Famous for its temples and erotic wall carvings, Khajuraho has been aptly described as the ‘Symbol of Medieval Heritage’. In its heyday, the town had close to 80 marvelous temples, now only 22 remain.
Situated 400 km from Kanpur, Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh in central India is one of the most popular tourist destinations of India. Standing against the backdrop of Vindhya mountain ranges, Khajuraho presents a magnificent view to the beholder.
A UNESCO world heritage site, Khajuraho will amaze you with its unique temple structure that is lined in perfect symmetry boasting of the finest sandstone carvings and erotic sculptures that attract people from different parts of the world. Even if you are not an art-lover, you will be taken aback with the detailed artwork of the temple. A small town, temples in Khajuraho are broadly divided into three groups – Western, Eastern and Southern; all of which are located closely.
Owing to its architectural wonder and peaceful environ, Khajuraho has gained popularity with many foreign tourists. While you are here, you can also take short trips to the neighbouring places like Raneh Falls, Orcha and Panna National Park which are only a few kilometres drive from the town. Get up close with the culture of the town as you watch different folk dances, light and sound shows that are organised at the temple premises and other art centres.
And in case you thought, it’s just art and culture that will keep you on your toes, think again! You will be surprised by the variety of cuisines available here. From Italian to Mexican, Chinese to Thai and Continental to Mughlai; get ready to savour on the delicious delicacies served at the many restaurants in Khajuraho. Shopping might not be that grand here but you must take a souvenir or two (like key chains, CDs, T-shirts and the beautiful stone-carved showpieces) for home. Women can shop for saris and other handloom from the local market of Khajuraho. All in all, Khajuraho packs for an enriching offbeat getaway from the usual touristy places in India.
In and Around
Khajuraho temples are declared World Heritage Sites. The intricate work on the sculptures and the stunning architecture are beyond description. The erotic cravings are incredible. It might be of interest to know the reasons behind carving such erotic sculptures on the temple walls. The sculptures that display life and its pleasures are meant to educate boys who were away from home to hermitage to pursue their studies and remained celibate. Some other reasons include the sculptures being considered a sign of prosperity and they were considered code language to explain the untellable. The bold carvings not only throw light on the art of sex but also portray the sheer confidence of women in the bygone era. It is evident from the sculptures that women were not mere objects of pleasure during that period.
Western Group of Temples
Western Group of Temples in Khajuraho constitutes some of the most splendid and architecturally marvelous specimen of temple architecture in India. The group includes such magnificent temples like Kandariya Mahadeo Temple, Chaunsat Yogini Temple, Chitragupta Temple, Lakshamana Temple, Matangeswara Temple, and Varaha Temple.
Raneh Falls, on the Ken River, is around 20 km from the historic town of Khajuraho. It is renowned for rock formations. A 5 km long, 100 ft deep canyon of crystalline granite in varying shades of color ranging from pink and red to grey is the main attraction. A series of seasonal waterfalls surrounded by pristine forests makes it an ideal spot for nature lovers.
Pandava Waterfall is located on the Ken River, 30 km from Khajuraho. It is believed that the Pandavas spent some time here during their exile. The nearby attraction is a ranch, located at a distance of 25 km from the waterfall.
Panna National Park
The Panna National Park is home to some of the best wildlife species in India and has one of the better Tiger Reserves in the country. The park, which is known worldwide for its wild cats, including tigers as well as deer and antelope.
Benisagar Lake is situated in Chhatarpur district near Khajuraho. The lake is near the dam built in the Khudar River. It is the perfect place for boating and angling.
Entrances to the main groups of temples have their own markets, selling souvenirs and other things that are popular with tourists. These little shops are particularly famous for their brass statues and silver jewellery, in authentic and ornate designs. The weekly market (on Tuesdays) at Ranagar is a great place for visitors to find some good silver and brass wares. This place, just 5 km from Khajuraho, is also a great place to experience some traditional flavour of the local lifestyle.
Archaeological Museum Khajuraho
Archaeological Museum was constructed in the year 1910 by W.A. Jardine. The museum is located near western group of Khajuraho temples. The museum houses architectural ruins and loose sculptures, which once belonged to the temples of Khajuraho. With an aim to preserve antiques, the museum was constructed and it has over 2000 sculptures. The sculptures are exquisite and unique.
Jain Museum was established in the year 1987. The museum houses a massive collection of various Jain sculptures. If you have a keen eye for art and sculptures, you would love to look at every collection available here.
Ajaigarh Fort is situated at an altitude of 206 meters on the Vindhya mountain range. Located on the flat-topped projection, the fort offers breathtaking views of the Ken river. The fort is a glorious example of the architectural excellence possessed by the artisans during Chandela dynasty. It is considered that the fort was built by the rulers as their dynasty was beginning to decline. The fort still lives to tell the tale and about the majestic past.
Travellers to Khajuraho can come over any time between September 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.
How to Reach
Khajuraho has its own domestic airport, which is well-connected to most of the Indian cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Allahabad and Bhopal. Some of the popular carriers that have regular flights to Khajuraho are Jet Airways, SpiceJet, Air India and JetKonnect. Since Khajuraho is a very small town, once you reach the airport, you can hire a cab or a taxi to your hotel.
Khajuraho railway station is connected to a few towns only including New Delhi. You can take Khajuraho-Hazrat Nizamuddin Express, which has daily connectivity to Khajuraho. Hire a cab or an auto from outside the railway station. The second nearest railhead, which is well-connected with some of the Indian cities is the Mahoba Junction, which is approximately 75 kilometres away from Khajuraho. Some of the regular trains are Bundelkhand Express, Mahakaushal Express and Udiapur Khajuraho Express. Outside the Mahoba Junction, you can hire a cab or a taxi which will drive you till Khajuraho.
Khajuraho is well connected with a good bus network. Many private and state-owned buses run from Khajuraho to neighbouring cities like Jhansi. You can choose from a regular bus, non-air-conditioned bus, air-conditioned, semi-deluxe and deluxe buses. The bus fare would depend on the type of bus and the number of kilometres covered.
Most of the cities in Madhya Pradesh are well-connected with Khajuraho owing to a good road network. The main highway is National Highway Number 75, which falls en route to the town. You can drive in your own vehicle as the roads are quite smooth in Madhya Pradesh.
Stay / Eat
Where to Stay
Hotel Euro Star Inn
Near HP petrol Pump,Airport Road,
Khajuraho , Madhya Pradesh,471606
Bamitha Marg, (Airport Road),
Khajuraho , Madhya Pradesh,471606
Khajuraho , Madhya Pradesh
Where to Eat
Jain Temple Rd, Khajuraho
Main Road Opposite Shivsagar Lake
Madhya Pradesh 47160