The Group of Monuments at Khajuraho

We drove right from our hotel to the Group of Monuments at Khajuraho. The monuments are a UNESCO World Heritage site, with most of them being built between 950 and 1050 AD. They were built during the Chandella Dynasty in the Kingdom of Bundelkhand. The temples we visited yesterday in Orchha were also located in Bundelkhand.

In the 13th century, this area was seized by the Delhi Sultante, and under Muslim rule, many of the temples were destroyed or left neglected. There were originally 85 temples; 20 remain today.

The temples were rediscovered in 1830s. They were covered with vegetation and surrounded by forests. The temple in the photo is a Hindu temple.

The Group of Monuments at Khajuraho

The Group of Monuments at Khajuraho

The temples have intricate designs.

The Group of Monuments at Khajuraho

The Group of Monuments at Khajuraho

The temples also have thousands of sculptures on them, including some erotic ones.

The Group of Monuments at Khajuraho

The Group of Monuments at Khajuraho

In another area of Khajuraho are Jain temples, also built in the 10th and 11th centuries. I have put my photos of the temples on a slide show. Go to

http://www.peggysphotos.com/day–9a–khajuraho/

(Slide Shows, Asia, India, “Day 9A: Khajuraho”).

From Khajuraho, we took a Jet Airways flight to Varanasi. This was a domestic flight and we were limited to just one carry–on (no additional personal item allowed). Since I had with me a completely stuffed carry–on plus a flight bag, this was an unanticipated problem. Luckily, one of my tour mates didn’t have anything to carry on, so she took my flight bag for me. Here and also on other flights we took, we had to have our bags stamped by security to be allowed to take them on the plane.

The Group of Monuments at Khajuraho

Varanasi

We had an optional Evening Sacred Prayer Ceremony at the Ganges River tonight, which I went on. The streets leading to the ghat (a series of steps down to a river, here to the Ganges, a holy river) were, simply put, a madhouse. Lalit said they are even more crowded on a Saturday night or during holidays.

I took a movie on the bus on our way to a drop–off point where we would walk from to the Ganges. Go to Movies, Asia, India, p. 1, “On the Bus in Varanasi.”

 

 

Varanasi

Varanasi

I also took a movie of an extremely busy intersection to show what a street in India can look like. Go to Movies, Asia, India, page 2, “Varanasi Intersection.”

Varanasi

Varanasi

We walked on the street a distance to get to the ghat where we would take a boat on the Ganges, making sure to avoid the cow in front of us.

Varanasi

The Evening Sacred Prayer Ceremony at the Ganges River

We took a boat at the bottom of the ghat and saw some lit–up sights along the Ganges, including where funeral pyres were burning. Then we came back and watched the ceremony. I took a movie of part of the ceremony. Go to Movies, Asia, India, page 2, “Sacred Hindu Ceremony on the Ganges.”

The Evening Sacred Prayer Ceremony at the Ganges River

Varanasi Rickshaw Ride

Lalit put me on a cycle rickshaw on the way back and it was an ideal place from which to take photos and also a movie. Go to Movies, Asia, India, page 2, “Varanasi Rickshaw Ride.”

Varanasi Rickshaw Ride

Varanasi Problem

We went back to our hotel by taxi in a caravan formation. My taxi, which I shared with the four women from Colombia, passed one of our group’s taxis that was stopped. We saw panicked faces of some of our tour mates who indicated that we should also stop. We told our taxi driver to stop but he kept going on. Eventually, he stopped and walked back to the other taxi. He came back about 10 minutes later and didn’t even tell us what was going on. When we asked him, he just said “No problem” and took us back to our hotel.

What had gone on, if I have the story correct, is that our tour mates’ taxi hit a mini–taxi. The mini–taxi driver plus some people on the street started banging on the taxi, demanding money from the taxi driver. This was quite scary for my tour mates. The mini–taxi driver wanted 600 rupees (all of about $9.78). The taxi driver paid the 600 rupees and was allowed to proceed.

I have put my photos of nighttime in Varanasi on a slide show. Go to

http://www.peggysphotos.com/day–9b–varanasi/

(Slide Shows, Asia, India, “Day 9: Varanasi”).

Varanasi Problem