Khajuraho

Khajuraho is a town situated in the State of Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the most famous destinations in India and is visited by huge number of people every year. Khajuraho is known for the famous monuments that were constructed in the medieval period. There are many Jain and Hindu temples situated here and some of them have many erotic sculptures. The name of Khajuraho was derived from the ancient Sanskrit word Kharjuravahaka. Kharjura means Date Palm and the meaning of vahaka is one who carries. The Khajuraho temples became famous around the world in the 19th century. The British found these temples among the jungles surrounding it and explored the area.

Famous Stories

One of the famous stories about this region is related to the Chandela dynasty. The legend says that there was young daughter of one Brahmin priest and she got seduced by the moon god while bathing. A child was born due to this mortal union. The name of the daughter of the priest was Hemavati and the child born after this union was named Chandravarman. Hemavati had to take refuge from society as she was an unwed mother. She had to live in the dense forest of Central India. Her son grew up and found the Chandela Dynasty. Chandravarman built temples to reveal the human passions and tried to bring out the realization of the emptiness surrounding the human desire. After this the kings that succeeded him added temples to this area.

Lakshmana Temple
Lakshmana Temple

Interesting Facts

  1. There are huge numbers of Jain and Hindu temples that were built during the medieval period. These temples are famous for the erotic sculptures built around them.
  2. The Khajuraho temples were constructed during the reign of Chandela empire that stretched from 950 to 1050 AD.
  3. Previously there were more than 85 Hindu Temples in Khajuraho but due to the ravages of nature they degenerated and the number has declined to 22 Temples.
  4. The temples at Khajuraho have been divided into three different geographical points i.e. western, southern and eastern. The western side has the largest Khajuraho Temple that consists of KandariyaMahadev.
  5. The temples at Khajuraho are fascinating and they represent the matured civilization of the medieval period. This place comes under the list of top tourist attractions in India.
  6. There is a misconception that all the Temples over here are filled with erotic sculptures. Only small amount of the carvings are filled with eroticism and there is prevalence of sensuous eroticism.
  7. There is a mixture of Jain and Hindu temples over here. There are few temples that are dedicated to Jain pantheon while rest of them comprise of Hindu Deities. The Deity of Hindu God trio Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva along with different Devi forms are present here.

Khajuraho’s Location

Khajuraho is a part of Chhatapur district and is 620 Kilometers away from Delhi. It is located on the southeast direction from Delhi. The area is a part of central India and there is a dense forest area around it. The average elevation of the town is 283 metres and it is located at 24.85°N 79.93°E.

Languages Spoken

  • Hindi
  • English

How to reach Khajuraho?

Reaching By Train

The nearest railway station around Khajuraho is the Mahoba. It is about 77 Kilometers away from Khajuraho and the tourists should get down here to visit the town. There is another railway station near Khajuraho named Harpalpur, this station is connected with most of the major railheads in India. This is around 90 kilometers away from the town of Khajuraho.

Reaching By Air

The Khajuraho airport is connected with most of the major Indian cities. These cities include Mumbai, Delhi, Bhopal, Indore, and Varanasi. Most of the airline service providers have flights for Khajuraho from various cities. The international tourists should go to Delhi or Mumbai to take flights for Khajuraho.

Reaching By Road

The two cities that have good bus connectors for Khajuraho are Jhansi and Satna. They provide regular bus service and people from different regions take bus from here to visit Khajuraho. If one travels from Jhansi or Satna by taxi then it will take them 3 hours and traveling by bus will take them around 5 to 6 hours. Some other areas providing bus service for Khajuraho are Chhatarpur, Harpalpur, Jabalpur, Sagar, Mahoba, Varanasi, Panna, Gwalior, Indore, Allahabad, and Agra. The pre-paid taxis cost between Rs. 1,200 to 2,000.

Best time to visit Khajuraho

The climate in Khajuraho varies hugely and there are huge variations between the temperatures during the daytime and night. There is very low amount of rainfall in this area and summers can be very hot. The best time to visit the place is during the winter season. The temperature in summer season can reach around 45°C. It is best to visit Khajuraho between September and March.

Travel Around Khajuraho

The temples at Khajuraho appeal to the tourist and are the best examples to represent the architectural excellence of Indian culture. These temples are centuries old and are erotic, aesthetic and striking in nature. They are unique in their own way and expose the age old philosophies of Hindu religion. The erotic images present around the Temples adore beautiful shrines, depict innocent love forms, impishly tempting, confrontational, and speak about the devotees that came to visit their Gods.

