Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Temple Tours - Khajuraho

Undoubtedly the country's top attraction Khajuraho Temples are a marvel in stone that exhibit luminous grace and architectural splendor unsurpassed. The structures reflect the glory India's golden past that now survives amidst emerging modern chaos. Khajuraho temples are an epitome of liberal ideological values that were the main stays of ancient Kingdoms in Central India.

These magnificent piece of architecture lay hidden in the deep confines of Central India or the State of Madhya Pradesh. The discovery was made during the British Rule in India. The archeological finds are now maintained by the Archeological Surveys of India.    

Khajuraho is spirituality in art with expression of liberal sexual values engraved in the walls carved out of stone. The Kamasutra sex treatise is expressed here through delicate carvings and statues. The temples were built by Chandela dynasty in 10th and 11th century AD. The temples are situated in different complexes. These complexes also contain Jain Temples built during the Chandela Era. 

The purpose of this treatise in stone was perhaps a manual for young boys growing up in gurukuls or religious schools. It could also have been to please pleasure loving rain God Indra. The carved figures of men, women and animals are intertwined in various sexual positions. The carvings are intricate and explicit on the out walls of the Hindu Temples.

This hypothesis can best be left to eminent historians and scholars. Khajuraho temples are a must visit destinations. These are included in itinerary of many organized tour packages to Madhya Pradesh in India.

Khajuraho is a chaotic village that harbors these monuments of sublime beauty and exquisite artistic delights - the carving in stone - and not just erotic expressions that some of the travelers to India may be coming to see. This becomes evident on tour to Khajuraho as you visit one temple after another. You get immersed in the erotic carvings displayed on the walls.

Best way of reaching Khajuraho is by Air from Delhi and some other major towns. The nearest rail head is Satna. While one can access the temple town on Jabalpur - Bandhavgarh - Khajuraho route by taxi or personal vehicle.

The Panna National Park lies just forty five kms from the temple town of Khajuraho. Panna NP offers tiger safaris, exciting wildlife sightings and birding trips in the dense deciduous forests.

Indian Handicrafts on Travel

Not only exports, handicrafts in India are a major attraction for tourists. All Indian states have their unique native skills that result in creation of exotic crafts. The traveler comes across works of art and crafts all over his route.

Those on tours to Kerala or Rajasthan states are likely to discover and be impressed by Indian handicrafts since these are popular destinations. In popular tourists states an infrastructure has been laid down in bringing forth all elements of tourist attractions.

But as rest of India opens up to tourism, more and more states are gearing up to display and promote the local talent which produces unique works of arts. Be it jewelry, wooden statues, brass works and designer dresses. Those on travel to India must read and know about before hand the craftsmanship popular in the parts of India they are visiting. Find out where to see and buy them.

There are many Government Agencies that promote handicraft trade in the country to assist local communities. These efforts provide economic assistance and empowerment to locals especially the women.  

The government has taken lot of steps forward to encourage exports and exposure on crafts from India. EPCH has been set up for this very purpose.

EPCH full form Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts under Development Commissioner of Handicrafts, Textile Ministry GOI was set up under EXIM policy in yr 1986-87. It helps create infrastructure and encourages marketing by offering information to member exporters and importers.

It Offers professional advice in areas of technology up gradation, quality and designing in improving standards and specifications, development of products and encourages creativity.
• EPCH organizes visits of members to foreign countries to explore overseas marketing potential.
• Participating in International Trade Fairs of Handicrafts & Gift.
• Organizes Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fairs.
• Acts as intermediately between exporters and Govt. at Central and State level. It represents all the committees / panels of Central.
• EPCH creates awareness through Workshops on "Export Marketing, Procedures and Documentation", Packaging, Design Developments, Buyer Seller Meets, Open House and other such programs.
• EPCH disseminates notification, orders, information on trades etc issued by GOI.

Of late tour operators offering package tour to Kerala include visit to handicraft fairs. This is also done in package tours to Rajasthan in Western India. The villages in the states which produces handicrafts are unique in nature.