By: Ananya Majumdar (LMB)
If you are tired of travelling to the hills or Rajasthan, a two day weekend destination can be Khajuraho in Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. Located 655kms from Delhi, an overnight train journey in UP Sampark Kranti Express was a quick choice. The train departs at 20:10 hours from Nizamuddin Railway Station and reaches Khajuraho at 6:35 am. The railway station is located some 10 kms away from the city and an autorickshaw will charge you Rs. 100 to take you to the hotels. Khajuraho has a lot of hotels which are generally not so rigid about check-in/out timings, since they know the train timings are such that people arrive early morning. We booked our hotel through makemytrip while travelling by train. However, prior booking is always advisable.
After getting freshened up at the hotel, we left for local site seeing by the same auto that brought us from railway station. All autos and taxis keep a rate chart for local siteseeing, hence there is no need to bargain on it. The auto charged us Rs 400 for visiting all temples in Khajuraho. The main attractions are the Western Group of temples, eastern group of temples and the Jain temples in the south. Apparently, half a day is sufficient for covering Khajuraho.
The temples in Khajuraho, famous for its depiction of erotic art, were built by the Chandela dynasty between 950 to 1050 AD. Local history tells us that after the decline of the Chandela dynasty, the temples were covered by a dense forest of Khajur trees. Only in the 1800s were the temples rediscovered by British army.
The architectural beauty of the temples was the most important aspect for me in planning the trip. When you see the beautiful temples stand beneath the blue sky, it sure gives you a feeling of contentment at having selected the place.
Since, we had a lot of time at hand, the nice auto bhaiya suggested that we visit the Raneh Falls located 20kms from the city. Since, it was getting hotter by the day, it became difficult travelling in an auto. Hence, we hired a car (also arranged by our Auto Bhaiya) to visit the place. Raneh falls can be called the mini Grand Canyon of India. Ken river flows through the area and makes a waterfall stretching 5kms and 30ms deep. Although, we didn’t find any waterfall having visited in March, the place has volcanic rocks of 5 different colors and definitely worth a visit. The raw beauty of the place will definitely keep you mesmerised. However, visiting the falls was a bit costly- while the hired vehicle charged us Rs. 1000, the vehicle entry charges to the Fall area is Rs. 700. It is compulsory to take a guide and then you have to tip him too. However, the place is definitely worth paying a visit.
After visiting the fall, we left directly for Orchha, another small town in Madhya Pradesh. Orchha is approx. 180kms from Khajuraho and it took us roughly 4 hours to reach, owing to the single lane highway. We were surprised to find the driver play Spanish songs in the cab and on enquiring, he informed us that since there were a lot of foreigners visiting Khajuraho and many of them were from Spain, we maintained a Spanish playlist. I however had to disappoint him to come back to Bollywood. After reaching Orchha, we checked into our hotel and called it a day.
Orchha is located in the banks of river Betwa was historically part of the princely state of Rudra Pratap Singh. Unbelievably Orchha has a beautiful fort palace over a huge area and a number of temples, located in the heart of the town. After spending half a day in siteseeing, we left for Jhansi which is located 15kms from Orchha. We boarded the Taj Express from Jhansi at 3:30pm and reached Faridabad at 9:30pm. Although we covered a lot of places in the two days available, train journey made the trip very comfortable.