12 August 2009
(12) Comment(s) (22)
Posted By bharath
Our guide was a pleasant fellow who came along with us only after asking us how much we were willing to pay. On the way to the temples he felt an explanation was in order. “You are not foreigners, so why I should bargain?” Who can argue with logic like that? We could only nod our heads in agreement.
The air was heavy and as I walked, I felt beads of sweat forming on my forehead; it was not the ideal time to visit Khajuraho. The temple complex was indeed impressive and the architecture was absolutely amazing.
Khajuraho, a set of medieval Jain and Hindu temples were built between the 10th-12th centuries, by the Chandela kinds in India. Radhika, being an architect explained to me about the how the temples adhere to the shikara temple style (tower over the sanctum) and to a panchayatna plan (worship of 5 deities). The temples are made up of sandstone and used precise mortise and tenon joints and were held by gravity.
Our guide a veteran by now with over thirty years of experience was busy explaining all the significant details of the external structures. He was eager to explain all the details and we were interested. The only problem seemed to be the heat which seemed to stifle all your thoughts. As we entered the section with erotic carvings, our guide proceeded with his explanations with renewed vigor. Unfortunately our reactions seemed rather muted as we barely had the energy by now for basic movement. What did shock me though was when he proceeded to explain the significance of a particular part of the temple with “and this is Man versus Loin”. Pleased at my reaction, which basically involved choking on the bottle of water I was drinking, he then continued with his explanation about Man versus Loin. As further explanations burst forth I realized Man Vs Loin was a rather tame man versus lion. Just when things were getting interesting!!
What did take me back were the details in all the carvings. The work is more intricate than anything I had ever seen. It is also a misconception that the temples only depict erotica…only 10% of the carvings depict some erotica.
What was also interesting was the fact as the guide put it. “All put back in hoge pog way” So for the next 40 minutes he proceeded to point out everything that was “hoge pog” in the restoration. I agreed with him. “Hoge pog” was the only way to explain them.
By then I was not in a state to even remember my name; the humidity was sapping energy and time.
Well aware of the situation post our guided tour, as I sat with our guide and asked when the best time for to visit was. He said, “Weather nice till March then up heats” and looked back and said “it up heats now”. To which we both looked up at the sky and nodded in agreement.
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Being best friends with Bharath has been my biggest challenge to date. Constantly arguing about most topics under the sun and having diametrically opposite perspectives to life makes us such good friends.
Having met at photography school, our shared passion for travel, culture, music, books and art made us drive off to different places on photography ‘assignments’. 5 years down post-grad school we still make spontaneous trips to feed our wanderlust.