Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh)
Introduction: Khajuraho is a village of Madhya Pradesh, located in Chhatarpur District, about 385 miles (620 kilometres) southeast of Delhi, the capital city of India. The name Khajuraho is derived from the Hindi word khajur meaning date palm. History: The city was once the original capital of the Chandela Rajputs, a Hindu dynasty that ruled this part of India from the 10th to the 12th centuries. The Khajuraho temples were built over a span of a hundred years, from 950 to 1050. Description: Temple town of Khajuraho is much different from any other temple city of India. It is not about religion and worshipping and deities. The temples of Khajuraho are instead famous for the eroticism etched on its walls in the form of sculptures. An amalgamation of science and art of architecture.
Khajuraho Quick facts
Khajuraho Geography and Climate
Khajuraho is located at 24.85� N 79.93� E. It has an average elevation of 283 metres (928 feet). Climate: Khajuraho has extreme tropical climate with temperature as high as 47�C in summers and as low as 4�C in winters.
Best time to visit Khajuraho
Travellers to Khajuraho can come over any time between July and March, a period at the end of the monsoon season and just before the hot summer months. The best time would be when it?s balmy and cool in the early winter months of October/November.
The Panna National Park?s topography is a splendid mosaic of plateaus, plunging gorges, vast expanses of teak forests and savannah grasslands. It comprises the upper Talgaon Plateau and the middle Hinouta Plateau and is fed by the Ken River, which runs for about 55 km within the sanctuary. NH75 cuts through the park; 80 per cent of the reserve falls to its right (west to east) and 20 per cent to the left. Your park safari will take you along the right of the highway, in the main reserve area. The Dundwa Falls are located on the Hinouta Plateau. Technically, the Pandav Falls are located within the reserve but can be approached from the Pandav Falls Gate just off the NH75 to Panna Town and Chhatarpur Town. It?s about 7 km east of the Madla Gate. Most safaris enter the park from Madla Village, which is located on the main highway, 22 km from Panna Town. Both Khajuraho and Chhatarpur lie to the north-west of the park. There are a few lodges at Madla that provide vital tourist services.
Khajuraho Near Getaways
The Panna National Park (542 sq km) lies just 60 km away near the Ken River where you could sight tigers and panthers, if you are lucky as well as herds of chinkara and sambar and several other wildlife species. The spectacular Pandav falls enroute and other waterfalls in the area are popular picnic spots. The Panna Diamond Mines are just 56 km from Khajuraho, though precious little has been found there in recent times. Entry to the mines is restricted but visitors can see the area, mine office buildings and processing centres.
620 km SE of Delhi, 176 km SE of Jhansi, 27 km SE of Khajuraho
How to reach Khajuraho by Road
Khajuraho has frequent bus services and good roads to and from the major cities of India including Panna, Mahoba, Satna, Jabalpur, Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore, Agra and Jhansi.
How to reach Khajuraho by Rail
The nearest railway stations to Khajuraho are Mahoba, Satna and Jhansi. All of these are well connected to most of the major cities of India.
Click on link
How to reach Khajuraho by Air
Khajuraho has daily domestic flights to and from Agra, Varanasi and Kathmandu.
Khajuraho Festivals and culture
Sivratri: celebrated across India, this festival is held in tribute of Lord Shiva and runs from the end of February through till March. Religious rites and the worshipping of Shiva dominate the festival?s activities. Khajuraho Dance Festival: observed in February and running into March, this popular cultural event is held around the town?s ancient temples and is a celebration of Indian classical music and dance. Buddha Purnima: Khajuraho?s Buddhist residents celebrate one of the most significant dates in the calendar as enthusiastically as those of the same faith across the country. Vesak Day, as it is otherwise known, celebrates the three most important aspects of the Buddha: his birth, his achieving of enlightenment and his death. Guru Purnima: Buddhists in Khajuraho and across the country celebrate the birthday of Krishna-dwaipayana Vyasa. Gurus are worshipped by those below them; the latter believing that the former are in fact embodiments of the deity. Ganesh Chaturthi: Hindu residents of Khajuraho join with others across the nation in celebrating the birthday of Lord Ganesh. The festival lasts for 10 days and can run on into September depending on the lunar calendar. Diwali: another of the Hindu faith?s important festivals, Diwali (sometimes known as Deepavali) is referred to as the ?Festival of Lights? in English and is a 3-day event that can also take place in November depending on variations in the lunar calendar.
