From Bhopal, I left the easy-riding NH 3 and took smaller roads heading west to Khajuraho. The roads were in poor condition and I was riding potholes for most of the day with brief respites on newly-laid tarmac that were quickly followed by more potholes and old, beaten-up roads.
The heat built up quickly and from 8 am onwards, I could feel the scorching power of the sun. When riding, if I lift my helmet visor, it feels like I'm sticking my face inside an oven. I get so much relief from hiding my body from the sun and the fierce hot winds. I passed through many small towns, such as Sagar with its beautiful Jama Masjid in the center of town. I enjoyed cool, borehole water at petrol stations and re-wetted my cooling vest that made the ride comfortable.
After a long, hard day, I reached Khajuraho and found a good room at Hotel Yogi Lodge with an air cooler and then got in touch with Yogender via CouchSurfing.org. He said his home was too busy to host me but he was glad to show me around and promptly took me to the engagement party of his good friend. I enjoyed the festival atmosphere and was glad to get an insight into some regional culture, such as how tandoori rotis are made.
Khajuraho in Chhatarpur district of northeastern Madhya Pradesh is famous for its exquisite temples and monuments, the sheer number of which have earned it the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of these temples have intricate carvings of human figures in sexually explicit postures, which have become Khajuraho's biggest draw. In truth, only about 10 percent of the exquisitely detailed carvings are of an erotic nature and those depict humans, and not deities, in various sexual acts described in the ancient Indian treatise on love, the Kama Sutra.
The temples were built between 950 and 1150 AD by the Chandela kings. The Khajuraho Dance Festival, held every year in the first week of February, is a showcase of Indian dance set against the backdrop of the beautiful stone temples.
Enjoy our travel features and photo-galleries on Khajuraho:
Fall in love with Khajuraho's legends