Monday, 11 February 2013

Land Of Kamasutra - Khajuraho

The land of Kamasutra ! the place of Art , Culture and Love

Khajuraho is a small town located in the Bundelkhand region (Chhatarpur District) of Madhya Pradesh and is famous for groups of Hindu and Jain temples. These temples are a UNESCO World Heritage Site for their beautiful and erotic rock carvings.

Khajuraho has the Vindhya range of mountains as its beautiful backdrop. This makes Khajuraho a more fascinating destination to visit.

Why it is Special

Khajuraho's art is a manifestation of the essence of the philosophy of Indian aesthetics. The erotic sculptures of Khajuraho depicting Kama Sutra are unique in the world. These sculptures representing the Indo-Aryan architecture, congeal in stone a lyrical paean to love and passion and reflect the Chandela dynasty's passion and immense appreciation for the forbidden art, paradoxically, in the land of Kama Sutra. They cannot be passed off as just erotic sculptures, the temples have some of the most revered Gods of Hinduism.

Khajuraho, one of the World Heritage Sites, is famous for the sculptures displayed in the temples. It is actually a village that is situated in the Chhatarpur District of Madhya Pradesh. This place is well known for a number of medieval Jain and Hindu temples, popular for the erotic sculptures. Khajuraho got its name from ‘khajur’ meaning palm and date. These temples were built in a time span of hundred years, from 950 – 1050. History states that the Jains inhabited the eastern side of Khajuraho, which is evident in the number of Jain temples situated in this region. As a part of renovation, a wall has been constructed enclosing the Jain temples, with the exception of Ghantai temple that lies outside.


Climate and Best time to Visit

Khajuraho's climate is quite extreme, with wide variation in day and night temperatures along with minimal rainfall. Summers are hot at 45°C and winters pleasant at 27°C. Rainfall of 114 cms annually. As summer is too hot, winter is a good time to visit. A good time to visit is March, when the annual Dance Festival takes place. So the best time to visit Khajuraho is from September to March.

How to Reach

Khajuraho airport is well connected from Mumbai , Delhi , Varanasi
Audio Guides Official Smartphone App

Visitors may avail of the audio guide facility from the official audio guide booth near the monument ticket counter. Prices for audio guide services are Rs. 100 (+ taxes) in English & Foreign Languages or Rs. 60 in Hindi & Indian Languages
An Android and iOS official smartphone app has become available that help visitors tour the Western Group of Monuments. The smartphone apps include a touch screen map, graphics, and the same audio content that is available in the official audio guide.
What to See :-
Western Group of Temples
There is an entry fee of Rs. 10/- (for Indians) and USD $ 5 (for foreigners) to enter the Western Group of temples. (If you have a ticket from Taj Mahal, you can use it here again.) All the temples are open from sunrise to sunset. These are the richest and largest of all temple groups
Lakhmana Temple - The oldest and finest of the western group of temples, named after the ruler that built the temple. The A horizontal beam over the entrance of this beautiful Vaishnavite temple shows the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva with Lakshmi, Vishnus consort.
Kandariya Mahadeo Temple - This temple is decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art.
Devi Jagdamba Temple - Dedicated to the Goddess(devi), this is smaller and much more delicately proportioned temple and is home to some of the finest sculptures of Khajuraho.The garbha griha has a huge image of the Devi of the Universe (Jagdambi), though it appears to have started as a Vishnu temple. It has the usual three bands of sculptures, but the third and most uppermost of these houses some of the most erotic sculptures.
Chaunsat Yogini - The only granite temple in the Khajuraho group
Chitragupta Temple - is dedicated to the Sun God (Surya), it faces eastward to the rising sun
Matanageswara Temple - A temple dedicated to Shiva, a huge 8ft Lingam adorns the temple.
Varaha temple - dedicated to the Varaha avatar of Lord Vishnu, it holds the statue of a Vraha[boar] in the centrestage with the Sheshnag lying beneath. Carving of an idol of Devi Saraswati on the snout of the Varaha reflects that every word/sound[dhvani] seeks blessing of Devi Saraswati [Goddess of speech,learning and knowledge]
Vishwanath Temple - dedicated to Lord Shiva, also called Vishwanath [master of the universe]. In the same premises, a temple dedicated to Nandi, holds a huge statue of Nandi [the Bull, the companion, attendant and closest aide of Lord Shiva].

