Varanasi - Khajuraho Erotic Temples and the Ghats to Witness the Aarti Ceremony
Breakfast at the hotel followed by a visit to Khajuraho’s erotic temples. Written by Vatsyayana in the time of the Guptas. The erotic love-making images of celestial nymphs, gods, and goddesses sculpted in delicate detail have caught the imagination of people from all over the world.
Here you would visit the western group of temples. Western is the largest and best-known temple. All but three temples, which are built of local granite, are constructed with hard river sandstone dug from the east bank of the Ken River, 13 miles (8 miles) to the east. None of the temples are enclosed; rather they are erected on high masonry platforms, each on an east-west axis. It is their detailed sculpture that gives Khajuraho its appeal and importance. Less than a tenth of it can be called 'erotic'. Numerous interpretations have been given for the erotic sculpture but there is nothing sordid about these inspired carvings showing beauty and voluptuousness of the female form. Most of the temples are 'banded' by horizontal panels of statues. The purvasins, or divine ladies, are shown engaging in commonplace human activities such as having a bath, feeding a bath, getting dressed, and applying makeup. Figures of Lord Shiva often protruded from the band. The long frieze with scenes of battles, processions, and hunting that rind the base of the Lakshmana temples are some of the best examples of narrative sculpture.
Afternoon transfer to airport to board flight for Varanasi. Meeting and assistance upon arrival at Varanasi airport and transfer to the Hotel for check-in.
Varanasi, the holy city of India, is also known by the name of Kashi and Benaras. Kashi, the city of Moksha for Hindus for centuries, is known for its fine-quality silks, 'paan', and Benares Hindu University and Avimukta of the ancient days; Varanasi is the most popular pilgrimage point for the Hindus. One of the seven holiest cities, Varanasi city is also one of the Shakti Peethas and one of the twelve Jyotir Linga sites in India. In Hinduism, it is believed that those who die and are cremated here get an instant gateway to liberation from the cycle of births and re-births.
In the evening, visit the Ghats to witness the Aarti ceremony. The “AARATI”, is normally sung at the end of any religious ceremony or puja, or simply by itself each morning and evening as a celebration to the Supreme within us and without. The lighting of the lamps for the Aarati has a manifold significance. On the one hand, it denotes the light of spiritual knowledge, the illumination of truth. On the other hand, when camphor is used as the fuel to light up the lamps, the camphor eventually burns out and disappears without a trace. This signifies the destruction of the ego in the light of true knowledge or -the illumination of the self in union with the Universe.
It is an unforgettably spiritual experience performed each evening at sundown on the banks of the holy river Ganges; it is an event to gladden the heart, feed the soul, and create harmony with the elements. Fire, Water, Earth, Air combine in perfect synergy during this ritual and leave you with a feeling of having witnessed perfection.