Khajuraho, the temple city of central India, is famous throughout the world for its exquisitely carved temples in stones. Khajuraho was an important centre for the arts, nurturing music, dance, poetry, painting, astrology and astronomy.Sculptures exhibited the Navarasas, meaning nine moods or expressions of mankind - valour, horror, fear, anger, laughter, sorrow, wonder, love and tranquillity. So intricately is sculpture and architecture combined here, that every temple looks like one giant carving reaching out to the skies with its inspiring shikhars. Hindi is spoken with the local Bundelkand dialect. English is also spoken by quite a few people.
Khajuraho Religious Places
Kandariya Mahadeo: The 31m high temple is the largest and most typical Khajuraho temple with exquisite carvings and intricate and detailed craftsmanship in stone depicting divine deities, celestial maidens, eternal lovers, gods and goddesses. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and enshrines the 'linga'. Chaunsath Yogini: The temple is the earliest temple of the group that has survived. It belongs to 900 AD and is dedicated Goddess Kali. It has the distinction of being the only granite temple here. Chitragupta Temple: This temple is dedicated to the Surya Dev. It faces towards east or the rising sun and the imposing image of the image of the deity in the inner sanctum is as high as five feet and is shown driving a horse-drawn chariot. It is in front of this temple and the Vishwanatha temple that most of the dance performances take place during the Khajuraho Dance Festival. Vishwanatha Temple: This temple has impressive entrances with magnificent stone guarding its northern steps and royal masonry elephants taking care of the southern steps. The three-headed image of Lord Brahma in the temple is not less captivating. Lakshmana Temple:A pretty Vaishnava temple flaunts a lintel over its entrance depicting the divine trinity of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva along with Goddess Lakshmi, the wife of Lord Vishnu. Matangeshwara Temple: Situated outside the premises of Western group of temples, this Lord Shiva's temple is known for the daunting eight-feet high lingam (male organ representing the natural process of reproduction and the continuity of human life form) that it enshrines. Parsvanatha Temple: The largest Jain temple of the Eastern group, Parsvanath temple has intricate stone carvings, especially, the sculptures on the northern outer wall of the temple are certainly praiseworthy. It enshrines a throne facing the bull emblem that represents the the first tirthankara, Adinatha. Ghantai Temple: This Jain temple has remarkable frescos depicting the 16 dreams of the mother of Lord Mahavira at the time of his birth and a Jain goddess mounted on a winged Garuda. Adinatha Temple This temple is richly ornamented with delicate and pretty scultures including those of yakshis. It is dedicated to the first Jain tirthankara (saint), Adinath. Most of the temple here belong to Jain faith but there are three Hindu temples of the group, namely, the Brahma temple enshrining a four-faced linga; the Vamana temple with divine carvings of sensuous celestial maidens in various poses adorning its outer walls and the Javari temple with a opulently carved doorway and ostentatious sculptures on its exteriors Duladeo Temple: This Shaiva temple is known for flaunting the striking images of the celestial maidens or apsaras and richly ornamented figures. Chaturbhuja Temple It is the huge imposing intricately carved image of Lord Vishnu in the temple's sanctum, which is the chief attraction of the temple.
Rajgarh Palace: 25 km from Khajuraho, just 50-year old Rajgarh Palace is situated at the foot of Maniyagarh hills. Ajaygarh Fort: 80 km from Khajuraho, Ajaygarh Fort is situated at a height of 688m. This fort remained the capital of Chandelas during the dark times before their reign ended. Kalinjar Fort 100 km from Khajuraho, Kalinjar fort is as old as the Gupta period and was won over the Chandela ruler Shri Yashovarman in the 10th century. This fort is situated on the Vindhya ranges.
Khajuraho Entertainment and Night Life
Ken Gharial Sanctuary: 24 km from Khajuraho, Ken Gharial sanctuary is the best place to see the crocodiles with long-snouts living in their natural home. The dreadful glimpse of the sharp teeth seemingly ready to engulf you at once does not correspond to the behavioral characteristics of these crocodiles with normally peaceful nature. However, it is best to keep the distance.
