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Published: January 15th 2017
Early start... Breakfast at 6 and on the way to the train station by 7:15. Taking the train to jhansi and then a bus for 5 hours to Kajuraho. Kapil tells us that people will offer to shine our shoes and fix our bags while waiting for the train and they did. Beggers, very disabled, one with elephantiasis, are regulars at this station. Guide said he's been seeing them for 12 years here and they make more than poor farmers do...Still sad to see. Train was decent...We had reserved seats. The trip was slow, even though this was a fast train.. Instead of 2 and a half, the trip took 4 hours. Biggest problem? The bathrooms..One look and I knew I'd be waiting until we got to our next destination!
In total we traveled for about 10 hours today but the time flew by, just watching life along and on the road. ..People outside shops and homes of every imaginable type..Lots of cows, and occasional goats, camels pulling carts, rickshaws and tiny pickups piled high with different things, honking taxis, cars, and bikes...One lane roads that are used for 2 way traffic...We did have one stop for lunch and to see
Orchha, which was the head of the Bundlekind (never heard of them before this) region in the 1500s. It's on the Betwa river. We saw centotaphs (new word) which were where important rulers were cremated and memorialized. Check out the pictures of these very old structures below.
We arrived in Kajuraho at 7 in the evening. Checked in to our hotel, had a glass of wine and dinner and got ready for the next day’s early start to see the Temples at Kajuraho.
Another truly amazing place! A World Heritage site, This area was the home of the Chandels Dynasty from the beginning of the 9th to the 11th century. Originally there were 85 Temples here. 25 have survived and were discovered’ by an English guy in the mid 1800s, overgrown and hidden for all those years. A local guide spent about a half hour with us at one temple explaining the Hindu symbolism in the ornate, incredible sculpting in the sandstone walls, one part of which are figures in Kama sutra type sexual positions. Guide’s explanation... Hinduism speaks openly about all aspects of life. Not sure if that's all there is to it. Rochelle just added it has to
do with the interest in tantric yoga and heightened awareness. The work on these temples is amazing. It would have been interesting to learn more about the specific interpretations of more of the sculptures. We only had about an hour to explore here which was way too short, but our flight to Veranasi was at 2.
New airport built for just one flight a day. The hope is that tourism to these temples will pick up but for now a very modern, empty airport, a 30 minute flight, and we were heading by bus to our hotel in Varanasi and an evening boat ride on the Ganges.
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