The Train to the Taj Mahal
February 5, 2015 • Spiritual Adventures
Day 6: Feb 4
We started our day with a sunrise Puja at the southern group of temples in Khajuraho dedicated to Lord Siva. I had the honor of performing the ritual of abhishekam, the bathing of the central deity with an offering of milk, yogurt, and flowers. The temple reverberated with the sacred energy of this practice as the participants observed while continuously chanting a mantra to Lord Siva. Each of the participants had the opportunity to personally experience bathing the idol, offering to the haven (sacred fire), and receiving prasadam, the food offering that is given back to worshippers.
We said goodbye to the stunning temple art of Khajuraho and headed west to Agra today, making a couple of stops along the way. We had lunch in Orchha, a historic village on the banks of the Betwa River, was founded in the 15th century AD and is known for its beautiful temples, forts and palaces. The architecture is similar here to Khajuraho but the vibe is a little more laid back and hassle-free which we all noticed and enjoyed in the beautiful restaurant where we dined.
We then headed to a nearby train station to board a train to take us to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal. Though airplane rides are the fastest way to get around, there is no better way to see and experience India than to ride a train through the countryside. Making our way through the hustle and bustle of the train stations proved to be an exciting adventure in itself.
We prepared for luxury as we arrived at our hotel, the ITC Mughal. This delightful hotel is a wonderful tribute to the great Mughal architecture, with opulent yet contemporary rooms that are full of splendor. Sprawling over 35 acres of majestic gardens, the hotel is in a perfect location for visiting the Taj Mahal.
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