This is quite something unique and tries to recreate the beginning of the temples and the life of the Chandela Kings. It is held in the grounds of the Western Group of temples every evening except during the Monsoon season. Large speakers boom out the sound effects and narration of the story of Khajuraho and what was likely happening during those times. The show lasts for 50 mins in the dark of the evening with the lighting effects flashing in and out from the various temples to create a special kind of ambiance. Don?t wait until the end expecting a full on lighting effect as a finale. It just doesn?t happen and it all ends pretty suddenly, so despite the lack of light, take your photos during the performance. Also be prepared and take insect repellent. This is the Mosquito dinner hour. A good torch if travelling on your own will also help find your way to the seating area. There is a Hindu and English session every night.
Kidding around Khajuraho
Panna Diamond Mines (56 km) - India's only diamond mines, located at Majhgawan.
Shopping is Khajuraho would turn out to be a pleasant experience if you know what to buy and where. The ace craftsmen of Khajuraho have over the years developed a tradition of handicrafts and handlooms. Textile weaving is a major craft in Khajuraho. You may pick up from the variety of saris and other Indian wear while shopping in Khajuraho. Miniature stone-carved replicas of erotic sculptures are hot favourite items for shopping in Khajuraho. They display great flexibility and imagination! If you are looking for souvenirs to take back, these are of course the best bet. Most of the premium hotels have big-small shopping arcades where you would get a variety of items for shopping.
Famous To Eat at Khajuraho
The small town of Khajuraho primarily caters to the tourist trade with a wide range of restaurants, cafes and stalls serving an eclectic range of dishes, something familiar to every visitor, foreign or Indian. A few expats have set up shop in Khajuraho, and their places serve a variety of authentic European food as well as beer and other alcoholic drinks. The in-house dining facilities at the hotels takes care of houseguests, obviously, the better the hotel, the better the hygiene and greater the variety of food served.
Khajuraho Museum and Hill Stations
Dhubela Museum: 57 km from Khajuraho, Dhubela museum is situated in an old fort on the way to Jhansi. The museum has a rare collection of Bundelkhandi artifacts and a myriad of sculptures of Shakti cult.
Gardens and Parks at Khajuraho
Panna National Park: 30-minute drive will bring you from Khajuraho to the famous and splendid Panna National Park. The region is rich in wildlife and its highlights are Leopards, Wolves, Gharials, Wild Boars, Sloth Bears, Cheetals, Chowsinghas, Indian Foxes and Porcupines.
Lake at Khajuraho
Benisagar and Ranguan Lakes: Lake Benisagar is 11 km from Khajuraho while Lake Ranguan is 25 km from Khajuraho. Both these delightful lakes have boating facilities and are perfect venue for a short picnic.
Khajuraho Travel Tips
Visitors from the US, Canada, UK, EU and Australia require a tourist visa to enter India as well as a minimum of 6 months validity on their passports. Shoes need to be removed before entering your host?s abode and it?s usual to leave them outside or on a shoe rack if one is provided. Attire in the town should be modest as skimpy or suggestive clothing is likely to raise eyebrows and possibly offend members of the local community. International visitors are permitted to bring a maximum of 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250 grams of raw tobacco plus no more than 1 litre of alcohol. Customs are strict with regards to the importing of organic substances and the likes of meat, fruit, vegetables, plants, flowers, seeds and coffee beans are not permitted except by special licence. Hindi is the main language spoken in Khajuraho although English is also widely spoken.
Khajuraho Tourist Offices
Government of India Tourist Office, Opposite the Western Group of Temples, Khajuraho - 471606. Tel: 2047 Regional Office, Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation Ltd., Tourist Bungalow Complex, Khajuraho - 471606. Tel: 2051
State Bank of India, SBI (At Khajuraho it was operational; the one at Orcha was closed)
Must do at Khajuraho
The prime tourist destination of central India, Khajuraho Tour includes many things to do in Khajuraho besides its rich temple sites. Khajuraho Tourism draws large number of tourists from all over the world every year. The most important thing to do in Khajuraho beside of exploring its temples is excursion. There are plenty of amazing places to visit near by of Khajuraho. Panna National Park, Raneh Falls, Ken Nature Trail, Ken Gharial Sanctuary, Banisagar Lake and Ranguan Lake are the major excursion points of Khajuraho Tour.