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Rediscover The Little Pleasures Of Life In & Around This Architectural Marvel

    What Makes It Awesome

    Many people relate Khajuraho to the erotic sculptures but that just makes up 10% of the architecture of these famous temples. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the temples were made between 950 and 1050 AD by the Chandela dynasty.

    As we happened to take a trip to the place, we were lucky to be staying near the Western group which is probably the city centre and just a 500m walk from the luxury boutique hotel, The Lalit Temple View Khajuraho.

    We drove to the hotel through the morning mist from the railway station to find ourselves amid blooming flowers. With sprawling lawns, green shrubs and flowers lining the entrance, this looks like a royal and luxury villa. The buildings are designed so that they do not rise above the trees, and the light yellow gives them a cosy look. Nothing in the hotel is ostentatious or off. The sound of AUM reverberates in the lobby as the traditional Madhya Pradesh metal sculpture stands in the centre.

    The hotel has 47 rooms which are divided into different categories. We stayed in an apartment which resembled a private residence. It had two bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen. The hotel also has a spa, gym, and a shop. The guests are also entitled to free Wi-Fi.

    An interesting catch of the hotel is that it grows its own herbs which are used in the meals served at its 24-hour multi-cuisine restaurant, Panna. We enjoyed their dal, buffet breakfasts and even the traditional Bundelkhandi Thaali. The restaurant even has an outdoor seating with a huge lawn. Breakfast and dinner at the hotel were quite an experience. In the evenings, the puppet show helps lift up the spirit.

    The hotel has a bakery, The Boulangerie, and Mahua Bar. I would recommend everyone to spend some time by the pool, listening to the flautist Ram Das who also paints on the spot. The music from the flute, a glass of wine, fresh breeze and temples in the backdrop just made the holiday perfect. There is a Krishna temple in the hotel. You can walk around to see the sculptures in different areas.

    What's My Pro Tip?

    The area is best explored on foot so I recommend you carry a pair of good walking shoes. You can also hire bicycles in the market area. The beauty lies in the little pleasures that the town around the hotel offers. Many temples are spread across a vaster region. The Eastern and Southern groups have a different feel, as they are situated in areas with more open spaces and less habitation. In the western group, a Shiva temple is open for all. While we were there for Shivaratri, the crowd deterred me from exploring the temple.

    Anything Else?

    We toured the town with the most famous guide in town, Mamaji. That’s how the town knows this 70+ gentleman who nods at every passerby. With an extensive knowledge of the spiritual and metaphysical, he explains the architecture in a very intriguing manner.

    There is a small shopping area near the western group. You can also try the very popular cafe there, that is the Raja Café. You require a ticket for the western group but the entry to the tribal museum near the western group which gives insights into the world of Madhya Pradesh is free.

    To add some thrill to the trip, we wanted some adventure and found the Panna National Park. We sighted our first tiger there and the even rarer hyena. The park is a must-visit
    for everyone.

    Another place that is not to be missed is the Ken Alligator Sanctuary. You will find the stupendous Raneh Falls here. You will get to view the graphite formation that emerged out of a volcanic eruption many centuries back. The amazing landscape will blow your mind away. The alligators can be observed with binoculars {borrowed from the forest official who guards the area}. You can end your drive in this area by taking back a memory from the small souvenir shop.