delhi is not a wise option unless you have a couple of days off from work. The roads are supposed to be good as it is a part of the National Highway that passes through Agra, Gwalior, Jhansi.

Accomodation:
There are quite a few options in Khajuraho for staying ranging from luxury hotels to dormitories.A decent option to stay is Hotel Jhankar, run by MP tourism. Thats where we stayed :-). One can make advance reservations by contacting MP tourism office in Bhopal.
Food is not a problem as there are lot of eateries. One place that is avoidable is a place called “Madras Tiffin house”. There is nothing “madrasi” about it.

Places to see: Khajuraho is really a small place. 1 day is sufficient to have the been-there-done-that tag :-). As mentioned earlier , there are only 22 temples out of the 85 temples that were constructed. They are divided as

  • Southern group
  • Eastern group
  • Western group

Most of the eastern and Southern group temples have deteriorated, but still they are being renovated by the ASI.
The western group of temples are the one that are marked as world-heritage site. These were the temples that were initially started off by Chandravarman.
The moment you stand in front of the Western group of temples, you would be awed by the splendid sight that greets you. Its hard to describe in words. It needs to be felt.

To get around to these places, you can hire a auto (for 300 Rs, or less depending upon the bargaining skills) , or if you want to explore the place at your own pace, the ideal thing is to hire bicycles and pedal along the roads of Khajuraho. To see all the temples, it would take 3-4 hrs.

The one thing that you dont want to miss is the “Sound and light show”. This show talk about the history of Khajuraho , its temples and the story behind them. Its narrated by none other than Amitabh Bachan in his mesmerising voice. This show happens both in English and Hindi. There is a entrance fee associated for this (Rs.50 per head). This show happens in the evening.

With that, you would have the “been-there-done-that” tag.

Hope you have got a fair idea of whats in store for you at Khajuraho. Let me know if you need more assistance.

Cheers,
Ur-Travel-Mate

2 Comments

  • Manish khamesra says:

    Kartik,

    Khajuraho has much more in store. In one day you cannot even get the feel of the sculptors.

    When you visit next time please plan some more days for it. Its a beautiful place.

    Manish.

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Dear Kartik,

    I heard that there is a resturant on a tree. You had been to there or heard about it?

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