Photologue of short trip to heart of Incredible India – Khajuraho,Panna & Orchha

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#1 Apr 8th, 2013, 15:53
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  • Paglaghora is offline
#1
Khajuraho!! This world heritage site has created enough sensation among Archaeologists, Historians, connoisseur & obviously travellers. I was searching for suitable time frame to visit but was running short of time. Asked few friends to join and they suggested to include Orchha but as I was not able to manage leaves I intended to focus solely on Khajuraho. Finally when managed to get extra leaves and add Orchha to my itinerary, I became certain that this trip was going to a couple trip only. I realized had I not included Orchha this could have been a great mistake. I shall come into little details, itinerary, bookings etc but first enjoy the teasers!

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Kandaria Mahadev Temple

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Dona Ganguly Performs Odishi at Khajuraho Dance Festival 2013

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Painted Sandgrouse in its usual habitat - Panna Tiger Reserve

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Jahangir Mahal, Orchha

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Inside Rani Mahal of Jhansi

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Light & sound show of Orchha
-Paglaghora
Paren Asola Gue Leh Ajmer Gurudongmar Hogennakkal Orchha Raiganj Agartala

Phadamchen AritarTop Gnathang Lunghtu Akpa Gramphoo Hee Osiyan Rampur Attargo
#2 Apr 8th, 2013, 16:06
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  • SomaGhosh is offline
#2
beautiful shots........mind blowing!!
Warm Regards
Soma

My travel blog

http://thetravellerweare.blogspot.in/
#3 Apr 8th, 2013, 16:22
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Thank you SomaGhosh. Stay tuned.
#4 Apr 8th, 2013, 19:03
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I fell in instant love for this Travelogue...pour more, Subhojit!
#5 Apr 9th, 2013, 11:20
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#5

Prologue & Planning

Traditionally , reaching Khajuraho was possible through a combination of Rail & road journey. Option 1, reaching Mahoba , a small border town of Uttar Pradesh, a junction station of North Central Railway on New Delhi - Mumbai/ Chennai corridor. From Mahoba , it’s roughly 80 km road journey. Option 2, Reach Satna, a fairly big town and an important station of Allahabad-Mumbai line. By road you need to travel 120km to reach Khajuraho from Satna. From Dec 2008 , a new railway station is operation at Khajuraho. The station is 7km from Khajuraho town and is on Bamitha- Khajuraho Road. The station will soon to be connected to Mumbai line ( probably Satna ) in near future. Following is the list of trains operate to & from Khajuraho:

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Information from Khajuraho Station Board

I found Train No 12965 ( new No 19665 ) a interesting one. This train route is meant for tourists I believe , as its route is Khajuraho- Jhansi-Gwalior-Agra-Bhratpur-Jaipur-Ajmer-Chittaurgarh-Udaipur. I booked a online ticket to travel to Jhansi on this train.

Khajuraho , has a airport 3 Kms South of khajuraho Town; 4 Kms from Khajuraho Railway Station. It has Air India & Jet flights to Agra, Varansai & New Delhi. Number of flights from various locations are set to increase and a new international Terminal is also coming up.

I booked tickets on 12321 Howrah – Mumbai Mail via Allahabad upto Satna for 20th Feb 2013. The plan was to take bus towards Bamitha , if not direct arrangement to Khajuraho,then stay 2 full days (22 &23 )there and take train to Jhansi on 24th,reach Orchha on same day and another day(25th) for Orchha and finally Return from Jhansi ( by 12176 Chambal Exp )on 26th . The plan was done and I was happy with the progress. But the things started to change when the pre-announced Trade union Strike for two full days of 20th & 21st Feb across India was taking momentum. I knew from my past experiences that these political gimmicks can jeopardise the whole plan but was hoping that it might not affect outside West Bengal. I already had made staying arrangements at Khajuraho. On First week of February I decided to take the call and found that tickets on 19th were available. In that way , I can be out of Bengal when the strike starts but if it affects the other states I might land into trouble. Trains will be delayed etc etc. I was even thinking of Chambal express which reach Mahoba few hours earlier than what Mumbai mail reaches Satna. Though the distance from Mahoba is less , being a smaller town I might not get any transport towards Khajuraho if the train delays abruptly. And , there is a huge chance of more delay for Chambal Exp than Mumbai Mail for their gradation. Though our (me & my wife ) leaves were sanctioned from 21st feb ( it’s not easy to get leaves when we both are working in same project in same organisation ) we decided to book the Mumbai Mail tickets for 19th Feb ( hoping there will be bandh/strike on 20th – the first time in my life I supported the bandh ). I made calls to Rakesh ( introduce to you later ) to confirm my hotel bookings for an extra day & I booked a car to pickup from Satna. And, as we got one extra day we decided to venture out to Panna Tiger Reserve with safari booking to be made once I reach Khajuraho.

