There isn’t a great deal to do in Khajuraho, which is obvious really and has probably always been the case. How else would people have got so bored as to start experimenting with weird and often near impossible sex positions. Even ninjas with the utmost ninja’ist skills couldn’t get into some of the positions depicted in the Kama Sutra. But, that famous book, the porn of millions of teenagers around the world was penned in this sleepy, green little place and is undeniably the most famous book on sex ever written.
Khajuraho is essentially a tourist town, well area. It’s really only a T junction lined with restaurants and shops, but to buy goods only a tourist would. Down one side of the road is the Western Temples and slightly outside the village is the Eastern Temples. But it has a vibe which is rare in India – Gone are the hoards of traffic, horns, noise, pollution, drab grey buildings, spit on the floor and millions of people all struggling to walk the streets. And we say hello to lakes, countryside, parrots and clean, welcoming and near empty streets.
Between us we were very tired on the first day and we pretty much slept the morning away, in the afternoon we found a pool and relaxed. It was hotter than we had experienced so far and so the fluid intake has increased dramatically. I had drank about 4 litres between midday and 7pm and had not been to the toilet once. It is that difficult to stay hydrated. The kids were suffering too and the compromise between stomach ache from too much water and dehydration was on.
As the day tapered down we found a nice little market, had a walk round and enjoyed the local feel of the place. I was craving an Italian restaurant and found a nice little place, I tested the bruschetta and it was gorgeous. Word spread and without exaggerating, across our two days in the sleepy little town between us about 15 portions of bruschetta must have been ordered and duly consumed.
By 8pm we were exhausted and so returning to the room and finding Starsky and Hutch on the TV was extremely appreciated.
After finally deciding I was going to grow a porn tash we had chocolate pancakes for breakfast and then set about getting all sexual at the temples. The Western ones are in walking distance and entrance is 250INR – Kids are free. They are stunning, absolutely drop dead gorgeous. Built around a thousand years ago they are a UNESCO World Heritage site and renowned as being home to some of the best temple art in the world.
They reminded me so much of like a modern style Temples of Angkor Wat. They are set amongst perfectly landscaped gardens and despite the fact the sun was trying its best to chin us we walked around in amazement and with such enthusiasm.
Look, I’ll be honest – I was expecting to see temples depicting all sorts of sexual acts that I could snigger at with Charlie and Jhad. It didn’t happen, but at the same time it didn’t matter. The temples offered much more, if Carlsberg did temples they wouldn’t be anywhere near as breathtakingly stunning as these were. The carvings we did see were: Two guys masturbating each other, someone doing someone doggy style, a guy going down on a woman and a woman giving head to a horse. The carvings were amazingly intricate and there was a feeling of sexuality and I know I wasn’t alone. We saw two millipedes getting on down to the backdrop of the temples. A few photo’s later and the moment was gone as they gave up and went their separate ways.
Up until about 6 months ago it was exceptionally difficult to get to Khajuraho and it meant long bus journeys, perfect timing and a lot of luck. The train station opened up earlier this year and off the back of that tourism on a massive scale is now starting to beset itself upon this perverted yet sleepy town.
All sexed out we headed to the East temples (with some bruschetta en route) and was a little disappointed. The temples weren’t as well preserved and so after a quick look around we realised we had a few hours before our train that evening. I negotiated a couple of hours rent of a tuk tuk (300 INR) and we headed North to Raneh Falls. They are about 20km out of town and are inside Panna National Park and Tiger Reserve. Driving there we passed through mud huts, and local Indian people. It was a perfect journey through greenery and rock filled hills.
Entrance to the park was 400INR for the tuk tuk and after a bit of negotiation its occupants. We had to pay 40 Rupees for a compulsory guide which was a scam. A few more kilometres later and we arrived at place to park. We had passed monkeys and huge lizards the size of dragons.
The guide came over and told us he would walk us to the fence which initially looked over the waterfalls. I took the piss and asked how much experience he had – He said 12 years. I asked him to keep us safe as he walked us the 20 meters to the fence. It was an absolute scam, pure and simple.
Once we got to the ridge we were speechless. It was breathtaking. By far, I’m talking by thousands of miles the most stunning natural beauty I have ever seen in India or indeed anywhere in Europe. It’s basically a 30 meter waterfall but it’s the rock formations and the colours and sheer ferocity which takes your breath away. We had a special moment which even Abi enjoyed and then went exploring. Mahara commented this is what she imagined California would be like. I told her it was not like California but reminded me a lot of Utah. It actually didn’t feel like we were in India at all and Charlie said he felt like he was at the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
We spent a lot of time at the falls and were grateful we had bothered to visit.
Our train left Khajuraho at 6.20pm headed West toward Agra, it left perfectly on time and as it pulled away the kids and I felt a certain type of gratitude toward what was an amazing place, completely under-appreciated and ignored by most travellers to India. But what was an absolute highlight and will probably remain to be one of our favourite places of the whole trip. It was so un Indian it was distinctly India. It was green, breathtaking, sexual, stunning, amazing and naturally gorgeous all rolled into one. It was better than we ever imagined and though we did most things the place had to offer I really felt like we could have and should have lingered a while; A shame, but a gem of the trip so far nonetheless.