We drove from Orchha to Khajuraho in a taxi [Rs.2500/- for the drop]
On way our driver took us to see ruins around Maharaja Chhatrasal Museum, beside NH 39.
Also the Baruasagar Fort, which falls in U.P. as the M.P. & U.P. borders get crossed several times while taking NH 39.
We reached Khajuraho by afternoon. We checked into Hotel Harmony [Rs.1500/- per night for double room, WiFi for Rs.50/- per day per person, booked at Booking.com] had our lunch from hotel restaurant (which was horrible) and waited for sun to mellow down to step out.
We had asked our hotel staff to arrange for a next day morning safari ticket for Panna National Park, but they somehow hadn’t done it, and when we reached we sort of missed on asking them to confirm it. By the time we followed up with them, it was 5:00 p.m. and all tickets were sold out already on the website. Safari tickets for both timings have to be bought a day before online via agents in Khajuraho, in case you miss, you need to hire a cab to drive all the way to Panna National Park gate and stand in queue to buy the tickets an hour before the safari starts. Finally we had to bank on afternoon safari.
We finally got out at 5:30 p.m. to check out the Western group of Temples near by. Khajuraho is more organised and looks way too posh for ancient ruins, given the kind of foreigners pouring here this can be expected. The markets are like any other tourist destination, full of same old stuff, but you can bargain here like no other place.
There are other campuses, the southern & eastern group of temples, for which you can hire a auto to cover in Rs.300/-. Since we were not going for Morning safari, we had time to cover all these place next day. We asked our taxi guy who we brought from Orchha, as he was around, to take us around and drop and pick at Panna after that. He offered a very reasonable price of Rs. 1500/- for the entire day’s ride around Khajuraho, as opposed to locals auto/taxi guys asking for Rs.2500/- to Rs.3000/-. (I have mentioned our Taxi guy’s contact at the bottom of this post, he does trips all across M.P. and up towards north as well)
Southern temples are part of Jain temple complex, which is an old stone structure, painted and renovated now.
Eastern temples are more scattered around, most important one being a Chatrabhuj Temple, with the most beautifully carved statue as shown in picture in a stack above.
Through out our stay in Khajuraho, we found Raja Cafe really comforting, with a nice menu and AC seating area. Prices are same as Bangalore, so a bit on higher side as compared to places around M.P. We had our breakfast, lunches and dinners there itself.
We left for our Safari at 12:45 p.m. from Khajuraho to Panna National Park Madla gate. The place isn’t exactly organised, and you’ll come across lot of shitty Govt. style of handling things. The counter for buying tickets is a joke, the guy responsible turns up just minutes before safari starts, and all jeeps and guide flank the place to finish their fish for the day.
On the board only charges mentioned are Safari ticket for Rs.1500/- & Guide fees for Rs.360/-, rest you will be asked for random commissions and the safari jeep has extra cost of Rs.2500/- not mentioned anywhere officially . People usually blurt out any number at you when you ask, so make sure to ask them repeatedly about the total amount expected.
Overall the visit to Panna was serene, even though we did not spot any major wild, the rain made the weather pleasant and and enjoyable ride.
We returned back with our taxi, that waited outside the Park, to Khajuraho hotel by 7:00 p.m. Had dinner at Raja Cafe and headed back to prepare for next morning to leave Khajuraho.
For Taxi you can reach Bir Singh Yadav at +919109773211 for trips all across M.P. and even U.P. or Uttarakhand