Holidays can be seriously planned well, if planned in advance. Me and my friend was getting this travel cravings for long, when we thought of visiting Khajuraho & Orchha on the Independence Day weekend of 2016. So when we planned to travel, we took some time to zero down to Khajuraho. But once decided things were pretty fast and sorted. I need to give credit to MP Tourism ad for our fast decision.
Khajuraho is a very small village in Madhya Pradesh of Chattarpur District. It is only known for its UNESCO World Heritage Group of temples which was built during the Chandela dynasty. It is learnt that after the fall of Chandela Dynasty, the temples were covered with dense date plum trees for years hence the place derived its name from “Khajur”.
We travelled to Khajuraho via train as we call it in India – “Sastha, Subista aur Tikau” – Value for money. More than the price factor the timing of the train was just perfect for us. We took Sampark Kranti(obviously booked in advance) which left Delhi (Nizzamuddin) at 20.35 hrs and reached Khajuraho at 7 am next morning(25 min late from scheduled time of arrival). But still was convenient.
As we were only two girls travelling, we made it a point that the hotel we choose has to be good, firstly from the point of safety and secondly it should have good communication. We stayed in Hotel Chandela(one of the Taj property) and it was really good.
We informed our hotel in advance regarding our arrival and train so that we can get a pick up an so was it….we receive a call before our train arrives Khajuraho that our AUTO has arrived at the station.
Travelling from Khajuraho station to the hotel gave us a very pleasant feeling. It’s a beautiful small town away from the hustle bustle of a city. Clean roads, Greenery, pure thin air…..and this good feeling sinks in you while you reach your hotel.
There are various temples surrounding but the main group of Temple is the Western Group of Temple. The other temples also do have almost same sculptures as it is there in Western Group of Temples. The other temples are Chaturbhuj temple, Dulhadev Temple(Southern Group of Temples), Vamna temple, Javari Temple(Eastern Group of Temple). All the temples has some history and the common one is these temples have been destroyed during Aurangzeb’s rule. All the idols are damaged. Out of all the above temples Chaturbhuj temple has a distinctive idol. The idol is sculpted out of a single rock, half of the idol looks like Shiva and half of it like Vishnu. Dulhadev Temple is again quite big as compared to the other temples but nothing as compared to Western group of temples.
Once we were done with the above temples, we were set to visit Western Group of temples. Before that we stood by for lunch in a Marwari hotel which was purely veg and again “Value for Money”. Though I don’t remember the name of the food joint, its on approaching road to the Western Group of Temple and the food is really really good. Specially the chutney that they serve with the food. One should not miss out.
The Western Group of temple has various Temples and is advisable to do a guide. You need to take an entry fee of Rs.10/- and visit the temple and wonder about the sculptures and just go with the stories that your guide tell you. You shall be visiting the gigantic Laxman Temple, Kandariya Mahadeo Temple, Devi Jagdamba Temple, Chausant Yogini Temple, Chitra Gupta Temple, Matangeshwara Temple, Varaha Temple, Vishwanath Temple.
The only feeling I had once we were done with the temples that it’s not only kamasutra. The Sculptures depict the living style of that age. I take it on Women Empowerment, as it depicts women performing all sorts of work & their involvement in culture. Whether its painting, song & dance, taking care of children or working out of home. Women at that point of time were really outgoing and took control of their requirements of life. They were more advance in all respect than present India is still fighting its Women to be.
After enjoying the temples we went back with good amount of “Sun Tan” to be worried about. We had to skip out the light & sound show because of the rain. Hence enjoyed the evening in a nearby café facing the Western Group of Temples….chose the place after going through a good review but was an mere disappointment in terms of view as the entire view was blocked because of trees. Next day we planned for Orchha.
Few things you cannot miss if you are in Khajuraho. Cows blocking the road, Visiting Orchha, Visiting Panna National Park, Visiting Ranne waterfalls. Well we had to strike off Panna National Park, as it was an off season and the park remains close during this season of the year.
We started off in the morning after breakfast from Khajuraho by 9.30 and reached Orchha by 12.45. Almost a 3 hours journey via road to cover approximately 180 kms of distance one way.
Orchha is beautiful small town in Tikamgarh district of Madhya Pradesh and is located at the banks of Betwa river. And what you need to see here are Orchha Fort, Jahangir Mahal, Chaturbhuj Temple, Ram Raja Temple, Chattris (Cenotaphs) and of course beautiful Betwa river flowing through the rocks.
At the entry of the Fort you need to take Entry ticket for yourself and also for your camera. Keep it safe as it works for the entry for other monuments too.
Jahangir Mahal has mix Indo – Mughal structure. It has 100 rooms, hanging balcony and courtyards. We heard it from a guide that Jahangir gifted this to Vir Singh Deo, as he was pleased with his loyalty and friendship. The beauty of the Mahal is magnified by the Betwa River just flowing by its side.
Chaturbhuj Temple is huge but girls travelling alone I suggest to avoid….as it’s dark inside the steps, and is very confusing to come out. Better to go in groups.
Chattris are basically magnificent Royal tombs of Maharajas just beside Betwa River. It’s beautiful to look at.
As it was rainy season….we did not take chance to do boat rides on Betwa. We moved back to Kajuraro.
On the third day we definitely cannot miss out Ranne Falls. It’s almost about 22kms away from Khajuraho and is situated on Ken River. Monsoon makes this waterfall more wonderful and gorgeous. As guided by our guide, the waterfall is made by volcanic eruption in ancient times. It has a canyon the fall passes through. The Volcanic eruption made all the stone layers of the waterfall of different colour. Some pink, green and black. It’s a wonderful sight, never to miss scenario. Done with it, it was already time to travel back to Delhi.
The journey was really amazing and memorable with special thanks to our auto driver, who also acted as a guide to maximum locations.