At 7 o'clock in the morning we had in our hands the tiny cardboard that did not look like a train ticket from Orchha to Khajuraho, famous for having Kamasutra carvings all over the walls. We see the vendors in the train station of Orchha and we moved away. In a matter of seconds prying people with all the brazenness of the world as it was already becoming habitual, approached us to know where we were going.
So we left there and went to take a chai while we waited for the train to arrive in the direction of our next destination. We only wait for about 20 minutes until finally the train arrived. After having to literally climb to get to the coach we deduced it was ours and we looked for a place to sit.
Next to a window, where there were two women with their children, we saw a gap to sit down, and there we stayed for the 4 hours that the trip lasted. When we finally found room for all the backpacks and relaxed in the seat we realized that the two families looked at us with curiosity and shyness.
The first of the women, younger and more beautiful, was traveling with her three children to Khajuraho on vacation. Her eldest daughter, told me that she had just started nursing. The other woman, older and heavier was responsible for keeping us fed with peanuts and chestnuts throughout the journey.
When there were only a few minutes to arrive, a young man who was traveling in the same coach approached us and ask us if we were going to go down in Khajuraho. To our affirmative answer he told us not to pay more than 40 rupees to arrive by rickshaw from the station to the city. The boy, who was not more than 20 years old, was owner of a souvenir shop in front of the temples.
After talking for a while he told us we could go with him and pay even less. The section from the station to the tourist area was a little longer than we thought. In a quarter of an hour we reached the center of the city, just opposite the west group of the famous temples, the best preserved. In this area there are many hostels, restaurants and shops, which is why we did not take more than 5 minutes to find the guest house.
We had chosen it because of its proximity to the area with the most movement and because we had read that we could do some yoga class. The guesthouse was very large, more than we were used to seeing. It had two floors and many rooms resembling a youth hostel and at the top there was a restaurant. After taking a look over the top, we went out to eat.
We wanted to go to eat at a cafe from whose terrace we could see the temples. It was not very far, only a few meters away. We went up to the terrace of the restaurant by a spiral staircase that was in a corner of the patio thinking that we would have to fight a lot against the vendors in this city because in the half hour we had been there we had already realized that they were going to hunt and capture the tourists.
The views from the roof were beautiful. From the table on which we had sat we could see in the distance part of the temples that give fame to this city, characteristic for its erotic sculptures. Not in vain Khajuraho is known as the city of kamasutra. We ate without any hurry and enjoy the sun because up there the noise of the streets barely reached our ears. So we extended the time to go down and face reality again.
We decided that the next day we would rent some bicycles to go to see the temples. So that afternoon we dedicate it to walking through the streets of the city. The problem was that every few steps a vendor appeared and we ended up buying everything from earrings, lanterns, chai, incense.
How could it be otherwise with all kinds of objects with motives related to the kamasutra. Every time we left a store they would say they will not entangle us anymore but around the corner there was another vendor inviting us for a chai or asking us to go alone to look. Of course, we entered, we looked, and when we realized we had filled half a backpack.
When we realized it was time to have dinner, without much desire to move to another place we asked for something to have dinner right there. While we waited for the dishes, a couple arrived and sat down at the next table with whom we would end up enjoying New Year's Eve in Varanasi. We talked with them until we finished dinner. And exhausted from so much shopping we went to sleep impatiently to see the famous kamasutra temples of Khajuraho.
The sun began to rise in Khajuraho. We were already having breakfast on the highest terrace of the guesthouse where we had stayed with a yoga teacher to come to give us a class. The first rays did not burn and from up there we could see practically the whole city. Suddenly, while we ate the sandwiches, a man with an impeccable white outfit made a stellar appearance whose smiling gesture tried to emanate serenity.
He passed in front of us, saluted and then went to the side of the terrace where he began to unfold a blanket and to do stretches. When we finished we did the same as him. We took a couple of blankets, put them on the floor and sat on them. The teacher gave a brief introduction about the benefits of practicing yoga and then started with the exercises.
He started with the simplest to do and slowly the complexity increased. Meanwhile, the sun was getting closer and I was beginning to feel the heat. If at first it was nice, it ended up being suffocating after almost two hours of class. And when neither my body (or my face surely) held more then he decided to do the last exercises and finish what was beginning to be a torture.
After starting with morning exercise the bicycle time had arrived. At the entrance of the guesthouse they had some bicycles to rent that were only slightly better than Orchha, but it was what it was. So we took and left in the direction of the old city. The city was not far away, but the road was not exactly safe.
