Saturday, 2 March 2013


After finally achieving the seemingly impossible task of a good nights sleep in India we were both feeling positive upon our arrival to Khajuraho. This small town with less than 30,000 inhabitants is famous for one thing- the temples on which the Karma Sutra is based!

After landing at the tiniest airport in the world we made our way to our hotel accompanied by our new guide Rajesh. Similarly to the other guides who we have met thus far, his wealth of knowledge on his country and culture is vast and he seemed equally fascinated to learn about our country.

We made our way to the temples which were truly beautiful. The first sight, the western temples, are Hindu temples- 11 of them to be precise. Each one is covered in different carvings which are incredibly intricate and detailed. Rajesh walked us round each one talking us through the symbology and meaning behind each panel. The 113 different sexual positions of the Karma Sutra are embedded into their walls, and while we felt that this may embarrass our guide, he launched into some rather graphic explanations of each one!! We were both surprised with the comfort he obviously felt discussing the images as we had both assumed that sex was something of a taboo in such a religious country.

One of the panels depicted a homosexual couple. When we asked about whether this was allowed in India we were informed 'no, except it does sometimes happen in the big cities'. We spoke to Rajesh about how gay marriage has recently been legalised back in the UK and he looked as if we had just announced that we had come from another planet. Obviously a huge cultural difference although Rajesh did seem more interested than repulsed by the idea.....after a moments thought he diplomatically assured us that 'In your country yes but in India never!'

After fully exploring the western temples, we made our way to the Eastern sight. The difference was clearly apparent. While the western temples are Hindu, the Eastern temples are for the Jain religion. This isn't something either of us knew anything about prior to visiting India. Essentially it is a more devout form of Hinduism which has now branched off into an entirely new religion. Again the temples were breathtaking (although no eroticism this time!!)

We made our way back to the hotel and decided to go out for dinner. We asked the guide whether we would be safe getting a taxi at which point he suggested that our driver would take us. He took us out, waited 90 minutes for us to eat and dropped us back to our hotel all for the grand price of.....£2.50. It really is crazy how low prices and of course wages are in India. When speaking to Rajesh about this he informed us that the lowest paid workers work 8 hour days for less than £5.00. Tourism has driven prices up considerably however and he explained that similarly to the Uk, prices are rising far faster than wages. Whilst their economy is burgeoning, it seems that wealth is failing to filter through the chain and only 5% of people make up the wealthy.

As I'm writing this, I'm currently on the train to Agra where tomorrow we will be seeing the Taj Mahal!! Obviously this iconic building draws huge amounts of western tourists so I'm hoping it lives up to the hype!! We have also been to Orcha today and driven through the Indian countryside (more on this to follow)!! For now though, I'm going to take in the sights, sounds and (trust me) smells of the Indian railway!

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