The Khajuraho temples do not contain sexual or erotic art inside the temple or near the deities; however, some external carvings bear erotic art. Also, some of the temples that have two layers of walls have small erotic carvings on the outside of the inner wall. There are many interpretations of the erotic carvings. They portray that, for seeing the deity, one must leave his or her sexual desires outside the temple. They also show that divinity, such as the deities of the temples, is pure like the atman, which is not affected by sexual desires and other characteristics of the physical body. It has been suggested that these suggest tantric sexual practices. Meanwhile, the external curvature and carvings of the temples depict humans, human bodies, and the changes that occur in human bodies, as well as facts of life. Some 10% of the carvings contain sexual themes; those reportedly do not show deities, they show sexual activities between people. The rest depict the everyday life of the common Indian of the time when the carvings were made, and of various activities of other beings. For example, those depictions show women putting on makeup, musicians, potters, farmers, and other folks. Those mundane scenes are all at some distance from the temple deities. A common misconception is that, since the old structures with carvings in Khajuraho are temples, the carvings depict sex between deities. (source: Wikipedia. Most photos by D and that’s not me.)
You have to be a local or an expert haggler to survive in Varanasi. If not, a rickshaw-wallah will sell you right there, on the street as you stand, to another rickshaw-wallah! Almost all tourists have to go through sometime torturous and unending offers of all kinds from touts, wannabe guides and rickshaw/autowallahs. Those offers include shaking hands with them, to let them massage you right on the busy ghats, to tip them for nothing significant and to go with them around the city. The moment they realize you are not from the city, they are after you.
Unlike other Indian cities, Varanasi offers amazing excitements and challenges to tourists. First visit: 24 December 2004. Second visit: 6 January 2010
My visit to Varanasi five years ago was first in many aspects. That was my first India trip, my first visit to any city outside Nepal. That was my first encounter with the Indian crowd, the intense and chaotic city life that can’t be seen in Nepal. Most of the things appeared to be larger and louder. The river Ganges seemed to be slightly bigger than the Indian Ocean of my imagination. I hadn’t seen the sea. Continue reading
I took a train to Guwahati from New Jalpaiguri. I had come there from Sikkim in a bus in a near-five hour journey. The bus ride wan’t very enjoyable as the road was curvy and I feel dizzying in such trip. Glad that I didn’t throw out. Waited for a couple of hours in the NJP train station eating and charging iPhone. A Nepali couple, just married I assumed, came to my table. Initially I thought that was just another Indian couple heading for honeymoon or something. I had to wait until they talked. I just listened to their conversation for a few minutes. There was no alternative in fact as my phone was plugged in and was being charged. And the food was there at the table. Continue reading
Here are the tweets that I started posting as I left Dharmashala for Jammu via Pathankot. Tweets stopped as I entered Jammu because there’s no internet service via phone in Jammu. The pre-paid phone connections didn’t work at all.
A lady on her way back home from the Vaishodevi pilgrimage. I didn’t go there as my mood was totally ruined by the guest house environment and the possibility of carrying the luggage on the 12 km hike up to the temple. There were more reasons than this but primarily my swinging mood. I was surprised that I didn’t go! Continue reading
And today we are back in Delhi. It was around 20 hours train ride from Bandra, Mumbai to Nizamuddin. It was ok and we were all tired. We are super tired. It was not a particularly long journey but it was a whirlwind. Coming back to delhi was like being in the frying pan again as it was hot here
The trip, like chai, is over, pals. We were somewhere in Gaziabad, not far from Delhi, when we took these pictures. Continue reading