The city of Khajuraho is much beyond the titillating temples of the 10th century that it is famous for. As we toured around the Western Block our guide informed us of the real significance of the monuments. He pointed out that at that time there was a free culture in the Indian Society, men and women walked shoulder to shoulder, women were scholars and many a times the brain behind most administrative decisions. The amorous sculptors on the temples depict free thought and acceptance of the importance of love and passion in life
Quite refreshing to the mind is that the people of Khajuraho seemed to have espoused the tranquility of the temples and shower love to the visitors by way of their warmth and hospitality.
Grand Canyon of India
While there are interesting drives around Khajuraho, one should not miss a trip to the Grand Canyon of India, situated along the Ken river. This place is very peaceful, away from the humdrum of touristy Khajuraho. The Ken, even when it has a low water level, is a beautiful river, meandering through majestic stone walls, forests and low embankments.
Snacking and Shopping
On the way to the Grand Canyon, we stopped at a very interesting Indian Sweets and Snacks shopped called Ram Sweets. He was serving poha and chai (which he made without sugar on asking). This made a very sumptuous and nutritious breakfast. Among other breakfast savouries were kachori with aloo sabzi, samosas, pakoras – all fried and best avoided.
I would highly recommend a short shopping trip into the handicraft shops on the way back. They are not overpriced and offer a wide range of MP (Madhya Pradesh) art – ranging from stone sculptors, bronze figurines, jewellery and nicely woven saris and suit materials. The jewellery stores around Western monuments may not be selling good quality silver jewellery but they are worth a see since some of the pieces are exquisite and if you choose well you may land up with a nicely crafted one.
On Jhansi Road
Interestingly, we decided to drive to Jhansi to catch a train to get back to Delhi. The road was nice and not full of pot holes. Just about 80 km. after Khajurao is Maharaja Chatrasal’s Palace. I would recommend a visit here. This is where the popular poetess and danseuse Mastani Ben hailed from. There is a palace in her name although its gone to ruins. We missed seeing the Chatrasal Palace museum. It’s opening time is 10:30 am. We were there before that.