I met Fabien at Jhansi, in the middle way (speaking of time) between Auroville where he is coming from and Pendjab where I was. Then we went together to Khajurâho and its famous temples. The couchsurfeurs hosting us have organized an incredible program for us. We visited many temples, and went around by motorbike, enjoying swimming in various rivers. From the 85 initial temples, only 25 remain nowadays. They are silently expecting the tourists in the hot weather like eternal sand castles. At this season, the current 40°C make us sweat at any move.
Not only the weather is hot, but also the temple sculptures! Sexy women have been curved in the stone in very provoking positions with their partners… Indians, so shy nowadays, are discovering a 3D Kama sutra on the temples. This is why these temples are so famous, even if they also illustrate many other daily life activities, battles and gods and goddess. But visiting temples is quiet repetitive, and what attracts our attention is the daily life in the villages around…
In low houses, squeezed along narrow streets, multigenerational families are living. In late afternoon, after the major heat, the deserted villages suddenly animated itself. Women are going out to get water at the pump, kids are playing croquet and men are coming back for the fields with their buffalos. A few tractors are going around among the wheat fields. It is a real pleasure to have a quick look at this life as we are coming back from the river.
We spend most of the evenings at weddings parties because it is the wedding season and the family hosting us (from the Brahman cast, the higher one) is invited everywhere. Weddings last three or four days and are an occasion the feed the whole neighborhood. According to the cast, the number of guest and the meal may vary, but the purpose is the same: tens or hundreds of guests are gathering around a buffet every night, and leave as soon as their belly is full. We enjoyed chapatti, various “subdje” and also delicious pastries, fruits and ice-creams, and we almost didn’t see the bride! The cast system seems to be still very important in Khadjuraho, with separated neighborhoods, specific rules to respect and various social levels.