Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lonely Planet warning--TRUE (Khajuraho)

Next destination: Khajuraho. To get from Varanasi to Khajuraho, you take a train to Satna, and from there you take a bus to Khajuraho. (I've heard a train going through Khajuraho is in the works, although don't quote me on that!)

Our train from Varanasi to Satna was delayed by two hours. This was incredibly difficult for me, because I didn't get too much sleep the night before, having arrived in Varanasi at 4:45am. The train was supposed to arrive at the Varanasi station at 11:20pm... didn't show up until 12:20am. I was having major difficulty staying awake. But the train finally came, and we got on to our three tier sleeper class train. Wasn't so bad. Obviously conditions in the AC cars are better, but I really didn't have a problem with it. Since it was night time, the heat wasn't an issue, and I've heard people complain about the noise since there are no windows, but I found that to be a non-issue as well.

We arrived the next morning in Satna at around 8am. The only way to know we had arrived at our station was to ask around. The signs at the station were only in Hindi, which shows that this station isn't frequented with tourists (or foreign tourists anyway). Once we got to the station, we asked a station employee where we could find a bus to get to Khajuraho. It was like 9:15 and he was telling us that the bus was to leave at 9:00, but that we could still make it... indicating that buses are never on time. We then rushed to take a rickshaw to get to the bus station, and just barely made the bus. (This seems to be a common theme for us.)

It was around a four-hour ride to Khajuraho. Immediately when I got off the bus, I heard some Indian screaming something in Japanese... it was kinda funny... not nice comments though, haha. Then we were also bombarded with people trying to get us to stay at their hotel. We ended up getting a room for 100 rupees. (So a dollar and some change each.)

After a little bit of rest, we headed out for the temples. We had an option between heading for the western temples or the eastern temples. Well, seeing as we were told there was a charge for the western temples, in addition to the eastern temples being closer to where we were, we decided to go to the eastern temples first, and decide later if we wanted to go to the other side.

On the eastern side I think there were about seven temples altogether, which we got a rickshaw driver to drive us to each of the temples for around 200 rupees. The last temple we saw was the only one on the eastern side that had Kama Sutra carvings.

So we finished up the eastern side, then went for a bite to eat at the hotel's restaurant and chatted with the hotel employees for a bit. After that, we pretty much decided we were tired, and ended up crashing early... maybe like 6pm?? haha.

Oh yeah!! And funny thing that happened as we were going around looking at the temples... There was this little Indian boy, maybe about 10-years-old... he started talking to us, VERY friendly and outgoing... such a nice kid. He invited us to visit the old village, saying how he wanted to show us the real Khajuraho... saying how he doesn't ask for money, that he just sincerely wanted to show us a different cultural aspect. And he claimed to know like five languages--English, Hindi, French, Spanish, Japanese, I think. He learns from the tourists. Again, very nice kid... I was buying his story, and after he had followed us on his bicycle for a few temples, I was actually thinking about just giving him 100 rupees at the next temple, just because he seemed really nice. But he didn't follow us to the next temple, so didn't have the chance... WELL. Look in the Lonely Planet India book. You will find a section that warns you about kids like him. It says there are kids in Khajuraho who invite tourists to the "old village" and when they get there, the classroom kids start asking for money. It was soooo funny to read, because we had encountered that exact situation!!! Only we didn't go to the old village!! Funniest part, the kid repeatedly mentioned how he wasn't there to take money... just wanted to be nice and show us around. Sigh. People seem nice, but in the end, all they want is your money. Double sigh. Unless of course, this really was a genuine kid...

No comments:

Post a Comment