Saturday, December 24, 2011

Khajuraho - the famed Indian destination

Khajuraho - temples & erotica
Much has been written about and discussed regarding this tourist spot, which is not only one of the most renowned but also most visited tourist site in India andlies inthe west India sector. My visit is linked to my visit to Jabalpur almost more than a decade ago. After sight seening in & around in Jabalpur (chronicled in my earlier blog), I took the opportunity to visit Khajuraho as well. I travelled from Jabalpur to Maihar by train, a distance of131 Kms. from Jabalpur. Maihar is a small place in Satna District of Madhya Pradesh but is well known in the classical music circles because it is related to late Ustad Allaudin Khan and his portrait is integral part of the main railway platform there. In addition to this Maihar is also known for the famous Sharda Devi temple which is situated at a distance of 5 Kms. from city centre atop a hill. This hill top temple has great significance amongst the local Hindus and can be reached a flight of stairs numbering 1063. An annual festival is also held in this place which attracts pilgrims from all over India who converge here to pay their homage to the presiding diety.
Khajuraho is very well connected by Air & road. However, the nearest railheads are Manhoba(64 Kms.), Harpalpur (94 Kms.), Jhansi (175 Kms.) & Satna (117 Kms.). Passing through Maihar, I reached Satna and boarded the local Madhya Pradesh Road Transport Corporation bus for Khajuraho. Being peak summer, in the month of May, the entrie road stretch was scorching coupled with constant exposure to swirling dust the journey was just short of harrowing. The bus would often stop at small nodescript places where no aerated beverages or bottled water was available. In order to quench the thirst I purchased some Oranges, which the shopkeeped offered in Kilograms as against per piece or dozen system to which I was akin to. However, I did not rue my decision to buy the oranges, as they stood by me for the entire journey, quenching my thirst as well as an impediment to my nauseating feeling in the rickety bus on a equaly potholed road. On the way we passed by Panna which is famous for its diamond mines and some of the renowned sparkling stones have been resourced from these mines.
I reached Khajuraho at around 3.00 in the evening and wasfamished. The rickshaw wallah took to me to hotel Rahil and I booked my accommodation in the mens dormitory. I was the single soul occupying the room having 16 beds. During my two nights stay I choose the bed I liked best, both as per the positioning of the fan as well as bedisde window. There were only two persons occupying the hotel premises, the other being an elderly Gujrati gentlemen who had checked into one of the AC rooms. We used to order food to our liking and lived in the hotel in royal style for a couple of days.
Due to the oppressive summer heat we undertook our sujourn during early mornings and late evenings. Much has been written about the technical details of temples existing in Khajurahoand I would not like to burden my readers with same monotony again. However, briefly Khajurahao was the capital of the Chandela Rajputs who ruled over this region between 10th to 12th century AD. The temple complex spread over an area of 21 sq. kms. was built between 950-1050 AD and consisted of 80 temple complexs of which only 21 survive as on date. The temples have been grouped into three divisions which are called the Wester, Eastern & Southern groups. These temples are dedicated mainly to the Jain tirthankars and the Hindu trilogy of Bramha, Vishnu & Mahesh although some temples are also dedicated to Mother godess Devi Jagadambi.
Lord Mahavir
Lord Vishnu
Lord Bramha
The most outstanding temple which is imposing because the hieght of its sprire is theKandariya Mahadev Temple whose spire stands 116 feet from ground. It is in the Western group of temples. The temples in Khajuraho adhere strictly to the north Indian Shikhar style of architecture and follow the Panchayatna layout i.e. One central complex with four similar temples of smaller dimensions at four corners.
Profile view of Kandariya Mahadev Temple
Another temple which is similar in plan & layout to the Kandariya temple is the Vishwanath temple wherein the northern gates are flanked by lions & southern by Elephants leading to the main temple and inside the complex is the three headed figure of Bramha. Just opposite the shrine gate is the 6ft high Nandi bull.
Nandi Bull
Guarding Lions
Temple sanctum sanctorum doorway architecture
I would not like todeprive any of my readers of the pleasure of viewing the famous Kamasutra poses by not incorporating the pictures, for which the Khajuraho temples are famous for i.e.tantric sexual poses.
Famous Kamasutra pose
Famous Kamasutra pose-2
P.S - These photographs are almost 17 years old now and some sides have got discoloured. Hope the viewers will pardon the same as the main frame is not damaged.

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