Surprise#1 in Khajuraho - The roads leading up to it are decent (Hail Tourism!)
Surprise#2 in Khajuraho - There are white faces everywhere. Forgive me for being an ignoramus, but while I knew that the Golden Triangle, Kerala, Goa were well-known for tourists coming from foreign shores, I did not know Khajuraho was also on the tourist trail. We were one of the handful of brown and Indian families around. Quite an unsettling experience when you know you are in India!
Surprise#3 in Khajuraho - The new town is CLEAN! Clean as a whistle. There are lots of trees and shrubs, nice broad roads and avenues. We didn't venture near the old town but I assume that is very much like towns anywhere else in India.
The biggest shock was the railway station. You know how railway stations are in India. And now see this.
Surprise#4 in Khajuraho - The UNESCO World Heritage Site is again very well-maintained. This is not a given. I've seen plenty that are a disgrace (The Taj Mahal is one!). The Western complex of temples is set in the midst of green lawns and trees, where once there was just dense jungle. Even the loos there were reasonably fit for use. The approach roads to the temple complex are in a Silent Zone, which means no vehicles are allowed inside. Even the hawkers seemed less noisy :)
The icing on this particular cake was a cloudy day which made it easier for us to wander around the temples without having to duck for cover from a harsh sun. The children could not have been more disinterested in the place but they kept themselves busy by talking to each other, fighting, hunting for bats and generally fooling around.
We had good knowledgeable guides in all the 3 places we visited. Our guide in Khajuraho pointed out that while Khajuraho was world-famous for its erotic sculptures, they form just 10-15% of the whole. It's a shame that the awe-inspiring centuries-old technical knowledge of the engineers who constructed the temples and the artistry and craftsmanship of the stonecarvers goes relatively unnoticed! Having said that, the erotic sculptures are extremely explicit and I was glad Ads did not pay enough attention, else I am sure I would have faced a LOT of uncomfortable questions!
The temples at Khajuraho are the most beautiful buildings I've ever seen. Only the Taj compares - and it only scores because of it's extreme simplicity which is the core of its loveliness. The Khajuraho monuments are the opposite - ornate and elaborate - and stunning.
The pictures say more than words.
I wish I had some of the better snaps but we were clicking pics on the ipad (our camera was low on battery) and for some reason the iCloud hasn't updated itself with all the photos we clicked.
That's the end of my Bundelkhand Diary. I came away with a new found respect for and interest in, little-known parts of our country. I know so few people who have visited Khajuraho, for example. In fact, I know no one who has :) We picked up a bunch of MP tourism brochures and spent time poring over them. There's so much still to explore in that one state of Incredible India! So much to see, so little time :(