 Eastern Group of Temples
Parsvanath Temple - Largest among the group, with exquisite carvings in detail. The sculptures on the northern outer wall are the highlights of this temple. The image was installed in 1860.The three roofs of this temple depict mixture of Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim influences.
Ghantai Temple - This Jain temple has a frieze which depicts the 16 dreams of Mahavira's mother, and a jain goddess on a winged Garuda.
Adinath Temple - Dedicated to Jain Tirthankar(God), adinath, the temple is lavishly embellished with sculpted figures, including yakshis.
Brahma Temple - considered to be one of the oldest temples of Khajuraho made entirely in granite and sandstone, is dedicated to Vishnu.
Vamana Temple - is the dwarf form of Lord Vishnu, located in a secluded place and is known for its simple architecture.
Javari Temple
 Southern Group of Temples
Dulhadev Temple - The last temple of Khajuraho, lies to the south of Ghantai temple. The temple enshrines a Shivalingam. The apsara and ornamented figures are the temple's most striking features.
Beejamandal Temple - It is a ruined temple, and is near the Chattarbhuj Temple
Chattarbhuj Temple Or The Jatkari Temple - Built in 1100 A.D., is well-known for its architecture, and is also the only temple to be devoid of any erotic sculpture. 3 km away from the Eastern Group. Facing West, have to take 10 steps to reach the sanctum. The massive 9 feet intricately carved Vishnu idol in Chaturbhuja (four-armed).

Light and Sound Show at Western group of temples - After visiting the temple complex is over, the sound and light show, narrated by the Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachhan, is held every evening. Entry ticket Rs. 120/- for Indians and Rs. 300/- for foreigners.
Khajuraho Dance Festival
Khajuraho Festival of Dances is celebrated at a time when the hardness of winter begins to fade and the king of all seasons, spring, takes over. Feb - March The most colorful and brilliant classical dance forms of india with their roots in the ling and rich cultural traditions across the country, offer a feast for the eyes during a weeklong extravaganza here.
Jain Temples -
Owing to the renovation measures from time to time, it seems that the white Jain temples are comparatively new. The life-size sculpture of Jain God is praiseworthy. On your visit, you can also spot sculpture of animals inside the temple complex. Besides the sculpted figures, the architectural beauty of the white as well as other Jain temples are noteworthy.

Most important temple in the Jain Temple series is the Parshvanatha Temple, which is the largest of all. There is a statue of Parshvanatha inside the holy temple, who was a Jain Tirthankara. This temple is popular for the non erotic sculptures of Khajuraho. It is said that some of the best non erotic sculptures are found in this temple. One of the well known sculptures of this temple is the celestial beauties, known as ‘Sura Sundaris’; one of them is applying make up and the other one is removing a thorn from the feet. You can spot this beautiful work of art in the southern façade of the temple. The most talk about sculpture in the northern façade is a sura sundari tying ankle bells.

Are you still hesitant to decide your next travel destination? The pictures in the Picture India gallery can help you to make your decision; you can also make a note of the important attractions of the Jain temples in Khajuraho.

Getting Around

A good way to get around and see the temples as well the village life in Kharujaho is by bicycle, which you can easily rent in the bike shops near the main temple complex, or bicycle rickshaw. They charge Rs.20 per day.
Beware of the fake school teachers, principals and students who are too much interested in your dollars as donation, which hardly goes to the school itself.
There are many car rental companies available. The Auto rickshaws provide a comfortable enough ride around the small town. Also they offer a lot cheaper deal with a friendly guide in the rickshaw drivers


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Tips for a Happy Travelling with Your Infant Child

Travelling with a small baby in plane is not very easy task. To make yourself, your little one and your co-passengers more comfortable on the flight, follow these simple and easy guidelines.
1. When you're booking your air tickets, make sure you inform the airline that you are travelling with an infant. Your baby will need a ticket, even if you are making him/her sit on your lap. Most importantly, this way you can find out what kind of special facilities the airline offers for babies on board.
2. Remember your baby do need passport, no matter how young he is
3. It is always good to have a co-passenger with you if you are travelling with a baby. It will give you a comfort of using loo or having your meals.
4. Bring some toys for baby to keep him/her engaged.
5. Choose the window seat .It will give you little privacy for nursing, and your baby can enjoy looking out as well.
6. Pack a small bag for with extra cloths and diapers etc.
7. Nurse your baby during take-off and landing, this will divert baby’s attention from the fright of the movement
8. Consider booking an extra seat for air travel with baby - if not, you will be expected to sit with an infant under 2 years of age on your lap. Depending on the length of your flight, this can be very hard work, particularly with an older baby.

9.  If you do book an extra seat, think about taking a car seat on board for your baby to sit in. Certain car seats are FAA approved for air travel with baby, so this is something to check when buying one.

10. If you do not have a car seat, you will be given a mini seat belt for your baby - this goes around him, and then attaches to your seat belt.

11. Do call your airline and ask about all the facilities for baby on the board. including baby food etc

12. If you are using an airline with a frequent flyer program, enrol your child as well. Some airlines offer full points for child fares.

Hope these tips will be a good help for all you travel enthusiast.
Happy Travelling