One fine morning I was in Jhansi, a historical city in Madhya Pradesh (India) a night before we decided to go to a place nearby Jhansi (175 km) which is one of the most celebrated, popular destination known worldwide. You must be excited to know what’s so special. OK, this place depicts the celebration of love with its various manifestations. This place is UNESCO world heritage site and is one of the most intriguing, beautiful place. Come let’s unravel the mystery of KHAJURAHO: WHERE LOVE BEGINS.
Coming back to the morning we did a sumptuous Indian breakfast and cook of the guest house graciously packed some chapatis and potato sabzi with pickles (sounds good) for our onward journey. So we hopped into the car and zoomed away from the curved roads of Jhansi. It was quite a travel as we passed fort of Queen Jhansi more of it on another blog. Now we were way out of the in the lush paddy fields dense forests and some small dams and canals adding to its countryside beauty.
We went on and on with Khajuraho nowhere in sight I was a little bit exhausted with my enthusiasm fading away so I just closed my eyes. My hubby thought I was meditating actually I was sleeping ha ha…suddenly I was shaken awake and tilted my head outside, to see one of the most beautiful visual with Gulmohar (royal poinciana) palm date on both the sides of the road. Other flowering trees showing their flamboyant colours as it was spring time. We were entering the town with sprawling resorts five-star hotels, from Japanese sushi, Israeli cafe, Bengali cuisine, Moroccan, British breakfast, Indian lunch you have every interesting billboard to catch your eye.
At last, we arrived from far away we could see the complex of temples as someone told us. We were really hungry so we had our lunch, remember our packed lunch. After finishing we were ready to explore the world-famous architecture and sculpture known for its eroticism. As we were moving on towards the vicinity a guide came and introduced himself and promised us for a guided tour. He took us to the main area where main temples are located. Firstly we went to the Shiva temple where a huge Shivlinga exists and the only one where puja is still done. After finishing puja we went to other temples.
Suddenly this guide said since he is not a govt guide he won’t be able to enter the main premise he will only tell about the temples its history and sculpture. With a magnifying glass, he showed some architecture and off he went while taking the money. So moral of the story is to hire a govt. guide if you really want to know the beauty and grandeur of this place, otherwise it would be a mere temple visit. Undeterred by the move we thought smartly (like Chanakya) and accompanied a group who were with govt. the guide we were also accommodated and started.
HOTEL DETAILS LINK:
As we moved on we could see the premise was a complex of temples where Kandariya Mahadeva, Lakshman, Matangeshwar Temple were prominent along with other Jain temples in the vicinity. It depicted respect and tolerance towards other religions. After visiting we realised that sculpture and architecture depict dharma, arth, kama, moksha following Hindu tradition of life. Contrary to popular belief only 10% of the sculpture were erotic in nature but people get so engrossed that they overlook other artefacts. What a masterpiece they made, showing life and time of that era without overlapping other aspects or being sinful or vulgar about it. Sculptures were like the treatise of love so essential for procreation and harmonious existence.
Gradually we came to know that it was built mainly by Chandela dynasty. Khajuraho means bearer of date palm, only a few temples now remain after many invasions on 12th century onwards. The temple architecture which is in Nagara style depicts the 5 cosmic substances (panchbhuta) and mainly Shiva as the presiding deity (other temples depicts Vishnu, Ganesha, sun-god) thereby controlling the cosmic constructing, balancing and destruction of the universe. This beautiful place was also described by traveller Ibn Batu-ta, Bin Ruhani in their travel memoirs. Jain temples depict the life of 24 Tirthankara.
FACTS OF KHAJURAHO
- Khajuraho is well connected with Jhansi, Bhopal, Gwalior, Panna, Mahoba, Chatarpur.
- It’s a UNESCO world heritage site.
- Out of 85 temples, only 20 remains today.
- Most of them made by Yashovarman and Dhanga of Chandela dynasty.
- Artworks and sculpture depict 4 pillars of life dharma,arth, kama, moksha.
- Famous temples are: matengshwara, lakhshman, kandariya mahadev, parsvnath, 64 yogini etc.
- Artworks are in systemic, repeating, the symmetrical yet distinctive pattern in their portrayal of ideas.
- Famous Khajuraho dance festival is held in February.
It was afternoon and the sun was rather bright so we searched a good place for lunch Wow! we located a Bengali restaurant serving authentic cuisine. We ate to our heart’s content (Rice, Dal, begun bhaji (Brinjal fry)) to name a few. Afterwards, we bought some souvenirs and artefact and started our journey back to Lucknow where we used to live, leaving behind a trail of history standing testimony to the tide of time. Until my next blog happy globe-trotting. Bye..
- Thanks for reading.
- Do share your thoughts about it.