Friday, February 22, 2013

Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh

“If you don’t spot a tiger, it is your fault. You must have sinned badly for sure!” is what we were told by the forest guard. It was just before 3pm, we had just had a wonderful lunch and were out on our first safari in Bandhavagarh.

Wild boar


Our first sighting of wild life was a wild boar followed by a variety of birds and animals but the tiger eluded 

Indian roller



us. We did see fresh paw marks of the elusive animal though and returned wondering who amongst us was the great sinner!
 Fortunately we had kept one more day for  more forays into the forest hence were not totally disappointed and kept our hopes alive for the next safari in the morning scheduled for the next day. We had barely entered the forest when our guide raised his hand and the jeep stopped. He had spotted some frenetic activity in the jungle which indicated the presence of the elusive one. The jeep then inched forward and voila, round the 

next turning we saw some jeeps parked and people with their cameras ready to shoot. We joined the gang and waited, with our cameras ready and holding our breaths in excitement of what we were to witness.

And there he strode in from the right! From the thick forest onto the road. Glanced at us nonchalantly  and proceeded without another glance to the pond on the left. Wow! Then there was a scramble to get into position to shoot him in the pond but he just drank some water, looked around and started back!

There must have been at least 8 jeeps with 5 tourists in each. Yet, there was pin drop silence and respectful awe at the sight of this magnificent beast!
Was my first sighting of this regal animal. Felt blessed.

Getting there:

By Air:
Fly from any major city in India to reach Jabalpur which is the nearest airport (173kms) and take a taxi from there to Bandhavgarh.

By Train:
Umaria is the nearest railhead (68kms) to Bandhavgarh and well connected to all major cities in India.

By Road:
Bandhavagarh is well connected by State Road Transport buses and plenty of private buses ply too. Private tour service operators arrange deluxe AC and Non AC buses to Bandhavgarh from various cities including Jabalpur (177 km) and Nagpur (370 km).

Friday, February 8, 2013


Khajuraho, famous for sexually explicit sculptures on temple walls, has many other beautiful temples. Of a total of eighty five, only around twenty two are in reasonably good condition now and Khajuraho has the stamp of a UNESCO World Heritage Site now. The temples date back to 950 – 1050 AD.

As you near the famed city you will be surrounded by ‘Guides’ who promise to show you all that is there in Khajuraho. But very few of them are authorized to enter the Western group of temples complex where all the prominent temples are. They will only guide you to the Eastern, Southern and Jain group of temples. So if you are going to hire a guide please keep this in mind.

In the morning we covered the Eastern, Southern and the Jain temples and in the evening we did the Western group. The ‘Eastern’ ‘Southern’ and ‘Western’ refer to the direction in which they are situated as all these temples are in an area of around six kms.

Our first visit was to the Vamana temple in the Eastern zone. It is dedicated to Vamana incarnation of Lord 

Vishnu. It has beautiful carvings on the outer walls.

The next stop was Javari temple that is dedicated to Lord Vishnu built during 1075 and 1100AD. There is a 

headless idol inside the temple.

Then we went on to the Chaturbhuj temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, which dates back to 1100AD. This is 

the only temple in Khajuraho that lacks erotic sculptures. It is located in the Southern zone.

We moved on to the Duladeo temple next, dedicated to Lord Shiva, that dates back to early 12th century.
The Jain temples were next.

 Adinath temple dating back to the latter part of the 11th century AD and the

 Parshavnath temple built during the 10th century AD.

Then we moved to the temples in the Western zone. The first temple we saw there was the Lakshaman 

temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, built between 930-950 AD.

Opposite the Lakshmana temple is the Varaha mandir. Varaha is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

The Kandariya Mahadeva temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, built between 1025-1050 AD is the largest 

monument in Khajuraho.

The Jagdambi temple was originally dedicated to Lord Vishnu now named Jagdambi for the image of Parvati 

enshrined in the sanctum.

The Chitragupta temple resembles the Jagdambi temple, and is dedicated to Surya.

The Vishwanatha temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, built in 1002AD is one of the finest in Khajuraho.

Khajuraho is not only about erotic sculpture but also about fine architecture and exquisite artisanship.
Getting there:

By Air: Khajuraho airport is well connected to all major cities in India, like Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Bhopal, Indore and Allahabad.

By Rail: Nearest railway station to Khajuraho is Mahoba which is around 77 km from Khajuraho. Harpalpur is another station that is well connected to most of the major cities in India and is 90 km from Khajuraho
By Road: Khajuraho is one of the cities well connected by public and private buses. Private tour service operators arrange deluxe AC and Non AC buses to Khajuraho from various cities including Jhansi (177 km) and Delhi (594 km).