Incredible India they say! They are absolutely correct in their saying. It has been an awesome experience to visit Khajuraho and Panna. Be with me for another 15 minutes to know about the trip.
Khajuraho is situated in the soul-heart of Northern Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. This destination is most sought-after among the foreign tourists for ancient and marvelous temples, exquisitely stone carvings. Khajuraho is a small sleepy town, but a thousand years ago it was a large people’s city. These temples were constructed during the rule of the Chandela dynasty. The temples of Khajuraho are dedicated to Tridev of Indian Gods like Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu and Durga(Maa Jagadamba) . These temples are picturesque display of sculptural art and architecture. The town is known to the world for its erotic sculptures which proves the fact that the Kama Sutra has been originated from India. There are around 20 temples which are more than 1000 years old. Khajuraho is a set of temples covered by erotic and flamboyant carvings in sandstone representing Hindu religious at its best.
The Khajuraho temples are mainly divided into 3 directional part (geographical): Western Part, Eastern Part, Southern Part. The temples in the Western part are officially recognized by UNESCO because they bears the oldest and best known of the temples. The temples of the Western and Southern Parts are dedicated to Hindu gods and goddesses. The Eastern part contains an amalgam of Jain and Hindu temples.
I with my friend, started from Greater Noida, India. We booked a cab from Pari Chowk to Nizamuddin Railway Station. Once we reach the station by 2:30 PM, we had a lunch near the railway station in a Bhojanalay. We waited for our train to Khajuraho which would start by evening 6 PM. Meanwhile we had cold drinks as it was quite hot that day and was clicking and capturing different spots of the station with my new DSLR Nikon D3300. As we board the train by 6:30, we two settled in into our berths. The inside of the train UP Sampark Kranti (12248) was clean at par the Indian Railway Standards. This train is the fastest train from Delhi to KHAJURAHO which travels a distance of 604 kms in just 10 hours and 25 minutes.
We reached Khajuraho by morning 6 PM next day. It was clear, sunny and hot day to start with. After we got fresh and had our breakfast, we first visited the Jain and other temples, the Eastern part of the city. We visited Brahman temples known as Brahma, Vamana and Javari and three Jain temples, Ghantai, Adinath and Parsvanath. Since it was hot, it is advisable to use umbrella or scarf to nullify the hot wind and keep a bottle of water with you(during summer). There were facilities for cold water for free almost all these places. In the Jain temples zone, there is museum and few stores where you can buy cultural stuffs. The communication is good. It is advised that, that you book an auto to visit all the parts of the city. We did the same and booked an auto for visiting all the temples for just 500 rupees.
Once we are done with eastern part, we went for the Southern part of the city. This part has has two main monuments , the Duladeo and the Chaturbhuja temples. The temple was no different than the other eastern ones in terms of exemplary cravings on stones which depicts facts of 1000 years ago. You can see the details of the temple in this information picture.
After we had lunch in the same restaurant and most popular, ‘Marwari Bhoj’, we reached the UNESCO world heritage site i.e., the western part of the city. The largest, compact and centrally located, includes some of the most prominent monuments, built by Chandela kings of yore. The Lakshmana Temple, the Matangesvara Temple and the Varaha Temple form one complex and the Visvanatha and Nandi temples are into another complex. The Chitragupta,
Jagadambi, Andariya Mahadeva temples are straight to their west. The Western Group of monuments is also maintained by the most prestigious Archaeological Survey of India.You can see the details of the temple in this information pictures.
We stayed for another day so that we can visit to Panna the next morning. So we stayed the night in a hotel in the city. At night, we roamed the entire city with a rented bike and tasted snacks and foods of the city. We hardly miss anything until our tummies were filled to the point we could not even drink a drop water. After all, this trip is once in a life-time experience.
The corresponding morning we went to Panna as planned. We booked a cab for visiting Panna Tiger Reserve and Kalinjar Fort for 3500 bucks. Panna Tiger Reserve is about 60 kms from Khajuraho, 60 minutes drive from Khajuraho. And Kalinjar Fort is about 90 km Panna Tiger Reserve, 2 hours 45 minutes drive from the reserve.
Panna National Park was declared as one of the Tiger reserves of India in 1994/95 and placed under the protection of Project Tiger. Panna National Park is a national park located in Panna and Chhatarpur districts of Madhya Pradesh in India. It has an area of 542.67 km2 (209.53 sq mi). It was declared in 1994 as the twenty second Tiger reserve of India and the fifth in Madhya Pradesh.
The Reserve is also famous for a plant named ‘Ghost of Night’ which illuminates light at night. We checked the entire reserve with the help of guide who was very helpful. He took us through out the reserve and finally to the Pandav Falls inside the reserve comprising monkeys, turtles, bears, different species of birds.
The Pandav Falls is a waterfall in Panna district in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is about 30 metres (98 ft) high. The Pandav Falls is located on a tributary of the Ken River, as it plunges over the falls to join it. The waterfall gets its name from a local legend that in times gone by the five exiled Pandava brothers of the epic poem Mahabharata visited this region. Remains of caves and shrines that commemorate this legend can be seen around the pool below. I saluted him to his statue instantly.
The temperature inside the cave was around 2-3 degree as it has been guarded by cold flow of water in and around the rocky cliffs. The guard insisted us to even drink and to taste the water near the cave. It was sweet, cold and awesome to have as it was scorching hot just outside the cave. We even played with fishes near the cave. After this scenic beauty, we headed towards Kalinjar Fort.
Kalinjar is a fortress-city in the Baghelkhand region of central India. Kalinjar is located in Banda District of Uttar Pradesh state. The fortress is strategically located on an isolated rocky hill at the end the Vindhya Range, at an elevation of 1,203 feet (367 m) and overlooks the plains of Bundelkhand. It served several of Bundelkhand’s ruling dynasties, including the Chandela dynasty of Rajputs in the 10th century, and the Solankis of Rewa. The fortress contains several temples dating as far back as the Gupta dynasty of the 3rd-5th centuries.
We visited this fort with some portions of its under final remaining. We went to each and every buildings of the fort. Inside the fort after surpassing downstairs of more than 300 stair-case, we visited Nilkanth Mandir. This temple of Shiva has a stone Statue of Shiva with ear, nose, mouth and neck from which water is leaking down the temple incessantly. We prayed and took Prasad and enjoyed the stone carvings near the Temple. From that onwards, we got ready for our return journey to Delhi. In the entire we visited many monuments, temples, saw many stone carvings, clicked pictures, ate here there on and on. It was 5:30 pm same day, we board the return train to Nizamuddin.