India (10) – Kajuraho

We started early this morning, as our guide for the morning was scheduled to pick us up at 7.30am.  Before we came here, none of us had heard of Khajuraho, and even after spending 24 hours here, we still can’t get the name straight in our heads.  Having read the description in the tour guide, which described the highlight as being ‘temples containing erotic sculptures’, we weren’t really sure what to expect.

As it turns out, far from being hidden away in the middle of nowhere as I’d expected, the temples are to be found in the middle of town, in the middle of a large and well maintained park.  They were created about 1100 years ago, by the Jains, and as well as the erotic sculptures for which they are famed, they feature scenes of daily life and battle.

The temples themselves are awe-inspiring, with incredible architecture.  Unfortunately, not all sculptures have survived the ravages of time and the Moghul invasion, but a remarkable number are intact, and the level of detail is amazing.  Also hard to imagine that when the temples were rediscovered by the British (on yet another hunting trip), they were surrounded by jungle, not a town.

We spent a couple hours at the temples, whilst the guide showed us various sculptures of interest, and explained the architecture.  After a short visit to another site with a few smaller temples, and also an active Jain temple (that we couldn’t enter), we were flagging from the heat, and returned to the hotel.

We had a lazy afternoon back at the hotel, snoozing, photo editing and updating the blog.  Luckily the hotel’s internet connection, which had been broken when construction work cut through the cable, was restored, but it worked only long for Arie to upload one blog post, and for me to check my email.  The blog backlog is therefore growing.

In the evening we went to the cultural centre to watch a folk dancing show, showing dances from a number of regions in India.  My view was hampered somewhat by the ceremonial candlestick, but I managed to get a few photos nonetheless.  We finished the day with dinner on a rooftop terrace, in a restaurant named ‘La Terraza’, ‘specializing in Italian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean food’.  I still haven’t lost my desire to eat Indian food, and this was freshly prepared (we waited a long time!) and good.

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