Thursday, June 2, 2011

new post has finally arrived!

Ade:
Hi there!
Yikes, I apologize, this post was way overdue. I'm writing from Varanasi, one of the holiest cities in India.
Varanasi was endowed with its holy status because of its main attraction, the Ganges River. But before I tell you about Varanasi, I need to tell you about our experience in a city that is just as well-endowed. After our visit to Agra we spent a couple of days in Khajuraho, the Kama Sutra capital of the world. But don’t worry folks, this is not the Las Vegas of India. None of the famous lovemaking is performed by people, only represented in temple carvings. That is, unless we’re talking about my intimate bond with muttar paneer, which unites my two greatest loves, curry and cheese, in an orgy of flavors.

Last Wednesday we arrived in Khajuraho from Agra after a train connection through a scorching city called Jhansi (it was reportedly 49 degrees). Alright, alright, I’m sure you’re all eager for me to get right to talking about the temple carvings (or just eager to finish reading this post because you feel uncomfortable (sorry mom and dad)), but before I get to the climax, at least let me talk about the city itself. For the first time in a while, we were lucky to have found a terrific hostel (Hotel Surya), where we were able to shield ourselves from the 45 degree heat that had penetrated into the city. We also lucked out by getting to know a couple of really nice people from Khajuraho, who showed us around the city and brought us to places that we wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise. A highlight of the tour was our visit to a small village on the outskirts of Khajuraho. We’ve seen so many areas in the North that have been impacted by the tourist industry, so being able to see a part of the untainted North India was very special. We visited a tiny village inhabited by people who were extremely poor, yet incredibly welcoming. It was crazy to see such a small village that was entirely self-functioning. They even had a court house (which was just a small 5 foot platform made out of cow dung) and their own constitution (a list of 20 laws written on a plaque (presumably also made out of cow dung)). What was most astonishing was the sheer amount of ways these people used cow dung. If only the people of Varanasi knew how much of a hot commodity cow dung is. With all the cow poop on the street someone could really become the next Donald Trump of India. Dayna and I are considering scrapping our travel plans to start our own poop collection business called Two Girls One Scoop.

Anyways, our stay in Khajuraho was short, but definitely worthwhile.

Alright, alright, and now for what you've all been waiting for: our tour of the Kama Sutra temples. These elaborate sandstone temples were erected as early as 920 CE. What made these temples special were the intricate carvings on the outer walls that mounted their base. However, with the risk of losing our pg 13 rating I will not describe the carvings in explicit detail. Instead, I will leave you with this music video, which I think aptly sums up what we’ve seen in Khajuraho:

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