In addition to cows, dogs, rickshaws, chickens and children in the direction of the school, trucks also went by with cyclists who did not know the way. But with great caution and patience we managed to arrive safely. Near the temples a wise boy noticed our presence and came running to guide us. Our denial did not help, and not even the no money.
Ignoring what we said, he got on our side with his bicycle and started talking about the temples. In a moment we arrived at the first temple and we could begin to taste the beauty of place. This group of temples is not as well preserved as the west group. They are also isolated and the visual impact is different.
Even so we spent a lot of time looking at the figures carved on the walls and avoiding those who pretended to be guides. Anyone who told two sentences to explain something considered that he had the right to ask for money in return. After this temple we see another, and then another more of the same.
The boy who accompanied us realized that we did not want to continue seeing more. We decided that the time had come for the second part of the visit, to see the old part of the town. This consisted of a group of small houses and narrow streets in which the only vehicles that passed were bicycles and motorcycles.
The boy took us to one of them, which turned out to be a school where there were children. When they saw us appear they all got up very respectfully and greeted us with a slight bowing of their heads while shouting hello! The classroom was nothing more than a room in the house without even furniture in which the students were sitting on the floor while attending to the teacher explaining the subject on a small blackboard on the wall.
The visit continued through the other classrooms and ended up in the office of the principal who showed us a notebook in which people wrote about the great work of these people in order to maintain a school. What at first seemed like a casual visit ended up being one more way to get money out of us, albeit in a more subtle way. I only hope that this money stays inside the school.
Even so we ended up making another visit to the house of a man who claimed to be the mayor. We entered with the head down and we could not lift it practically during the whole visit, because the roofs inside were very low. The mother of the gentleman, who was in the patio, cooked some chapatis on the ground that the daughter later took out on a tray.
How could it be otherwise? The visit ended at the top of the house where the man happened to have a whole collection of antiques and paintings that he claimed to have made. But all were things that we had already seen somewhere or that were so poorly preserved that it was impossible to buy them. In addition, we had already had enough cajoling in one morning. So we said goodbye politely and left.
When another person invited us to his home we told him we could not, because we already knew how to have that friendly smile. By the time we had been there we already had enough. When we were leaving we saw a group of children playing badminton and how could it be otherwise? I challenged them to a game in the street.
We stayed for a while playing with them and we took some photos, forgetting for a moment the previous anecdotes in which they only wanted was the money. It was midday and I was beginning to notice the fatigue after the eternal yoga session and so much cycling. I needed to regain energy. We decided to eat again at the cafe, because we liked the food and its views, so we were close to the Khajuraho temples to visit them later.
After drinking two drinks in a row to rehydrate, I was able to think clearly and choose the dish on the menu. After two hours of feast and rest we got up renewed. We decided to explore the other group of temples. So with a little more excitement than in the morning we headed to the entrance. We paid for the video camera, passed a security check and entered the precincts of the temples.
At first glance I could see the difference between the others. The abundance of temples and the fact of being surrounded by green areas gave it a charming and attractive appearance. Seduced by the nearest temple we started with the visit. The outer part of each temple was completely crammed with figures carved into the stone and each and every one of them was full of eroticism.
I see semi-nude women posing sensually or couples in sexual postures that to some retrograde mind would seem lascivious. The endless representations entertained us for hours and hours looking at those walls. Hundreds of people walked through the temples seeing what some people did many years ago to educate future lovers.
The walls are an authentic representation of the kamasutra that is still admired after a thousand years after its creation. Elevated on a stone platform that gives them greater majesty, the temples have stairs to climb and enter inside. One by one we visited them all until there came a time when we could no longer distinguish one from the other and we said goodbye to the place. We returned to the guesthouse determined to give us a good shower.
We entered a room where they had the backpacks stored. We took what was necessary and went to the bathroom, which turned out to be a small space of little more than 1 square meter. I had to leave the clothes outside, because inside there was no room for more than me and my bottles of gel and shampoo.
I try not to touch anything of what was in there as I would have left there with more dirt than I had. The small dimension made it impossible, as I could not move an arm without touching the wall. I prayed that no cockroach would come out of a hole and I thought, at least I have hot water.
After our experience with the bathroom we went out to dinner at a restaurant, where we spent our last hours in Khajuraho. At 11 o'clock the night train headed for Varanasi. We returned to the guest house for backpacks and left the with the rickshaw to the station. This time we had allowed ourselves the luxury of not going in sleeper class.
I was still traumatized from the last trip so we had chosen 3 tier with air conditioning. There were sheets on the beds. It was not cold and there was no wind. When we got into sleep, we put up the beds. I tried not to think about the fauna of the train and I closed my eyes. I was happy because we were going to Varanasi, and at last I would see the Ganges.