So finally my itinerary looked like this:

19-02-2013: Board Mumbai mail via Allahabad from Howrah @ 22.00
20-02-2013: Reach Satna by 14.50 hrs. By Car reach Khajuraho & check in to Hotel casa Di William.
21-02-2013: Full day at Khajuraho Monuments
22-02-2013: Full day at Khajuraho Monuments
23-02-2013: Panna Tiger Reserve Safari
24-02-2013: In morning Khajuraho – Udaipur train to Jhansi. Reach by 13.45. Take auto to Orchha.
25-02-2013: Orchha & if possible cover Jhansi
26-02-2013: From Jhansi take Chambal Exp towards Howrah
27-02-2013: Reach Howrah and back to home.

I was following IMD & Accuweather website for the forecasts and it showed a nice weather but kept on insisting a Saturday night thunderstorm. By the time we started journey it deviated little.
#6 Apr 9th, 2013, 11:22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asishdas View Post I fell in instant love for this Travelogue...pour more, Subhojit!
Thank you Sir ! keep on watching.
#7 Apr 9th, 2013, 11:55
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#7
Revisiting the places through your immaculate story telling skills. Keep it up friend.
#8 Apr 9th, 2013, 14:19
Try to be a Traveler....not a Tourist
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#8
Nice Snaps and detailed of the journey. Keep pouring......

Debashish
#9 Apr 9th, 2013, 18:16
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#9
Great start. Regretting that we could not join you in the trip
#10 Apr 9th, 2013, 20:20
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i visited Orchha temple "Ram Raja Temple " in may 2011 with my friends.Story behind this temple is really heart touching. heat was unbearable but place was awesome.
#11 Apr 10th, 2013, 11:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanishka_27 View Post Revisiting the places through your immaculate story telling skills. Keep it up friend.
Thank you friend for your kind words. Trying my best to present the maximum details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcyouth View Post Nice Snaps and detailed of the journey. Keep pouring......

Debashish
Thank you dcyouth (Debashish).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghosh.ruchira View Post Great start. Regretting that we could not join you in the trip
Yes, we did miss your and Saikat's company. Wish you finish your upcoming trip first and find time out to go MP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by santosh-sharma View Post i visited Orchha temple "Ram Raja Temple " in may 2011 with my friends.Story behind this temple is really heart touching. heat was unbearable but place was awesome.
Definitely Santosh. The story for not only Ram Raja temple , it has the charm to mesmerize you for whole Orchha. It has rich history.
#12 Apr 10th, 2013, 15:18
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Day 1 : 19th Feb 2013

In the weekend of 16-17th we finished our packing quickly. As the weather shows a night time temperature drop to around 11-12 degrees we took minimal woollens but that increased our no of luggage to three – apart from two haversack , one hand bag extra which personally speaking I disliked. I am comfortable with minimum luggage all the time. This scenario has taken the toll. As we were starting our journey on 19th itself and as the train was at 22.00 we did not inform our office ( hoping that the next day will be bandh and office will be closed). But we needed to come to office on 19th itself. So coming office with 3 luggage will definitely be frowned at. We managed to convince one of our relative nearby to our office location to keep our belongings for the day and went to office on time. After 6 o’clock in the evening inevitably some urgent work was popped up and I knew it could take heavy toll. Somehow managed to get out of office by 6.30 and reach the relative’s home to take our bags. But then you know – Bengali elder people will never let you go empty stomach from their house. This process took its own time and we were thinking of taking taxi to Howrah station directly. But there is infamous taxi refusal habit in Kolkata, regardless of destination and distance. We took a Sealdah minibus from Salt Lake Karunamoyee around 7.30pm. By 8.10 we were on Sealdah and quickly took the Howrah bus from there and thought “relieved” as we had fair amount of time to catch the train.

