Khajuraho - The Cultural Synonym to Indian Heritage
Khajuraho is well known all over the world for its temple architecture and exquisite sculptures. Situated in Madhya Pradesh, the heart of India, it is surrounded by the forested plains of the region of Bundelkhand. Temples here are built between the 9th and 11th centuries by the warrior kings of Chandela dynasty. However, the definite reason behind such mass scale temple construction remains unknown. Surprisingly, the temples, even after 1000 years have not lost their charm, and continues to attract people from far and wide. According to local legend, these temples were built by the first Chandela King to atone his mother's sin. Her consummation with the Moon God resulted in the beginning of the Chandela dynasty.
Travel to Khajuraho and witness the exquisitely carved temples are also the site for an annual mela (fair) on the occasion of Shivaratri. It is the wedding night of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The unique theory of Khajuraho temples is that they were built as wedding chariots for the gods who attended the grand wedding.
Khajuraho Madhya Pradesh is a perfect combination of history, architecture, culture and environment with delectable charm. It takes one away from the noise and pollution of the city, with its fresh air and scenic countryside. It presents a quaint charm and marvelous beauty of the temples that attract people and makes it the state?s most famous tourist town.
Tourist Attractions in Khajuraho
The temples of Kahjuraho are the most prominent places of tourist interest.
The Western Group of Temples
Chaunsat Yogini is the oldest of the surviving temples of Khajuraho. Dedicated to Goddesses Kali, it is the only temple that is built in granite.
The Kandariya Mahadeo is considered the most evolved example of central Indian temple architecture. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is the largest of Khajuraho's temples.
The Lakshmana Temple is one of the oldest and finest of the western group of temples. Themes here are based with Ramayana time sculptures depicting battle, hunting, and women.
The temple of Vishvanath and Nandi celebrates the marriage of Lord Shiva with Parvati. The sculptures are dominated by women in various attitudes of life like fondling babies and writing letters.
The temple of Devi Jagdamba is considered to be one of the most erotic temples of Khajuraho by many. It has the most talked-about image, mithuna, and the sensuously carved figures.
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. It was originally dedicated to Adinath and later to Parsvanath.
Shantinath is the youngest of all the temples in Khajuraho. It is just a century old and has a big statue of Adinath.
The temple of Brahma and Hanuman is one of the oldest temples in Khajuraho. It is built mostly of granite and sandstone and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
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.
The Southern Group
The southern group only has two temples, the Duladeo which is newer and built when the creativity of Khajuraho was deteriorating. The Chaturbhuja Temple has a 3-m-high statue of Lord Vishnu.
The Khajuraho Dance Festival (February)
Khajuraho Group of Monuments serves a venue for the six-day long Khajuraho festival. Culture enthusiasts flock from all over India to watch classical dances by prominent artists on one platform. Temples of Vishwanath and Chitragupt in the Western Group are lit with lamps and thus create a magical backdrop. Legendary classical dancers from all over the country come here to perform Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Manipuri and Kathak. Puppet shows, folk dances and songs of various states are also presented here with great vigour. This festival has attained popularity not only in India but also on International level.
Excursions from Khajuraho
Khajuraho also has a number of excursion sites that are worth visiting nearby.
Best Time to Visit
Winter (October to February) is the best time to visit the temple town, especially for the internationally acclaimed Khajuraho festival. Summer (March to June) goes upto 47 degree Celsius; but monsoons (July to September) bring rain washed splendour to the temple city.
How To Reach
By Air: Khajuraho has a domestic airport that connects Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Allahabad and Bhopal. From airport, you can hire a cab or a taxi till the temple complex.
By Rail: Khajuraho Railway Station is the entry point for the Khajuraho Group of Monuments. It connects to Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Delhi, Mahoba, Jhansi and Gwalior.
By Bus: The city has a good bus network and excellent roads. Luxury and local state-owned buses run from Khajuraho to neighbouring cities like Jhansi. Cab and Taxi services are also easily available and quite reliable.
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