Yesterday and another long drive brought us to the town of Khajraho, a town on the beaten tourist path but surprisingly empty of tourists. We’re told tourism is way down this year and some blame the fact that India is no longer as inexpensive as it used to be while others blame the world turmoil. Whatever the reason there were no crowds and the World Heritage designated sights were spell binding but first a quick off subject detour.
Today is day 16 of our originally planned 21 day tour of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. We have driven just over 3,000 km’s of sometimes good roads, most times very bad roads and at all times very stressful driving conditions. You don’t drive in India, you survive the drive in India. There are no rules of the road. Motorcycles, trucks and everything in between drive on the wrong side of the road with near head on collisions every few minutes being the norm. There are constant close calls with cows, dogs, goats, people and monkeys. There are squashed dogs littering the highways and surprisingly we haven’s seen one accident yet but we unfortunately did see a Macaque monkey get hit by a tuk tuk and the sad sight will stick with us for some time. Along with all of this is incessant honking. It is unbelievable and it really rubs you after a while so everything combined adds up to a certain level of stress by the end of the day so we decided to fly to Varanasi tomorrow and we each had an Ayurveda massage this afternoon after visiting the incredible temples of Khajraho. We’ll spend three nights in Varanasi and then fly back to Delhi on the 29th so we cut 2 days from our original plan and at least another 27 hours of driving however there will be many more hours of driving and new adventures starting next week when we head north into Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir.
We stayed at a great hotel in Khajraho, Hotel Isabel Palace, about 1 km from town and set off the main road and set beside some large fields of wheat. Our room was spacious and clean and the bed was one of the most comfortable we’ve had. The staff was excellent, the view from the terrace restaurant was a sunset photographer’s delight and the food was fresh although lacking a little on the fresh spice side. We were treated royally. If only we could have this level of comfort and attention everywhere. Ravindra took great care of us. He along with the rest of the staff were wonderful. We highly recommend this hotel.
The temples of Khajraho
Adinath Temple (Jain temple)