ituated in the heart of central India, Khajuraho is a fascinating village with a quaint, rural ambience and a rich cultural heritage that is honored by the world as India's unique contribution to human civilization.

A thousand years ago, this was the seat of the Chandela Kings who built 85 temples, of which 22
Chaturbhuja Temple remain in eloquent testimony to the glory of the reign. Built between 950 and 1050 AD, these temples are superb example of Indo-Aryan architecture. However it's the decoration with which they are so liberally embellished that have made Khajuraho famous. Around the temples are bands of exceedingly fine and artistic stonework. The sculptors have immortalized in stone many aspects of human life 1000 years ago- Gods and Goddesses, warriors and musicians, real and mythological animals.

But two elements appear over and over again, and in greater detail than anything else- women and sex. Stone figures of apsaras or 'celestial maidens' appear on every temple. They pout & pose for the entire world like pin-up models posing for the camera. In between are the Mithuna,
erotic figures, running through a whole Kamasutra of positions and possibilities. These erotic carvings on some panels have given rise to much speculation since Khajuraho's rediscovery by a
British officer in 1838. To preserve it for posterity, Khajuraho has been declared a World Heritage Site and is among the prominent destinations on the world tourism map. 

The temples of Khajuraho are grouped into three groups - the Western, Eastern, and Southern. However, main temples are in  Western group.

Erotic sculpture of Khajuraho


The largest & architecturally the most perfect of Khajuraho templesis Kandaria Mahadev, dedicated
The largest of Khajuraho temples- Kandaria Mahadev Temple to Lord Shiva. Build between 1025 and 1050 AD, it represents the Chandela art at its finest. The main spire is 31 meter high, and the temple is lavishly carved. The statues are carved around the temple in three bands and include gods, goddesses, beautiful women, musians, and of course some of the famed erotic groups. The mithuna on the Kandariya Mahadev include some of the most energetic eroticism to be seen at Khajuraho.

Lakshamana Temple dedicated to Vishnu, is the best preserved
among the early temples. The friezes on the platform depict royal hunts and battles, processions,
and scenes from domestic life , and sexual orgy. While the unique Chitragupta Temple, facing eastwards is devoted to the sun god Surya. The five ft. high image of the deity driving a horse drawn chariot is the highlight here.

The other appealing temples are Lakshmi & Varaha, Devi Jagadamba, Vishvanath Temple & Nandi, Chausath Yogini, and Matangeshvara Temple. Out of which, Matangeshvara Temple is the only living temple that e supports a polished lingam (phallus), 2.5 meter high.

The main temple of the Eastern Group is Parsvanath, the largest of the Jain temples and one of the finest in Khajuraho. Dedicated to Jain Tirthankara Parsvanath, it is notable for the exceptional skill &

Sculptures of Mahadeva Temple

precision of its construction, and for the beauty of its sculptures. Some of the best figures at
Raneh Falls Khajuraho, including classic figure of a woman removing a thorn from her foot, can be seen here.

Besides these architectural excellences, the modern village of Khajuraho offers some scenic sites and
exotic wildlife in its vicinity. Raneh Falls, 19 Km north of Khajuraho, on the ken river are famous for their seasonal Water Falls and rock mountains. The attraction is five km long, 100-ft-deep canyon of crystalline granite in colour shades ranging from pink and red to gray.

With in walking distance from Raneh falls is Ken Natural Trail, a jungle track that leads further to Ken Gharial Sanctuary, at the confluence of
the Ken and Khudar Rivers.

Panna National Park
, a half an hour drive from Khajuraho,is spread over 543 sq. km along the eastern bank of the Ken River. It contains large area of unspoilt forest and a variety of wildlife including tigers, panthers, bears, wild boars, blue bulls and birds. The numerous waterfalls in this area enhance the natural beauty.

Easy day trips from Khajuraho often also take in a visit to the diamond mines at Majhgawan, the
Rajgarh Palace, and the temples of Panna town, 48 km from Khajuraho.

The best time to visit Khajuraho is in the month of March, when the entire town comes alive and reverberates with the celebrations of Khajuraho dance Festival. This 10 days long festival draws some of the best classical dancers in the country who perform by the western enclosure, with the floodlit temples providing a spectacular backdrop.

Classical dancers performing during Khajuraho Dnace Festival

 

USEFUL INFORMATION

Getting there & away




 

Khajuraho is connected by air with Delhi, Agra, and Varanasi. By road, it is linked with other towns of Madhya Pradesh, Lucknow, Varanasi and Allahabad.

Jhansi is the nearest approach (181 km) to Khajuraho on the main Delhi to Mumbai railway line.

Further Connections

Allahabad, Varanasi, Jhansi, Orchha, Gwalior, Bandhavgarh, Jabalpur

Best time to visit

From October till March.

TOURS TO KHAJURAHO

Charismatic North India & the Wonders of Nepal (22 Days)

Chasing the Wild (21 Days)

Hidden treasures of Central India (21 Days)

Voyage of Discovery (20 Days)

 

 

 
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