Temples around Khajuraho
Temples around Khajuraho

Khajuraho’s poetry carved temples are also famous for cultural extravaganza. These cultural events are held every year that lasts from February 25 to March 2nd. Different Indian classical dance forms take place during these events and there are some stunning dance performances displayed by some of the famous dancers in India. Khajuraho also is a hotspot in the arena of Indian tourism and it also offers excellent shopping experience to the visitors.

Attractions in Khajuraho

The temples in Khajuraho are known to be the best illustration of Indian architecture that tourist can find. It is built in typical Nagara style architecture and around 22 of the 85 temples in Khajuraho have survived. The Chandelas built this group of temples and they present tantrism, Jainism, Vaishnavism and Shaivism from the Hindu sect.

Khajuraho group of temples in Central India is one of the most illustrious manifestations of Indian architecture that tourists can find in India. They have been built in the typical ‘Nagara’ style of architecture. The temples don’t have any wall enclosure surrounding them and all the temples are built on solid masonry platforms. These temples also have two distinctive groups that consist of Eastern and western group of the temples.

Western Group of Temples – Khajuraho

These groups of temples are one of the largest and richest temples found in India. The temples are opened after sunrise and closed after sunset. The Indian travellers need to pay 10 rupees for entry while the foreign tourists need to pay $5 USD for entering Western part of the temples.

  • KandariyaMahadeo: The KandariyaMahadeo temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva and enshrines ‘linga.’ The shrine is decorated with different sculptures and it presents amazing masterpiece of the medieval times. It is the largest temple and has a height of 31 metres. The carvings present detailed information of Indian mythology and are the best example of intricate craftsmanship done on stone.
Kandariya Mahadeo
Kandariya Mahadeo
  • Chaunsath Yogini: This is the oldest and the only temple formed with granite that survives in Khajuraho till date. It dates back to 900 AD and has been dedicated to Goddess Kali. It has a unique quadrangular plan and only 35 out of the 65 cells in temple are remaining. The images of Goddess Kali are no longer visible.
Chaunsath Yogini
Chaunsath Yogini
  • Chitragupta Temple: This temple faces the eastern side and has been dedicated to Sun God. There is an imposing and powerful deity present in inner sanctum. It is 5ft high and it shows the sun god driving seven horsed chariot. There are some spectacular group scenes like the elephant fights, royal processions, group dances, and hunting scenes. One can also see the lavish lifestyle of the Chandela kings over here. The design and features of the Chandela court is present in full glory over here.
Chitragupta Temple
Chitragupta Temple
  • Lakshmana Temple: One of the oldest and finest of Vaishnavite temples of Khajuraho is the Lakhsmana Temple. One horizontal beam is built around the entrance of this temple and presents the trinity of Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma. There is also the Varaha Temple that shows the boar incarnation through a Vaishnavite shrine. The shrine is 9ft high and covered with different figures of Hindu Pantheon.
  • Vishwanatha Temple: This temple has got a very impressive entrance. Here the Lions are seen flanking its northern steps and elephants flanking southern steps. The exteriors are very profusely carved and there is an impressive image of Brahma.
  • Devi Jagdamba Temple: This temple is smaller when compared with some of the other temples. It has the shrine of Goddess Jagdamba and has some of the greatest sculptures present in Khajuraho.
  • Matangeshwara Temple: This temple has an intimidating statue of Lord Shiva. It has a 8ft tall lingam and is present just outside the group of temples present in the Western side. Huge numbers of people come here to worship and there is an open air museum that displays friezes and beautiful statues.
  • Light and Sound Show at Western group of Temples –Khajuraho: After visiting of the temple complex is over for tourists, they can enjoy the evening with the sound and light show. The light and sound show is narrated by the Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan and is held every evening in Western group in Khajuraho. Entry ticket Rs. 90/- for Indian travellers and Rs. 300/- for foreign travellers.

