Facts & Figures :
||Hindi and English
|Best time to visit
||October to March
is located in the forested plains of the central Indian state of Madhya
Pradesh in the region known as Bundelkhand. The place is at a considerable
distance from most cities and town centers of the state. KHAJURAHO
The beautiful temples that dot the town of Khajuraho
are believed to have been built by the mighty Chandela rulers in 9th and
10th century AD. The engravings on these temples are highly sensual and
erotic and much has already been discussed their symbolic importance.
Tantricism and the Shakti cult, where the pancha makaras (five tenets),
namely, matsya (fish), madira (wine), maithun (sexual activity), mamsa
(meat), and mudra (gesture) were to release the human spirit from the
bondage of the flesh, have been described as the possible explanations for
the sculptural sensuality of Khajuraho.
Out of 85 temples, only 20
have survived the ravages of time. Made of sandstone blocks fitted together,
the temples are aligned east-west. For convenience, these may be divided
into western, eastern, and southern groups of temples. CLIMATE....
climate of Khajuraho is of an extreme type. The summers are hot with the
mercury climbing up to 47°C. On the other hand, winters can be very
cold with temperature dipping down to 4°C. The monsoon starts from the
month of July and lasts until September. The annual average rainfall is 114
cm. SITES TO VISIT IN KHAJURAHO.....
the temples of Khajuraho followed a three- or five-part floor plan. The
larger temples have an ardhamandapa (porch), then a mandapa (hall) leading
to a mahamandapa (main hall) from where an aunterale (vestibule) led into
the Garbha Griha (sanctum) containing the devta (god) or devi (goddess). An
enclosed pradakshinapathar (corridor or verandah) runs around this sanctum.
In the smaller temples, the second and the last feature were
omitted. Each component of the temple was topped by pyramid-shaped towers
leading in ascending order like a series of mountain peaks to the soaring
The ornate vertical elements are balanced by
horizontal bands of sculpture running round the temple; superb in execution
and seeming to grow out of the temple itself, they merge beautifully with
the overall design. Western Group of Temples
Kandariya Mahadeo is considered the most evolved example of central Indian
temple architecture. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is also the
largest of Khajuraho's temples.
The Lakshmana Temple is one of the
oldest and finest of the western group of temples. The temple is rather big
with four other shrines attached to it. Although the general norm in other
temples is three bands of sculpture, this temple has only two. Recurrent
themes are battles, hunting, and women.
The temple of Devi
Jagdamba is considered by many to be one of the most erotic temples of
Khajuraho. The temple houses Khajuraho's most talked-about image, mithuna,
and the sensuously carved figures. It is not clear until today as to which
deity this temple is dedicated.
The temple of Vishvanath and Nandi
celebrates the marriage of Lord Shiva with Parvati. The way women have been
depicted in this temple draw the most attention. From traditional images of
women fondling babies and writing letters, they are seen also as the most
provocative of images.
Chaunsat Yogini is the oldest of the
surviving temples of Khajuraho. This temple is dedicated to goddesses Kali.
This is the only temple in Khajuraho that is built in granite. The name
chaunsat (sixty-four) comes from the cells of 64 attendants of Goddess Kali.
Goddess Kali herself was the 65th one.
Other important temples in
the western group are the temples of Lakshmi and Varaha, Mahadev,
Chitragupta, Parvati, and Matangesvara. Eastern
Group of Temples
The temple of Parsvanath is the largest of the Jain
temples in Khajuraho and the finest. The temple was originally dedicated to
Adinath and latter to Parsvanath. It is the finest example of the sensitive
art without any sexual motifs. Near this temple is the temple of Adinath
with fine carvings. The temple is quite similar to the Hindu temples of
Shantinath is the youngest of all the temples in
Khajuraho. Though it looks like the most other temples in Khajuraho, it is
just a century old. The temple has a four and a half meter statue of
Mostly in ruins now, the temple of Ghantai has fine
columns and chains and bells, with a figure of a Jain goddess on a garuda.
One of the oldest temples in Khajuraho is the temple of Brahma and
Hanuman. The temple is built mostly of granite and sandstone. Actually, this
temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Nearby is a Hanuman temple reputed to
have the earliest inscription dating back to AD 922 on a 2½ -m statue.
Two other notable temples are Javari and Vamana temple.
There are only two temples in the southern group of
temples. The Duladeo is somewhat new and built in a time when the creativity
of Khajuraho was well down its peak. The temple has wooden structures that
take away its authenticity somewhat.
The other temple is of
Chaturbhuja, pretty far from the village. The temple has a 3-m-high statue
Apart from the temples, another place that can be
visited here is the Archeological Museum. It has a very good collection of
sculpture, inscriptions, and architectural objects.SHOPPING
Many shops in Khajuraho sell souvenirs and
handicrafts made by the local artisans. There are smaller stalls outside the
temple gates where one can pick up interesting souvenirs.
bazaar is held at Rajinagar on Tuesdays, 5 km from Khajuraho. The market is
worth a visit to buy silver goods and brassware. KHAJURAHO
The most important festival of Khajuraho is
Mahashivratri. The festival marks Shiva's marriage with Parvati, the
daughter of the Himalayas. The 2.5-m-tall lingam of Kandariya Mahadeo temple
is dressed as a bridegroom, with white and saffron dhotis, and surmounted by
a huge, conical, silver paper crown. The nightlong ceremony is performed by
the chief priest's son who anoints the lingam with water from the sacred
rivers of India. The chanting of hymns continues throughout the night, until
the Brahmins stand to throw bel leaves and flower petals over the lingam, a
sign that the wedding is complete.
Khajuraho festival of dance is
organized every year in the months of February/March. The cream of Indian
classical dancers performs here to display the best of Indian dance and
music. The floodlit temples of Khajuraho provide the perfect backdrop to the
festival. WHERE TO STAY....
small village, the attractions around it have compelled many hoteliers to
set up their shops. Accommodation is available in all categories from
premium to budget. Prior reservation is necessary during the tourist season.
HOW TO REACH ..... By Air
daily Boeing 737 of Alliance Air links Khajuraho with Delhi, Agra, and
Varanasi. By Rail
The nearest railheads are Harpalpur (94
km) and Mahoba (63 km). Country buses and tongas take you to Khajuraho. The
Shatabdi Express from Delhi to Bhopal stops at Jhansi (172 km from
Khajuraho). Satna, 117 km away, is convenient for travelers from Mumbai
(Bombay), Calcutta, and Varanasi. Taxis and buses are available from here.
Direct bus services connect Khajuraho with Panna,
Satna, Chattarpur, Jabalpur, Mahoba, Bhopal, Gwalior, and Indore.
local transport, cycle rickshaws, tongas, and taxis are available.