Known for its magnificent temples, Khajuraho is a mesmerizing treasure, nestled in the heartland of Madhya Pradesh of Incredible India. This enchanting town is not just any ordinary destination; it boasts the prestigious title of being one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. Khajuraho is renowned for its architectural splendour constructed between the 10th and 11th centuries by the Chandela dynasty and makes it one of the most visited tourist places in Madhya Pradesh.
Khajuraho's temples exhibit Nagara-style architectural symbolism and feature intricate and elaborate stone carvings, depicting various aspects of life, including mythological scenes, celestial beings, human figures, animals, and erotic sculptures that truly captivate visitors.
Stepping into Khajuraho is like entering a world where art and spirituality intertwine. These temples serve as a testament to the region's cultural heritage and reflect a tradition of acceptance and respect for diverse religious views among Hindus and Jains. While Khajuraho once boasted 85 temples, the ravages of time have left us with around 25 temples that have withstood the test of centuries.
Today, Khajuraho stands as a testament to the skill and vision of the craftsmen of yore. Visitors from all corners of the globe come to witness this extraordinary fusion of art, spirituality, and history. Khajuraho Tourism has flourished, offering a gateway into a bygone era, where the stones speak stories about the past and of the creativity, beliefs, and aspirations of ancient India.
A Sacred Tapestry of Divinity, Desire, and Cultural Splendour
The temples of Khajuraho are widely known for their carvings dedicated to Hindu deities, their incarnations, and various aspects of Hindu mythology. These carvings allow devotees to immerse themselves in divine narratives and seek blessings in the abodes of the gods. The sculptures depict gods and goddesses such as Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, Devi (Shakti), and many others.
Khajuraho symbolizes the integration of spirituality and human desires. The presence of erotic sculptures demonstrates the acceptance and celebration of human passions within the realm of religious devotion, highlighting the belief that spirituality encompasses all aspects of human life.
The Khajuraho temples represent a harmonious blend of Hinduism and Jainism, showcasing the religious tolerance and diversity that prevailed during that era. The Jain temples feature carvings of Tirthankaras and other motifs, highlighting the Jain influence in the region during the rule of the Chandela dynasty.
The architectural marvels of Khajuraho, characterized by intricately carved sandstone structures and exquisite detailing, showcase the artistic genius of ancient India. These masterpieces not only captivate art enthusiasts but also provide invaluable insights into the customs and traditions of the past, evoking a sense of awe and reverence among visitors.
Khajuraho holds immense religious, spiritual, and heritage significance, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural and religious tapestry of India. It stands as a reminder of the country's glorious past and serves as a place of pilgrimage, attracting visitors from around the world who seek spiritual enlightenment and marvel at the extraordinary artistic legacy left by the Chandela dynasty.
Must Visit Attractions in & around Khajuraho
Khajuraho beckons travellers with its magnificent temples and rich cultural heritage. One of the must visit places in Khajuraho is the Western Group of Khajuraho Temples, renowned for their intricate carvings and architectural marvels. Temple timings are from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, allowing you ample time to explore and immerse yourself in the splendour of this ancient wonder. Visiting Khajuraho Temple could be fruitful during the early morning hours when the crowd is minimal, and the weather is pleasantly cool. Additionally, don't miss the captivating Sound and Light Show near the Western Group of Khajuraho Temples, an enchanting spectacle that brings history to life.
Kandariya Mahadeva Temple
The Kandariya Mahadeva Temple in Khajuraho is one of the popular points of interest and among the best places to visit. This Temple grand tribute to Lord Shiva. It is the largest temple in the area, known for its vibrant architecture. The temple walls are adorned with intricate carvings depicting men and women in intimate poses. These erotic sculptures showcase the celebration of love and passion.
Among the oldest and most exquisite temples in Khajuraho, the Lakshmana Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It features two prominent bands of sculptures. These carvings depict scenes of battles, hunting, and graceful women. Inside the temple, the sanctum houses the divine deity Vaikuntha-Vishnu. The shrine also boasts around 600 carvings of Hindu deities.