Eastern Group of Temples –Khajuraho

  • ParsvanathaTemple: The Parsvanath temple is known to be the largest Jain temple present in the Eastern Group. The temple enshrines one throne that faces the bull emblem representing Adinatha. The Parsvanath temple has some intricate carvings that show the expert architecture of the master craftsmen of Khajuraho. These carvings present some excellent themes and help in understanding the activities of normal human life.
  • Ghantai Temple: Though this temple is in ruins, there are evidences of the original splendour of the temple. It also depicts 16 dreams of Lord Mahavira’s mother.
  • Adinatha Temple: There is the Adinatha temple lying in the northern side of Parswanatha temple. It has some delicate and richly ornamented sculptures of yakshis. This temple has been dedicated to Adinath, the first tirthankara of the Jains.
Adinath Temple
Adinath Temple

Southern Group of Temples –Khajuraho

  • Duladeo Temple: This is the last temple of Khajuraho and lies on the southern side of Ghantai Temple. There is the Shivalingam shrine that is known for striking images of celestial apsaras and maidens that are richly ornamented.

  • Chaturbhuja Temple: Also known as the Jatkari Temple, it was built in the year 1100 AD. It is famous for its architecture and is fully devoid of any type of erotic sculpture. The best part of this temple is the 9 feet high Vishnu idol that is intricately carved and has four arms.
  • Beejamandal Temple: Near Chaturbhuja temple there is the Beejamandal temple that is almost in ruins.

State Museum of Tribal & Folk Arts

All kinds of artefacts and folk art of Madhya Pradesh are present in the Chandela Cultural Complex. These masterpieces and artefacts are the best way to show Indian tradition and culture over centuries. One can find more than 500 items of metal craft, terracotta, folk paintings, tattoos, jewelry, masks, and woodcraft in the museum present over here. The museum is closed on Mondays and other Governmental holidays. Its timing is from 12 pm till 8pm.

State temple Khajuraho
State Museum Khajuraho

What’s in store for the Shoppers at Khajuraho?

Tourists from different parts of the world visit Khajuraho and it can provide a wonderful shopping experience to the people visiting the place. Khajuraho is famous for the handlooms and traditional handicrafts. One of the major craft in Khajuraho is Textile weaving and one can find huge amount of Indian wears and Saris over here. There are many stone carved items that are favorites of the visitors in Khajuraho. This is a very small town and has very few shopping centres. One of the major shops is on the opposite side of temple. It is near Gole Market and one can also find the City center and Oswal Complex.

Where and What to eat in Khajuraho?

The chicken kabab and mutton kabab of Khajuraho is famous among the tourists. One can also get authentic vegetarian dishes. There is one dish named as Bafla, it is made of soaked butter and wheat. It is a unique delicacy of Khajuraho. Some other dishes famous in Khajuraho are kheema, rogan josh, and korma. The vegetarian dishes are equally tasty and very spicy in nature.

Some other specialities of Khajuraho include shikanji, sabudana khichdi, moong dal halwa, and variety of local sweets. The sugarcane juice, lassi and buttermilk are highly recommended for the tourists. There is local liquor available over here that are made of date palm and mahua flowers. During summers there are many tropical fruits available that include banana, guava, mango, custard apple, jamun and wild berry. These fruits are extremely helpful in beating the heat.

Khajuraho Dishes
Khajuraho Dishes

Popular Restaurants in Khajuraho

  1. Bella Italia, Jain Temples Rd | jain Temple Rd, Khajuraho 471606, India,
    9893454795
  2. Paradise Restaurant, Opposite Shivsagar Lake Khajraho | Opposite Shivsagar Lake Khajuraho, Khajuraho, India
  3. Zorba Di Buddha, Jain Temple road, Khajuraho 471606, India, 07686 274135
  4. Mediterraneo, Jain Temples Rd, Khajuraho, India, (07686) 272246
  5. Raja’s Café, Main Rd, Khajuraho, India
  6. Shambala Chill Out, The Green View, Front of Western Groups of Temples, Khajuraho 471606, India

Where to stay in Khajuraho?

Khajuraho is visited by huge number of people and there are huge numbers of hotels present over here.

Hotels in Khajuraho

  1. Hotel Isabel Palace: Main Temple Road, Khajuraho – 471606
  2. Zen Hotel: Jain Temple Road, Khajuraho – 471606
  3. Hotel Harmony: Jain Temple Road, Khajuraho – 471606
  4. Radisson Jass Hotel Khajuraho: Bypass Road, Khajuraho – 471606
  5. Hotel Chandela: Khajuraho – 471606

Post Author: Aditya Gupta

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