After thoroughly exploring the temples in Angkor Thom, we continued cycling east, along the short circuit of temples. Along this route are some amazing temples, including Thommanon Temple, Chau Say Thevoda Temple, Spean Thmor, Banteay Kdei Temple and Ta Prohm which I will devote a separate post to.
A beautiful intricate temple, featuring a large central tower, plenty of Devatas were carved into the stone around the temple.
Chau Say Thevoda Temple
A smaller temple with nice stone carvings, though most damaged.
An interesting ancient stone bridge with three arches, what was interesting was a large tree growing on top of it.
Ta Keo Temple
Banteay Kdei Temple
Banteay Kdei Temple, meanding Citadel of Chambers, is a large complex with multiple enclosures protect by parameter walls. Plenty of well preserved statues and wall carvings.
After an epic journey from Calcutta to Satna (overnight by train) and then another couple of hours on a bus from Satna to Ghura, we finally found ourselves on an autorickshaw to our destination, Khajuraho, in Madhya Pradesh. It had taken almost twenty-four hours to get there, and by the time we arrived it was about 9pm at night.
On arrival, we checked ourselves into a nice little budget hotel called Hotel Surya, which provided us with a private room with bathroom (including an air water cooler) for about 500 rupees. We had a quick dinner in the garden restaurant before heading straight to bed.
Khajuraho is famous for its many Jain and Hindu temples, which are scattered across the town. Our first stop was the group of temples on the western side of town. These temples are enclosed within a perfectly manicured garden with green lawns and require an admission fee. The temples in Khajaraho were built over a period of 2000 years from 950 to 1150 and are renown for their extremely explicit, erotic carvings. After spotting the most jaw-droppingly shocking of the carvings, we began to appreciate the intricacy of the carvings, and the level of minute detail to which the artists captured daily life in India. We also enjoyed playing around with the monkeys (and watching them fight with the local dogs) who seem to have staked their claim on a couple of the temples.
We then headed to the eastern and southern temples, arranging a rickshaw for transport to the further ones. Although less maintained, there were just as equally impressive and looked beautiful as the sun set.
In the evening as we headed back to the main town we had dinner at a South Indian restaurant and finished our day with some lassis.
Animals of Khajuraho