Chaturbhuj Temple (Jatakari Temple)
The Chaturbhuj Temple, also known as the Jatakari Temple, is renowned for its impressive architecture. It houses a magnificent 3-meter-high statue of Lord Vishnu. The temple comprises an entrance porch, a sanctum without an ambulatory, a mandapa, and a vestibule. Visitors are captivated by the temple's grandeur and its connection to Hindu mythology.
The Jagdambi Temple is renowned for its captivating and sensual artwork, making it one of the most provocative temples in Khajuraho. Among its famous sculptures is the widely discussed "mithuna" image, portraying passionate lovemaking. However, the exact deity to whom this temple is dedicated remains unclear, as there are no explicit references.
Vishvanath and Nandi Temple
The Vishvanath and Nandi Temple celebrates the divine union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati in marriage. This temple exhibits traditional depictions of women fondling babies and writing letters, often considered the most alluring and suggestive imagery. It stands adorned with 101 small Shiva Lingams, representing Lord Shiva's cosmic presence. Additionally, an image of Lord Brahma alongside Nandi, can be found within the temple premises.
Chaunsat Yogini Temple
The Chaunsat Yogini Temple is the oldest surviving temple complex in Khajuraho. Dedicated to the goddess Kali, this temple is constructed entirely from granite. It derives its name from the belief that there were originally 64 attendants of Goddess Kali present, with the goddess herself considered the 65th. Although time has weathered the intricate carvings, remnants of the temple's exquisite artwork can still be admired. The Chaunsat Yogini Temple is considered one of the best places to visit in Khajuraho and ranks among the top tourist places due to the mystical aura that surrounds this place.
Javari Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and it ranks among the top attractions in Khajuraho. The temple offers breathtaking views and showcases remarkable artwork. Visitors can marvel at the intricate designs found in the Niranthara temple, mandapa, sanctum, vestibule, and portico, which add to its aesthetic appeal.
Parsvanath Temple, the largest Jain temple, is a true masterpiece. Originally dedicated to Adinath, it stands out as an exceptional example of art without any sexual motifs. The temple's intricate craftsmanship and architectural grandeur make it a must-see for visitors.
Adinath Temple pays homage to Jain Tirthankara Adinatha and features Hindu deities depicted on its exterior walls. In addition to its religious significance, the temple also showcases the graceful dance styles of Nilanjana, adding a touch of cultural richness to the experience.
Panna National Park
Panna National Park, located in Madhya Pradesh, is the perfect spot to immerse oneself in a captivating wildlife experience. Ranked among India's famous Tiger Reserves, it is renowned for its easy sightings of majestic tigers during thrilling safari trips. The park boasts a diverse range of wildlife species, including cheetahs, hyenas, wolves, langurs, jackals, chinkaras, and wild bears. Panna offers boat rides and elephant safaris for visitors to explore its enchanting landscapes. The scenic River Ken enhances the beauty of the already stunning forest, making it one of the finest wildlife sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh and a delightful day getaway from historic ruins.
Ken Gharial Sanctuary
Ken Gharial Sanctuary is a captivating nature reserve that attracts tourists with its breathtaking beauty and the chance to witness critically endangered animal species. One of the main attractions of the sanctuary is the mesmerizing sight of crocodiles leisurely wandering along the banks of the Ken River. With its stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife, Ken Gharial Sanctuary offers a truly remarkable experience for all who visit.
Archaeological Museum Khajuraho
The museum was built by W.A. Jardine in 1910 and it underwent a reconstruction in the year 2016. Its halls now embrace architectural ruins and unique sculptures, carefully preserving the essence of the past. This museum stands tall with a collection of over 2000 sculptures. Each artefact holds within it a tale of bygone glory, narrating the rich traditions and cultural heritage of Hindu and Jain religions, as well as the captivating history of the Chandela dynasty. Once part of the esteemed Khajuraho temples, the museum houses an array of exquisite and unparalleled sculptures, each one a testament to the unmatched artistic craftsmanship of its era.
