27 May 2013

Khajuraho: In the land of Chandelas

Oranate Shikara of Kandariya Mahadev Temple
One of the advantages of attending weddings at far of places is that you're bound get an opportunity of traveling some interesting places around, provided you plan things in advance. After attending my friend Shreesh's wedding at Satna, as per plan I was all set to explore the beautiful places Khajuraho and Orchha. Unfortunately, the very next day after the wedding, I was down on bed for whole day because of stomach upset and entire planning went for a toss. This led to slight change in travel plans, as I decided take a rented taxi to Khajuraho instead of traveling by bus.

Close-up of Shikara 

The moment someone hears about Khajuraho, first things to his/her mind will be the erotic sculptures. But in actual the place much more beyond the obvious things.
Varaha Shrine
One of interesting structures in Western Group of temples is Varaha Shrine which is opposite Laxman Temple. From outside the depiction of 3rd avatar of Vishnu looks simple, but once you go inside the enclosure the intricate details of idol becomes evident.

Majestic Shikara of Kandariya Mahadev Temple
Kandariya Mahadev temple among western group of temples, is the signature structure of Khajuraho. The view of its 75 feet high shikara from one of the corners on backside is sure to give you goosebumps.

Tantrik rites .. which were part of temple rituals
The outer walls connecting shikara and grabhagriha had unique of depiction of erotic tantrik rites and as per audio commentary it used to be part of temple rituals in the time of chandelas.

Combination of Islamic, Pagoda and Hindu architecture
One of the unique structures in the western temples complex is relatively new white color structure which combines Islamic, Pagoda and Hindu architecture.

Adinath Temple - in Jain group of temples
The jain group of temples will provide a different perspective being amidst natural settings in contrast to typical ASI landscape at western group of temples.

During Sound & Light Show - shot handheld

In evenings you have option watching sound-n-dance show and folk dances. The folk show organized by tourism department is not that colorful and I came out of it half-way though. My major agenda during sound-n-light show was to capture low exposure shots of the lightings. But the ASI security people didn't allow me to take my gorilla inside and I had to compromise by shooting handheld.

Overall, Khajuraho was a good experience if I leave apart irritating incidences with the driver and the guide who fired all cylinders to rip me off and manage to do so to some extent.

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