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Indian Architechture Through the Ages Introduction to Indian Architechture Architechtural Glossary Getting Around in India
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States in Central India
Madhya Pradesh

About Central India

It is easier to fly in to Khajuraho from Agra or Varanasi (Benares). Jhansi to Khajuraho is is four and a half to six hours by train. There is a bus service too. If you go by train, alight at Mahoba and take the bus to Khajuraho. Buses from Agra and Gwalior to Khajuraho take 12 hours and 9 hours respectively. You can also travel by train from Allahabad to Satna (4 hours) and from there take a bus (4 hours) to Khajuraho. Khajuraho has hotels to suit every budget. Hotel Khajuraho Ashok is very comfortable. The Tourist Bungalow is economical while Hotel Payal is a medium-budget hotel. To go to Nachna or Tigawa hire a taxi and stay overnight in Katni. You can go to Kundarpur and return too. Tigawa is 35 km northwest of Sihora by road. The name of the village is Tigma.

From Allahabad, travel to Rewa (3 hours) visit Chandrehi by jeep and take the night train to Raipur. It is better to buy the tickets from Allahabad. After visiting Nachna and Tigawa by taxi from Satna, catch the train at Katni. Stay at Hotel Sharda, hire a taxi and make a round trip to Sirpur and Rajim. Since the total distance is 260 km, returning on the same day may not be possible. You can consult the tourist office at the station too. From Raipur you can fly east to Bhubaneshwar or take the train to Nagpur (6 hours) and enter south India. Usually, researchers and not tourists take this route.

Those who want to visit the Buddhist ruins, usually go straight to Sanchi from Agra. There are many places one could visit on the way. One should not miss Gwalior that is 3 hours by bus or 2 hours by train, from Agra. Hotel Tansen or Usha Kiran palace, which is a palace hotel, are good places to stay at. From Gwalior to Jhansi is the same distance by bus or taxi and Hotel Jhansi is a decent hotel. Datiya, to the north seen from the train as you travel past, takes one hour by bus. Orchha, in the south is a 30-minute ride away. Hire a taxi to visit Datiya (one hour). In Orchha stay in the old palace, Sheesh Mahal. From Jhansi to Lalitpur by train is one-and-a-half hours; take a taxi to Deogarh. Through a different route you can reach Chanderi in one-and-a-half hours. The roads to Udaypur are bad. It is better to go to Sanchi and go to Udaygiri and Udaypur by jeep (from the hotel) the following day.

Stay at the tourist bungalow and climb the hill early in the morning to visit the stupa. For travelling from Sanchi to Mandu, go to Bhopal airport by jeep (1 hour, 20 minutes) and fly to Indore; take a bus or taxi via Dhar (4 hours). If not in a hurry, go to Bhopal by bus (direct bus - an hour-and-a-half), then take the bus to Indore (5 hours) and stay at the Hotel President. There are frequent buses to Ujjain (an hour-and-a-half). In Mandu, itís best to hire a bicycle and visit the ruins. Stay at the tourist cottage. Return to Indore and go to Maharashtra (Ajanta and Ellora) by bus (12-15 hours). Stay in Jalgaon for a day and then proceed to Fardapur. Flying to Bombay is the easiest.

Mumbai is a convenient point to end the tour. Since most tourists stay in the Colaba area, at times it is difficult to get a room here. There is the luxury Taj Intercontinental. Medium budget, Grand Hotel is near CST station. Visit Nalanda bookshop inside the Taj Hotel and the Strand Book Stall near the Tokyo Mitsubishi Bank. Elephanta Islands are an hour by boat from the Gateway of India. To get to Kanheri caves, take the suburban train from Churchgate to Borivli (40 min) and from there take a taxi or auto-rickshaw (10 min). To see the Buddhist caves, take the train to Lonavla (3 hours) and from there hire an auto-rickshaw and visit, Karli, Bhaja and Bedosa. It takes 20 minutes to Karli and another 20 minutes to climb the mountain. Bedosa is 30 minutes away. You can take the train from here to Pune, if you are in a hurry (1 hour, 20 minutes). If not, stay in Lonavla for a day in a hotel near the station. A simple holiday camp is also available near the caves. Pune, a big city, has many hotels. Hotel Aurora Towers is comfortable. To see Maratha culture, you have to go further south from here.

The best rock-cave temples are at Aurangabad. Fly from Bombay or take the night train. Nasik, en route to Aurangabad is 4 hours from Bombay. Stay overnight at Nasik and continue to Aurangabad (three and a half hours by train). In Nasik, Shalini Palace Hotel (5 km) is a good place to stay at. To get to Pandor, take an auto- rickshaw. It takes 1 hour by bus to get to Sinnar. Aurang Ashok in Aurangabad is a convenient halt. Explore the city and the caves, in an auto-rickshaw. Ajanta is two and a half hours from here. Go to Wardhapur which is 5 km away from Ajanta, and visit the ruins at a relaxed pace. Stay in the holiday resort. Ellora is an hour by bus from Aurangabad. Visit the temple and tank in Belur village. On the way to Ellora, Daulatabad and Khuldabad can be visited by bus. Take a taxi to Pitalkhora caves (2 hours). Since taxi charges are exorbitant from Aurangabad to Pitalkhora, and the roads are bad, hire a jeep. Aurangabad to Pune is 6 hours by bus. To go to the south, take the train to Hyderabad (14 hours).

The airport and railway station are both in Vasco-da-Gama, which is a 45-minute bus or taxi ride to Panaji, the capital of Goa. There are flights from Bombay, Pune and Bangalore and overnight trains and buses to Bombay. There are many hotels in Panaji (Panjim). Cidade-de-Goa, is a 10-minute ride out of Panaji. Old Goa and the temples around Ponda can be visited in a day trip by auto-rickshaw. Cross over Karnataka by bus to Hubli, or take a bus to Mangalore (10 hours). The Konkan railway runs through Goa, from Bombay to Trivandrum in Kerala.

Cross-section of the Lakshmana Temple, 954, Khajuraho.
The sculptures in Khajuraho Vishwanatha Temple.
Temple city of Kundarpur.
Gateway of India and Taj Hotel.
Stone cave temple group in Ajanta.
Cidade de Goa Hotel