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Published: March 3rd 2015
Five hours over the worst roads in India's most corrupt state coverimg just on 150 kilometres, my spine feels like jelly and my arse throbs and this is just to Madya Pradesh (MP) border.
MP has good roads, animals are restrained it is clean and green. There are few horns and traffic is less suicidal so last five hours were almost pleasant.
After last nights unpleasant accomodation I didnt know what to expect but the Wildflower resort was pleasant and it seems I was the only guest so every time I moved someone was asking me if I needed anything.
We arrived so late in the day that I had to get the lodge to organise my morning safari in to Bandavgarh national park and of course they sent me to the area where the well healed go in a private jeep which cost me an arm and a leg. The driver thought he was at the speedway till I told him to slow down. I saw a lot of monkeys and prey animals but no preditors.
I decided I would try and organise my own trip in the evening, with Mani's help, I went to a
cheaper part of the park where the Indians tend to go and paid half what I did the previous trip. The vegetation is thicker in this area so theoretically it is more difficult to see wildlife, yet here I saw a jungle cat and my second wild tiger. He was lying in copse and was magnificent, unfortunately I took to long to take his photo and he was gone when I looked back.
The drive to Khajuraho was uneventful although I did see some wildlife and what would have been a good waterfall in the wet.
On arrival in Khajuraho after a quick lunch I visited the 10th century Indo - Aryan temples of the east and south temple groups. I was impressed, most of the temples were over a thousand years old and featured some rather rather acrobatic erotica, it seems the Chandela kings liked to demonstate their prowess in battle and carnal pursuits in stone.
Beginning with the East group the Javari Temple was my first stop it is a lovely temple intricately carved and like all the others sits on a stone pedestal. Next was the nearby Vamana Temple dedicated to Vishnu's dwarf incarnation,
this temple is larger and beautifully carved. Next were the Jain temples located within the old village, built around the same time these temples are similar in design but lack much of the erotic decoration found on the Hindu temples.
The South group consists of two Hindu temples, the Duladeo Temple with its erotic handstand fellacio girl was the last built of the temples now at Khajuraho. The 11th century Chaturbhuja Temple has no erotic figures and faces the west so the large carved statue inside is highlighted by the setting sun.
The rain set in during the night and I had a miserable day trying to keep myself and my camera dry as I wandered amongst the Western group. These temples were awesome although some of the carvings were a little extreme, the man shagging a horse arguably the worst.
The Lakshmana temple with its for corner shrines one of which contains a larged carved boar, the beastiality man and a lovely dancing Ganesh can be found carved on its souyhern side. The Devi Jagabambi Temple is also extremely impressive for its carvings and its Sapsala statues. The Vishvanatha Temple has spme beautifully carved elephants at
the base and on the roof.
The rest of the day I did little as the streets outside turned to slush, khajuraho is a good place for a pizza, their are also young backpacker types here which I havent seen much of on this trip. Unfortunately the touts are beyond annoying they spout the usual crap, "come to my village, I want to practice my English, blah blah blah".
The long tiring frustrating trip to Agra took eleven hours, crossing three states. The last UP, is the last place I wanted to go back to but the next week of our trip is here.
Today I move on to Delhi to meet Ruth at the airport the poor thing is in for a long unpleasant trip. I will try and locate the elephant sanctuary along the way, this should make it easier to locate the place later in the week when I dont have a driver.
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D MJ Binkley
Dave and Merry Jo Binkley
The diversity of India
We've only spent a few days in India. We enjoyed our time. This large country has so much to offer but there is an amazing diversity from area to area. Glad you organized your own trip. It sounds like a great adventure. Be safe. Eager to read more.