Beni Sagar Dam
Beni Sagar Dam, constructed on the beautiful Khuddar River, spans a vast area of 8 square kilometres. It provides a serene and peaceful ambience, attracting visitors seeking tranquillity. Renowned as a popular picnic destination, the dam's surroundings are enhanced by the refreshing evening breeze, making it an ideal spot for families to unwind. Alongside enjoying the breathtaking views, visitors can take a walk or partake in exciting activities like hiking and rowing, adding an adventurous touch to their visit.
A few other notable mentions that you must visit on your Khajuraho sightseeing tour are
Lakshmi and Varaha Temple
State Museum of Tribal and Folk Art
Best Time to Visit Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh
Khajuraho, a mesmerizing destination, lure visitors with its splendour. The ideal time to explore this enchanting place is during winter and early summer, spanning from October to March. This period offers a pleasant climate, with cooler temperatures setting the stage for an unforgettable experience. The average temperatures range from comfortable to mild, making it perfect for indulging in sightseeing and outdoor activities. Experience the magic of this historical site during these months, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
March - June (Summer)
March is the perfect time to discover the true soul of a city. The weather is lovely, striking a balance that beckons you to explore its enchanting streets. Summer might seem tempting with fewer crowds and more time to uncover every corner, but the scorching heat waves and unbearable temperatures of up to 47 degrees Celsius make it challenging to venture out.
(Monsoon) July- September
After the scorching summer, these months bring a delightful break, inviting you to explore at your own pace. As you wander through the charming streets, a refreshing breeze accompanies you, thanks to an average temperature of around 28 degrees. The town transforms into a lush green paradise, captivating your senses and taking your breath away.
October- February (Winter)
Visiting Khajuraho in winter is an enchanting experience like no other. The sun casts a golden glow on the ancient city, and the pleasant temperatures create an ideal setting for exploration. Winter embraces Khajuraho warmly, providing relief from the humidity and offering crisp, refreshing air. With temperatures ranging from 8 to 24 degrees, you can immerse yourself in the intricate carvings and rich history of the Khajuraho temples. And if you visit in February, brace yourself for an extraordinary treat! The International Dance Festival takes centre stage, attracting visitors from around the globe. It's a perfect blend of Khajuraho's charm and mesmerizing performances, an experience that transcends art and culture.
How to Reach Khajuraho?
There are no direct flights or buses or trains between New Delhi and Khajuraho.
The easiest way to reach Khajuraho is by air. Khajuraho Airport is well-connected to major cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, and Agra. Several domestic airlines operate regular flights to Khajuraho. Khajuraho only has direct flights from Delhi and there will be a stop at IGI Airport if you are travelling from another airport. Once you reach the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the town, which is around 5 kilometres away.
Khajuraho has a railway station called Khajuraho Railway Station, which is linked to various cities in India. However, direct train connectivity to Khajuraho is limited. The nearest major railway station with better connectivity is Mahoba Railway Station, which is about 63 kilometres away from Khajuraho, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Khajuraho. Alternatively, you can also take a train to Jhansi Junction, located approximately 175 kilometres away. From Jhansi and then proceed by road.
Khajuraho is well-connected to various cities in Madhya Pradesh and neighbouring states by road. The town is situated on National Highway 39, which makes it accessible by car, bus, or taxi. Here are the distances from some major cities:
Delhi: Approximately 667 kilometres via NH9 and Bundelkhand Expressway. It will take around 12 hrs to complete the journey.
Varanasi: The fastest and most convenient route is via NH135 and NH39 which will take around 8 hours to cover the distance of approximately 400 kilometres.
Agra: Approximately 450 kilometres via Bundelkhand Expressway and Approximately 410 kilometres via Kanyakumari Highway. It will take around 7 to 8 hours to cover this journey.
