Pilgrimage 2015: Hiking in Khajuraho

First hike

Today we were hiking to the top of this hill, or at least that was the original plan.

First hike 2

Alat was leading our group and since I was right behind her, I thought this would be a great time to get to know her. I felt like I kind of already knew her having had so many conversations over the years about our kids. I had followed her through college as well as on her trips to Africa through Panditji’s stories.

First hike 4

We were outside the Institute’s property which is very nicely fenced in, but outside the fence, property isn’t so definably marked. I was so hot, we decided just to walk the rest of the way around the hill.

First hike 3

As we walked around the back side of the hill, we missed the actual place where you head up the hill. I felt bad because if I had not been talking so much, Alat would not have missed it. We did get to see this little shrine though.

First hike 5

We came upon a couple of water buffalo. I have been told that if you order “beef” in India, chances are almost certain you will be served water buffalo.

First hike 6

There were a few of them and must have been owned by a nearby farmer.

First hike 7

I have learned from this blog that I need to turn around and take pictures of the fronts of people not just the backs (LOL)

First hike 8

Finally on the other side of the hill we see the ashram. We are glad we are close to home as the heat was getting to all of us. All of a sudden we see a nilgai.

Nilgai running

I am not fast enough with my camera to catch him, but this is what one looks like.

The nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus), sometimes called nilgau, is the largest Asian antelope. It is one of the most commonly seen wild animals of central and northern India, often seen in farmland or scrub forest. The mature male appears ox-like and is also known as the blue bull. A blue bull is called a nil gai or nilgai in India, from nil meaning blue and gai meaning a bovine animal (literally ‘cow’). It is also present in parts of southern Nepal and eastern Pakistan. The species has become extinct in Bangladesh. It was known as the nilghor (nil = blue, ghor = horse) during the rule of Aurangzeb in the Mughal era. (Wikipedia)

We did not make it to the top of the hill that day, but a couple of days later we set out again.

Second Hike 2

This time it was early morning, we wanted to go while it was still not smoldering hot!

Second Hike 3

We headed out the gates and onto a trail that would take us to the backside of the mountain where the white steps were that marked the trail.

Second Hike 4

The sun was just beautiful. I have never been able to take a picture of the sun like this before

Second Hike 5

The trail was dry and the bushes sticky, I should have worn my hiking pants!

Second Hike 6

Tried to take a selfie…

Second Hike 7

I always wonder how this happens!

Second Hike 8

Playing with my camera and the settings on the way up

Second Hike 26

At the top the view is magnificent! You can see the entire Himalayan Institute Campus

Second Hike 12

Looking off the other side of the hill into the valley

Second Hike 13

Mark attempts to set the timer on his camera to get a picture of us all (don’t know if he was supposed to be using a shrine for that…oops!)

Second Hike 14

As I have mentioned before, around shrines and temples are bells. These hung from the trees.

Second Hike 15

One of my favorite shots of the entire trip!

Second Hike 16

The gang having a discussion.  It looks as if they are plotting something?

Second Hike 17

Like at the top of Mt. Everest….lots of flags

Second Hike 18

Navin enjoying the view,

Second Hike 19

Donna just being a Tree pose

Second Hike 20

Mark in Eagle pose

Second Hike 21

And then just playing around

Second Hike 22

Navin taking a few to just be

Second Hike 23

One last amazing balancing pose done with such skill before we head back down the hill

Second Hike 24

Very poor picture of a monkey in the center top…looks more like a hawk!

Second Hike 25

And finally down the hill and heading back to eat breakfast…an amazing morning!

Thanks for reading and sharing with your friends and the great feedback and comments.  Next blog will be the last couple of days at the Institute and then off to the Varanasi, stay tuned.

Namaste, Peggy