Our first overnight train experience wasn’t too bad at all. Agra train station was packed full of people sleeping on the platform waiting for the 11.30 train like us. As we waited we saw a few trains come and go and they were literally packed to the brim with people. Vendors were running along side them selling samosas and chai tea through the windows and I was hoping that our third class air conditioned sleeper wasn’t too crowded.
We managed to find our coach and our beds and I was happy to see that it was comfortably air conditioned with curtains to block the light – the only downside was the triple bunks with six people in one compartment making it slightly squishy. It was a pretty comfortable journey and for about £4 I couldn’t really complain. Hopefully the rest of our journeys are as good.
When we arrived in Khajuraho we met a taxi driver who would take us to our hotel, drive us around for the day then pick us up for dinner all for £6. Its hard to say no to a bargain like that! Especially when his car was pumping awesome tunes like the vengaboys. Khajuraho is famous for its erotic temples and we spent the afternoon visiting the western, eastern and southern districts to check out the 20 or so temples they still have left. They are called the erotic temples due to the carvings of Hindi men and women in all kinds of crazy sexual positions. They also feature some beautiful carvings of animals (not in an erotic way of course) and other patterened carvings. The grounds are beautifully kept gardens that are filled with chipmunks running around and we were lucky to have a breezy sunny day so it was pleasant wandering around whilst occasionally giggling at what we saw.
Khajuraho also has an old village where people are living in a class system but away from everyone else. Our driver took us on a walk through it and it was interesting to see the lower class mud huts made out of clay and cow dung with no running water. The second class that actually had two different rooms in their house and the the upper class still only had really simple houses without any amenities. The children played in the streets (or chased us asking for pens) while the mothers sat outside in the breeze talking. We also visited a volunteer run school housed in the village that gives free education to those who can’t afford it. It was interesting to walk through and see what village life in India is like. It certainly made me realize I am pretty lucky and I won’t complain about my run down old house in London again – well for a while anyway.
On our only evening in Khajuraho we branched out from curry and visited a recommended Italian restaurant I town. It had a roof terrace and it was nice to sit and eat something different while sipping on a Kingfisher beer without the constant sound of beeping horns. What I love about the place is you could wander around without feeling to hassled. It was a really relaxed place and we found I easy to wander though the town and look at shops. It was so green and clean compared to the cities we stayed in and I really enjoyed relaxing somewhere a bit smaller. I was almost as relaxed as buffalos in mud!