But that peace of mind lasted short. Just after crossing college street and from Central onwards there was a sea of traffic & people. The bus was moving slowly and jam packed. I had shrug the idea to walk towards Howrah after getting down from bus. Only to hope that the bus might reach on time. We reached Howrah station on 09.45 and we saw the platform no in the list. We had 15 mins to either pack or have our dinner ( we did not have the dinner in relative’s house to save time ). We entered bigger restaurant ( forgot the name , it’s nearer to platform) and saw a big queue inside. Then quickly went to “Jan Ahar” just beside. Took only 1 meal for two of us and saw we were lucky enough to settle for one as the man at the counter erased the menu list in the board and wrote “closed”. We then finally had 5 minutes to get into our coach and find seats. Eventually the coach was nearer to engine and we had to walk if not run , for long distance – Mumbai Mail is a lengthy train! The train left the station on time and after few minutes of deep breath we call it a day.

Day 2: Feb 20th 2013

The train was fairly on time and I found no disruption due to bandh/strike. Took our breakfast at Mughal Sarai & lunch at Allahabad. Due to ongoing Kumbh Mela , there was traffic congestion ( they say )in Allahabad and it delayed there for 1 hour. Finally reached Satna at 16.05 hrs with almost an hour delay which was acceptable to Indian Standards.

I booked Hotel Casa Di William in Khajuraho and was in touch with manager Rakesh Rajoria. He had sent sms with the Car No and Driver’s contact details when I was in train. Driver Faim was standing just outside the station with placard and we started our journey finally through NH 75. The weather was excellent , road was good and the driver quickly touched the speed mark of 90-100. At Nagod there is a four point crossing , the right turn ( when you face towards Panna from Satna) will lead towards Banda/Chitrakoot and on the way there is Kalinjar fort(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalinjar_Fort ) which became popular in recent times. We passed by Panna & its forest and finally reached Bamitha. Here you need to turn right for Khajuraho which is only 11km away. We reached our hotel and was amazed with the location of that. Though I chose it for it location but after reaching I actually realised how good the decision was. And another good news! The dance festival was about to start from that day and within an hour. It was almost 6.15 and we needed to freshen up. The room was excellent and on ground floor. Hotel has a roof top restaurant with both open air and closed room arrangement.

We took the shower with nice warm water. It took away all the tiredness due to journey. Just stepped out of the hotel and the gate for dance festival was within 50 mtr. The entry was free from this year. Organisers were issuing numbered tickets, I guess that was only for footfall count. Inside , there was a painting exhibition , a Kerala pavilion displaying their dance form with colourful dresses and other stalls. The main stage was set keeping Chitragupta temple on backdrop. The dance performances easily blew the time away. It was getting cold by 9pm. We decided to go back to hotel, order the dinner and take the entry again with the woollens on. That was the break between Sharmistha Mukherjee ‘s Kathak and Dona Ganguly’s Odishi performance. Needless to say , we enjoyed the classy performance.

It’s time for snaps now .

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List of performances for the Khajuraho Dance festival 2013

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The painting exhibition

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The Rangoli

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Kerala Dance form

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Sharmistha Mukherjee & troupe performing

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Dona Ganguly & Raghunath Das performing Odishi

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#13 Apr 10th, 2013, 17:19
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  • itsjoy2u is offline
#13
Nice..
#14 Apr 10th, 2013, 18:27
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#14
I was enjoying your crisis management episodes on the day of departure from Howrah Station. So very normal, it happened to everyone, but yet it gave one or two heart-beat-stopping moments. Though it was a nail biting finish, I heaved a sigh of relief when you could enter the train and got your birth. Great going, PG! Keep pouring.
#15 Apr 11th, 2013, 13:35
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Good start. Keep going
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