All of the images below are thumbnails and can be clicked on for a larger image.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2013:

Friday was a very long travel day.
We began our journey by taking the train from Agra to Jhansi.
Ride the train between Agra and Jhansi, India Jhansi, India train station

After disembarking the train in Jhansi it was an hours drive to Orchha.
Orchha is a town in Tikamgarh district of Madhya Pradesh state, India.
We then had lunch in this small resort town on the bank of the Betwa River.
After lunch we viewed the remarkable abandoned palaces and temples.
Resort in Orchha, India Chhatris on the bank of the Betwa River Chhatris on the bank of the Betwa River

Then it was a long five hour drive to Khajuraho.

The video below is 39 minutes long of our long journey to Khajuraho.

After arriving in Khajuraho we checked into the Hotel Chandella and enjoyed a BBQ dinner.

The video below is 6 minutes long of my accommodations in Khajuraho.

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON FEBRUARY 8, 2013
Hello again everyone,

We left the hotel in Agra at 7:30 this morning to catch our train to Jhansi which left at 8:10. Below is a picture of our train coming in to the station in Agra.



The train station is a very depressing place. Beggars everywhere. People with every type of deformity lined up with their hands out. Below is a picture of the train station in Jhansi.



It was a nearly three hour train ride to Jhansi. As we were leaving the train station in Jhansi I put my camera around my neck and turned it on. While walking to the bus with the camera on I caught the most disturbing occurrence of the day, a little boy carrying around a little baby in the middle of traffic approaching everyone asking for money.



We are now in central India. This is a very poor area of the country. The literacy rate here is only about 35%. Very little law enforcement and no highways. It was about an hours drive to our lunch stop in the river resort town of Orchha which is pictured below.



We had lunch at a resort along the river.



There are ruins of various temples around the resort. After lunch I took a walk around the ruins and down to the river.



We finished lunch at about 1:20 and hit the road. We passed the ruins of a former palace as we passed back through Orchha.



It was now time for the LONG drive to Khajuraho. A nearly five hour drive on a skinny little road without even enough room to avoid on coming traffic without leaving the road. Lots of cattle in the road. We passed through a lot of little villages on the way. We finally arrived at our hotel in Khajuraho just before 6:00. Everyone was really glad to get out of that bus by the time we got here. Khajuraho is a small little town near some 9th century ruins that we are going to see tomorrow. At 7:00 we had a barbecue out on the terrace for just our group. They welcomed us with some fireworks.



We will be spending two nights here. We will be flying between places for the rest of the trip, no more bus trips. Until tomorrow.

Tim



SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2013:

This morning we visited both the western and eastern groups of Khajuraho temples.
Khajuraho Group of Monuments Khajuraho Group of Monuments Khajuraho Group of Monuments

The Khajuraho Group of Monuments is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India.
Khajuraho has the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, famous for their erotic sculptures.
Khajuraho Group of Monuments Khajuraho Group of Monuments Khajuraho Group of Monuments

The Khajuraho Group of Monuments has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site,
and is considered to be one of the "seven wonders" of India.
Khajuraho Group of Monuments Khajuraho Group of Monuments Khajuraho Group of Monuments

The Khajuraho temples are made of sandstone. The builders didn't use mortar: the stones
were put together with mortise and tenon joints and they were held in place by gravity.
This form of construction requires very precise joints.
The columns and architraves were built with megaliths that weighed up to 20 tons.
Khajuraho Group of Monuments Khajuraho Group of Monuments Khajuraho Group of Monuments

The video below is 20 minutes long of the beautiful temples of Khajuraho.

Saturday afternoon we visited a local village.
Our first stop was at the elementary school.
Elementary school in Khajuraho, India Elementary school in Khajuraho, India Elementary school in Khajuraho, India

From the school we walked into the village.
We visited a couple homes in the village.
Local home in Khajuraho, India Local home in Khajuraho, India Local home in Khajuraho, India

The video below is 15 minutes long of our visit to a local village.

This evening we enjoyed dance performances from different regions of India.

The video below is 38 minutes long of the cultural dance performance in Khajuraho.

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON FEBRUARY 9, 2013
Hello friends & family,

It was a much more relaxing day today. After yesterday's arduous journey we needed a calmer day today. Every place we went was within five minutes of the hotel. After breakfast this morning we went to see the Kajuraho Temples. These temples were built between the 9th and 13th centuries. Unlike a lot of monuments in India these are very well maintained. It's a World Heritage site so they get money from UNESCO to preserve them.



It was a beautiful day. Bright sunny skies and no smog in this rural part of India. The temples are covered in thousands of erotic sculptures.



Below is a close-up of one of the carvings. If you aren't 18 yet you need to skip this picture.



While I was walking around the temples an Indian man came up to me and asked if I was Tim. I said I was, not sure what he had in mind. He proceeded to tell me that he watches all my videos on YouTube and wanted to meet me. Needless to say I was quite surprised.



This is the western section. They are all Hindu temples here. Below is a close-up of one the intricately sculpted temples.



There were originally 85 temples, but only 22 remain.



I forgot to put on my cap today. I'm sure my bald head is going to really pay the price.



Next we drove over to the eastern section. These temples are all Jain.



We came back to the hotel for lunch and then visited a local village. Our first stop was at the school. Below is one of the classrooms.



The children's teacher is standing behind them in the picture below. Unfortunately I didn't get his face.



The children were all very cute. They wanted to show the strange white people their school work.



Next we walked into the village.



We visited a couple of homes.



Below is the second home we visited.



One of the ladies in this home had a little baby.



We spent about an hour in the village. It would be nice if there were more stops like this and less of the shopping ones.



As we were walking out of the village I gave the little boys below a few Rupees for letting me take their picture. Big mistake. I'm lucky I made it out of the village alive as every kid in the village proceeded to swarm around me wanting theirs.



This afternoon I had a couple of hours to relax around the hotel.



We are going to a dance performance tonight. And we can sleep in tomorrow morning for the first time. Our flight to Varanasi isn't until early tomorrow afternoon. Varanasi is the last place we will visit in India before moving on to Nepal on Tuesday.

Tim




Click on the arrow above to continue to my next stop, VARANASI, INDIA!

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