Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Jan 6: Best Day so far! (part 3 of 5)

On the eastern edge of the fort sits the showpiece for the visitors, the Neelkanth Temple. The temple complex is carved out of a single rock, and has a vast, almost circular interior chamber. The temple entrance has eight pillars set in an octagonal shape, with beams on top. Umpteen carvings dominate the rocks everywhere. Particularly impressive is the 18 foot high statue of Kalabhairava. So too is a carved-in-the-rocks water tank. Ice-cold pure water!

There are other attractions in the fort too, including a few that need a trek close to the base of the fort. But that would take time, which is in short supply. So I make an early exit at 1:15.

Back at Kalinajar town, my estimates are proved right - not less than 80km to Khajuraho. Some night riding, I murmur to myself. Fortunately, the roads for the next 27km turn out to be very good, courtesy the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna. Good chance for me to make up some lost time. Meanwhile, I've been looking at quite a few types of birds ever since I left the highways. Lots of parrots, some white, some brown, some blue birds. I am not a bird watcher, so don't expect names from me :-) These are hard to photograph; the momement you stop, they decide to take off. Other than the road, one sees tall brown jowar plants, just-planted-wheat and the not-so-distant hills. The odd mustard field also. Huts by the roadside in small settlements. Kids playing and having a splash in the streams. I end up skipping lunch today - again to save time. I'm running on apples, water, tea and jilebis sold at the chai shop at 2 Rs/50 grams.

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