Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh), Oct.29 : Visiting the world famous Khajuraho temples in Madhya Pradesh is a charm not many people around the world can avoid.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in India, Khajuraho has the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, famous for their erotic sculpture.
But over the years, a number of unlicensed and rogue tourist guides, locally referred as 'Lapkas' in Khajuraho, have affected the temples' fascination among tourists.
These individuals are today looked upon as a major nuisance and have become a reason of tourists' disappointment here.
Many of the visiting foreign tourists complain of getting cheated by them. Also, there is a 'brigade' of younger ones who beg and pester all tourists.
These Lapkas are basically local tribals. Tourists feel irritated when approached by the unwanted 'guides'. They are compelled to buy sundry things and give alms.
"There are a lot of fake guides, mostly Lapkas. They sell various items or they seek alms They are a big nuisance. Authorities should take necessary remedial steps," said Rahul Tiwari, Conservation Officer, Archaeological Survey of India, Khajuraho.
At times tourists complain about theft of their belongings.
"The biggest problems are the people outside and inside shops wanting to sell you things. They are too insistent. They pester you you. They do not listen to a 'no'. They keep making an attempt to break you down," said Steve Varsan, a tourist from abroad.
Lapkas are found all over the town and their growth has mushroomed in the recent times. "The children of Lapkas follow the tourists, pull their bags or trouble them to sell odd things. They are spoiling the image of our country," said Nivas Verma, Superintendent of Police, Khajuraho. By Narender Singh Parmar