Bhopal: NH146, approximately 375 kilometres in distance will take around 8 hours to cover this journey.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top attractions to visit in Khajuraho?
Khajuraho is a popular tourist destination in India known for its stunning group of Hindu and Jain temples, which are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The temples are renowned for their intricate carvings, depicting various aspects of life, love, and spirituality. Here are some of the top attractions to visit in Khajuraho:
Western Group of Temples includes some of the most exquisite and well-preserved temples. The key temples in this group are the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, Lakshmana Temple, and Vishvanatha Temple.
The Eastern Group of Temples features a combination of Hindu and Jain temples. The most significant temples in this group are the Parsvanath Temple, Ghantai Temple, and Adinath Temple.
The Southern Group of Temples comprises the Dulhadev Temple, Beejamandal Temple, and Chattarbhuj Temple.
The Archaeological Museum offers a glimpse into the history and art of the Khajuraho temples. It houses a vast collection of sculptures and artefacts retrieved from various temple sites.
Panna National Park is a must visit. It is known for its diverse flora and fauna, including tigers, leopards, and various species of birds.
Q.What is the best time to visit Khajuraho?
The ideal time to explore Khajuraho is during winter and early summer, spanning from October to March. These months offer a pleasant climate, with cooler temperatures setting the stage for an unforgettable experience. The average temperatures range from a maximum of 24 degree Celsius and a minimum of 7 degrees Celsius, making it perfect for indulging in sightseeing and outdoor activities.
Q.How to reach Khajuraho?
There are no direct flights or buses or trains between New Delhi and Khajuraho but one can easily reach Khajuraho through the extensive and accessible connectivity. Khajuraho has direct and connecting flights from Delhi.There are no direct flights or buses or trains between New Delhi and Khajuraho but one can easily reach Khajuraho through the extensive and accessible connectivity. Khajuraho has direct and connecting flights from Delhi.
Mahoba Railway Station and Jhansi Railway Stations are major railway junctions from where you can easily reach Khajuraho by car, taxi or bus.Mahoba Railway Station and Jhansi Railway Stations are major railway junctions from where you can easily reach Khajuraho by car, taxi or bus.
You can also travel via road as the town is situated on National Highway 39.You can also travel via road as the town is situated on National Highway 39.
Q.What are the famous temples in Khajuraho?
Khajuraho is a historic town in Madhya Pradesh, India, known for its stunning group of temples that are renowned for their intricate sculptures and architecture. Here is a list of some of the famous temples in Khajuraho:
Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, the largest and most magnificent temple in Khajuraho is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Lakshmana Temple, with exceptional architecture and intricate carving this temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Chausath Yogini Temple: One of the oldest surviving temples which is dedicated to the 64 Yoginis.
Chitragupta Temple: Known for its unique architecture and beautiful carvings, this temple is dedicated to Lord Surya.
Matangeshwara Temple: The only active temple in the Khajuraho complex is famous for its large Shiva Linga (phallic symbol).
Few more notable temples are Vishvanatha Temple, Devi Jagadambi Temple, and Dulhadev Temple.
Q.Are there any nearby attractions or day trips from Khajuraho?
While the temples in Khajuraho themselves are the main attraction, there are several other interesting places to visit near Khajuraho for a day trip offering opportunities for exploring the culture, wildlife and the natural beauty of the region. Beautiful falls descend through beautiful rock formations, surrounded by lush greenery and creating a picturesque landscape for a peaceful atmosphere for relaxation and photography. There are opportunities for history enthusiasts to explore and learn about the history of Khajuraho, nestled in the heart of Incredible India.
Here is a list of a few nearby attractions: Mahoba Temple, Raneh Falls Canyon, Pandav Waterfall, State Museum of Tribal and Folk Art, Ayur Arogyam, Kalinjar Fort, Ajaygarh Fort, Maharaja Chhatrasal Museum and more.