Blogs from Madhya Pradesh, India, Asia

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Asia » India » Madhya Pradesh January 10th 2020

Our Air India flight to Varanasi was delayed and we eventually got airborne an hour later than planned. The Khajuraho airport was large and modern but with no food outlets, too many boarding pass or security checks, and only two boarding gates, strangely enough, numbered Gate 6 and 7. When we finally boarded, and presented our boarding passes at the gate, everyone's name was manually ticked off a passenger list. Disembarking from the aircraft in Varanasi, an official at the bottom of the steps demanded to see boarding passes, requesting Ginny to step aside when she couldn't find hers fast enough. When we did hand it to him he gave it a courtesy glance and waved us on. Why would boarding passes need to be checked when you're getting off a plane? Made no sense to ... read more
Bright sari in  a laneway
Collecting rubbish
Man with load of saris on his  head

Asia » India » Madhya Pradesh » Khajuraho January 8th 2020

Leaving last night's restaurant where we breakfasted this morning, we passed a local art shop where an older man was sitting on the floor just inside the doorway working on his latest creation. We had browsed in several art shops over the past month and not bought anything, so decided to have another look. The man's nephew was there, who spoke excellent English, and we chatted as we browsed through the enormous amount of work for sale. We commented on the fact that there weren't many foreign tourists around, that we hadn't seen many at all in the past month. He couldn't speak for the rest of India but in Khajuraho tourist numbers were down by 70% this year, he told us. This was due to the collapse of a domestic airline, meaning less flights to ... read more
Karma Sutra Temples
The Western Group of Temples
The Karma Sutra Temples

Asia » India » Madhya Pradesh » Khajuraho January 7th 2020

India's most titillating town, located in the Chhatarpur district, Madhya Pradesh, is famed for the erotic stone carvings that swathe the three groups of UNESCO heritage listed temples. The Western Group of temples, in particular, contains some stunning sculptures that together make up some of the finest temple art in the world. They were dedicated to two Indian religions, Hinduism and Jainism, suggesting a culture of acceptance and respect for differing religious traditions. In a space of about 20 square kilometres, 85 temples were built by successive Chandela rulers, but only 25 remain. The road trip between Orchha and Khajuraho was the worst we've had. The 170klm trip took four hours to complete, the first two hours being through constant rough and dusty diversions, once again past roadworks where no one was working and no heavy ... read more
Shop near the Jain Temples between Southern & Eastern Groups
Old Woman sitting at the Jain Temples
Vamana Temple - Circa 1050-1075AD

Asia » India » Madhya Pradesh » Orchha January 6th 2020

On a seasonal island in the middle of the River Betwa, surrounded by a battlement wall, stands Orchha Fort, which was built in the 16th century. The fort consists of several connected buildings erected at different times, the most noteworthy of which is the Raja Mahal. The island is separated from the mainland by a multi arched stone bridge which we walked over this morning. The water isn't flowing in this section of the river, it lies as still as a millpond, tinged green with algae and full of the usual litter. Admittance to the fort cost R250 ($5) and we spent a couple of hours exploring the ruins and admiring the wall and ceiling frescos in some of the rooms in Raja Mahal, many of them still in excellent condition. We climbed up and down ... read more
Orchha Fort
The Cenotaphs
The Cenotaphs

Asia » India » Madhya Pradesh » Orchha January 4th 2020

Orchha, meaning ‘Hidden Place’, is a town in Madhya Pradesh on the banks of the Betwa River. This medieval town seems to have frozen in time, its palaces and temples still retaining their original grandeur. Orchha had the distinction of being the capital of one of the largest and most powerful kingdoms of Central India. At heart, Orchha is nothing but a tiny, agricultural village that shouldn't really be of much interest to anyone, but it was blessed by history. For nearly 300 years it was one of the most important urban areas in this part of India. Orchha owes its glories to the Bundela clan of Rajputs, who set up their headquarters here in 1531, though Orchha reached its zenith under Bir Singh Deo who reigned from 1605 to 1627. He was on good terms ... read more
Gulal Powder for Sale
Boy Selling Axe Heads in the Market
Someone's Front Door

