Alipura is a small rural town in Madhya Pradesh. Around eighty percent of the Indian population live in small towns and villages like this one and it was a breath of fresh air after the dusty streets of Agra.
We stayed in Alipura Palace which is over 150 years old and has been partially converted to a heritage hotel by descendants of the original ruling family. Staying here was like stepping back in time and reminiscent of the film ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.’ A beautiful building with intricately decorated rooms and views to the town and temple next door.
The town is a bit bigger than the small village of Tordi that we’d visited earlier, but still has that rural village feel. We took a walk to meet some of the residents and visited the police station, school and local hospital.
There was a buzz of excitement at our arrival and people were eager to pose for photographs. The buildings were worn yet colourful, with that beautiful faded hand-painted signage you see everywhere in India.
The Kama Sutra Temples of Khajuraho
Alipura was our base the visit the Khajuraho monuments, also known as the Kama Sutra temples due to the carvings on the walls. The Hindu temples date back to 950AD and were built by the Chandela dynasty, only surviving so long as they were lost in the jungle for centuries. They are famous for their intricately carved erotic sculptures depicting various positions of the Kama Sutra!
We love the chaos of India’s cities, but the heart of the country and its people is really in these small rural towns and villages. We only hope we can visit more one day.
Where is your favourite part of rural India?