VARANASI, THE CENTRE of the Hindu universe, has maintained a religious tradition that goes back to the sixth century BC. In all these years, great sages, teachers and students have sought answers at the ghats. Others look for release from life’s cycle, and cremation here in Varanasi, on the banks of the Ganges, is one way of attaining it. The temples of Khajuraho also promise enlightenment. †he erotica that they have gained such notoriety for has its basis in tantric belief. The temples in their proportions, embellishment and composition represent the best of North Indian temple architecture. To a visit to these cities, the itinerary adds a trip to the Taj Mahal – that striving for perfection in the expression of eternal love and Jaipur- rose pink capital of Rajasthan.