Asia » India » Madhya Pradesh » Gwalior January 3rd 2020

Hariom was waiting downstairs for us at 10.00am as arranged, today we’re heading to Gwalior Fort. The fort complex includes several temples, palaces and water tanks. The palaces here include Man Singh Palace, the Gujari Mahal, the Jahangir Mahal, the Shah Jahan Mahal and the Karan Mahal. The fort lies on an area of three square kilometres on a huge hill in the centre of Gwalior, and has two entrance gates. The pedestrian entrance is called the Elephant Gate (Hathi Pul) with a long winding ramp leading up from the city, and the western approach for vehicles has two gates, one called Urwai Gate and the other called Badalgarh Gate. Much of the fort is occupied by the prestigious private Scindia School for Indian nobility, so is off limits for visitors. We approached the ticket office ... read more
 Man Singh Palace - Gwalior Fort
Man Singh Palace - Gwalior Fort
Man Singh Palace - Gwalior Fort

Asia » India » Madhya Pradesh » Gwalior January 2nd 2020

Gwalior is a historic city situated in Madhya Pradesh, south of Agra. It’s a cultural, industrial, and political centre and takes its name from Gwalior Fort, the historic rock fortress that forms the centre of the city. Gwalior is famous for this dramatic and dominant Hindu fort, which is situated atop a plateau nearly 3 km long that rises a sheer 90 metres from the plain, and is surrounded by the city on all sides. The fort has existed at least since the 10th century, and the inscriptions and monuments found within what is now the fort campus indicate that it may have existed as early as the beginning of the 6th century. The fortress contains several tanks (reservoirs), six elaborately carved palaces, six temples, a mosque, and several other buildings. Mughal emperor Babur reputedly described ... read more
Moti Mahal - Durbar Hall
Moti Mahal
Moti Mahal

Asia » India » Madhya Pradesh » Indore December 13th 2019

Yes, the amazing Indian wedding!! What an event! Or Events. It was a 2 day affair, with 2 events each day and involved a new outfit for each event for us! Fortunately, we had our niece Kelli, her husband Nick, and their friends Dipti and Nick to guide us thru the shopping excursion. Dipti and NIck led us to one of a gazillions shops at the cloth market and with everyone's help, starting selecting outfits for Patti and I. 'Yes, that one will work for Wed afternoon's event, oh that will be great for Thurs reception etc'. It was amazing as we tried on multiple outfits, and after about 3 hours had managed to purchase 4 outfits, a pair of shoes and multiple sets of bangles for each outfit. Then on to the men's store at ... read more
the henna experience
Henna result
The wedding couple

Asia » India » Madhya Pradesh August 26th 2018

Road Trip to West MP ~3000KMs Kolkata – Benaras- Orchha- Khajuraho-Panna- Bandhavgarh-Rewa- Benaras-Kolkata 24th MARCH It was 5.30 AM on 24thMarch when I started off for my next driving destination – Madhya Pradesh with my family on my Creta SX plus. We picked up lots of dry foods, juices and water since its end of March and temperature can go up to 40 degre. The first stop was Benaras- the holy city. It took 13.5 hrs as we planned not to take too many halts, so had packed breakfast on the way till Aurangabad. The drive was smooth one except some congestion as we passed Maithon and Nirsa. The hot and fresh food was good choice in Mansarovar, as we entered Aurangabad. The AH1 is normally high in traffic, however, this time it was a moving ... read more
Morning look of the Surya Kaiser palace Varanasi
Shalimar Dhaba at Fatehpur enroute Orchha
Freshly made chapattis, Dal and fresh paneer

Asia » India » Madhya Pradesh » Khajuraho August 25th 2018

After not sleeping on the overnight train from Jodhpur to Agra, it's fair to say that I was really not looking forward to taking another one. However, this one was lovely! I arrived at the train station, did the usual security thing, got on the train, made my bed and settled in for a night sharing a compartment of 6 beds with a family. The only downside was I wasn't sure whether the train stopped at Khajaraho or not: my ticket said I did, all the train apps I had downloaded said it didn't! Not having much choice but to chance it and see what happened, I settled in for a good nights sleep. Waking up 5 or so hours later ready to get off, I noticed we were stopped in the middle of the countryside ... read more




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