Jay Kannaiyan and sanDRina - Jammin thru India

Day 20 - Timeless temples of Khajuraho

A security guard may not be much of a tour guide, but that doesn't take anything away from the awe-inspiring temples of Khajuraho

 

The Kandariya-Mahadev Temple at Khajuraho, glowing in the morning light.
At the crack of dawn, I crossed the road from my small hotel and entered the Western Group of temples at Khajuraho. The three big temples in view were glowing in the early morning light. I wandered around and was instantly mesmerized by the shape of the temples and their highly geometric shapes. It was so impressive to think that they were built a thousand years ago and still look so well-defined in all their details. Some of the statues have been damaged over time, but most are intact.
The exquisitely carved figurines in sandstone that adorn the outside and inside of the temples at Khajuraho.

The temples are famous for their erotic depictions but more than that, the stone craftsmanship is amazing. I spent some time just staring at the details that have been carved to capture mood and smiles and pleasure. The security guard became my guide and told me that the sexual imagery has many reasons. One is that the kings who commissioned these temples wanted to please Indra, the god of lightning. Another reason is that kama (pleasure) is one of the purusharthas, or goals of life in Hinduism that include dharma (righteousness), artha (duty) and moksha (liberation). A more practical reason might be that fertility rates were decreasing across the region and the king wanted to encourage his populace to get the hint and procreate ;)  

The erotic depictions have many meanings, one is that you leave those desires outside before seeking moksha.

 

The garbhagriha (inner sanctum) of the Lakshmana Temple.

PREVIOUS:  Day 19 - Bhopal to Khajuraho                                

Watch the video - Inside a Khajuraho temple:

 

TRAVEL NOTES

A little over two hours from Khajuraho in Tikamgarh district is Orchha, an ancient city on the banks of the Betwa River. Famous for its beautiful temples, palaces and cenotaphs built by the Bundela rulers.

View the slideshow: Orchha - India's medieval heart in Bundelkhand
It's 6 am and it is dawn in Orchha. This medieval town, lost to the world, was founded by the Bundela kings in the 16th century. I walk past the Betwa river to see the massive chhatris, or cenotaphs, ... more 
It's 6 am and it is dawn in Orchha. This medieval town, lost to the world, was founded by the Bundela kings in the 16th century. I walk past the Betwa river to see the massive chhatris, or cenotaphs, of its rulers glowing in the morning light. less 
1 / 7
Yahoo Lifestyle | Photo by Lakshmi Sharath
Sat 11 Feb, 2012 7:12 PM IST
Loading...

The Man. The Machine. The Story

There are love stories and love stories, but none tugs more at the heart than a tale of infinite departure. In March 2010, Jay Kannaiyan and sanDRina, his beloved Suzuki DR650, left on a great journey back home to India. Jay quit his secure corporate job, sold his Chicago townhouse and every household possession, and left with sanDRina on a journey that saw them through 94,933 km, 32 countries, and 1,150 days on the road through the Global South -- from the USA through Latin America and Africa, heading towards India. At the core of this seemingly mindless pursuit was Jay’s desire to raise awareness about sustainability and a unique sentiment best described by an archaic Greek term, eudaimonia – the search for things that are true, good and beautiful. 

Homecoming isn’t complete unless you experience the country you call home in all her varied terrain and temperaments. And so Jay and sanDRina will embark on a journey of discovery through India. 

Yahoo India Travel follows Jay and sanDRina on their exhilarating discovery of India with daily updates from the road in words, pictures and video. If you have questions to ask, or words of encouragement for Jay and sanDRina, follow Jammin India on Twitter (hashtag #jamminindia). Also visit JamminGlobal.com for comprehensive accounts of his journey so far as well as snippets and trivia.