Khajuraho Group of Monuments


About

Khajuraho is famous for its temples, which are unique their own form. Here you can see emphasis given to the erotic statues of men and women in all forms. The temples here are a World Heritage Site today and have become famous for the distinguished art and marvelous stone carvings that have been done on the exterior and interiors of the temple walls.

The sculptures here come in a great variety of interesting scenes that amuse an onlooker. These elegantly decorated temples are now being recognized as the finest example of the ancient architecture of India. The depiction of sexual life in the medieval time has been enhanced in the sculpture here.

History

It is said that Khajuraho was the capital of the Chandela kings and was founded by Chardravarman of the Chandela Dynasty from the 9th to the 11th century CE. Every Chandella ruler built one temple here. All the rulers are said to have built this wonderful complex of temples. It was first seen and recorded by Abu Rihan al Biruni in 1022 AD and later in 1350 AD by Ibn Battuta. Local people say that there were more than 85 temples, but today only 25 remain. The huge complex was enclosed by a great wall and had around 8 gates. Each gate was flanked with date trees called 'khajura' in Sanskrit. That is why it got its name Khajuraho.

Location

Khajuraho is a village in the Chhatarpur district of the state of Madhya Pradesh. Against the backdrop of the beautiful Vindhya range of mountains, you can find the magnificent town of Khajuraho. The rock bed here is the oldest one in the country.

Khajuraho is close to various major cities like Jhansi, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, which is around 175 km, Bandhavgarh (225 km), Satna (117 km), Harpalpur (94 km), and Mahoba (61 km). Agra is 12-hour drive from here, and Gwalior is a 9-hour drive.

When to visit

Madhya Pradesh experiences tropical climate and therefore, Khajuraho has many seasons like summer, rainy and winter seasons. The best time to visit is from October to March. The temperature here is pleasant at this time, and one can stroll all around the Khajuraho temples comfortably. Summers here are very hot and can reach around 47 degree Celsius. The monsoon brings with it heavy rains and strong winds, which is not convenient for sightseeing.

The site is open from sunrise to sunset on all days. If you want to watch the Khajuraho Dance Festival, then you should make sure you're here from 25th February to 2nd March.

Entry Fee

The entry fee is Rs. 10 per head for Indians and Rs. 250 per head for other nationals. Children up to 15 years do not have to pay entry fees.

Architecture

There is no doubt that the architecture of Khajuraho has no match in the world. The delicate carvings and the perfect figures carved with striking precision are remarkable. The sculptures are aesthetic and depict the various moments of love and life in those times. The carvings are an expression of stirred or enhanced sentiments of both the sexes. The magnificence with which these were constructed is a work of clever art and helps learn more about the artistic sense of the artists during those times and the religious sentiments as well.

The rulers who built these temples were definitely progressive for their times and this can be seen from the sumptuous positions that are displayed all over the temples. Yet, there is the classic approach, without harming the gods within the temple, and respect is duly given to every temple that is built in Khajuraho.

Temples

Khajuraho is all about temples and here you can see plenty of them. These can be grouped into the eastern, western and southern complexes. The temples are scattered over a 20 sq km area and contain Jain and Hindu temples. The most popular temple complex is the western complex, which houses a Kandariya Mahadeva temple, which is also the largest among the temples here.

In the eastern group, you will find temples of Brahma, Vaman and Javari dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Parshvanath Temple is the largest Jain temple here. The southern temples are a little away from the other groups. Here you can see the Chaturbhuj Temple, Duladeo Temple and Beejamandal Temple. The significance of the temples here is that only the Chaturbhuj temple does not have any erotic carvings and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Deladeo is dedicated to Shiva and has carvings of Shiva and Parvati.

Besides, the Lakshmana Temple is also known to be the most preserved one and is a complete structure that consists of one great complex.

Statues and carvings

The statues here are sculpted intricately and depict the average life of man, which also includes sexual activity. As most of them would like to think that the statues are deities, it is not so. These are humans in various stages of their life. These statues celebrate life and the eroticism comes from the fertile element. Many visitors are of the opinion that these statues represent the Kama Sutra, which is not true.

The carvings are very intricate and took almost 200 years to complete. These are everywhere - inside as well as outside the temple, and showcase the glory and the richness of the times of the Chandela Dynasty.

Where to stay

Khajuraho is now on the tourist map of the world. Therefore, it consists of excellent resorts and hotels. You can stay at plush 5-star hotels, budget hotels and even cheap stays. When in Khajuraho, you do not have to worry about your stay. You can pick from the wide range available.

How to reach
  • By road: The road to Khajuraho is connected to National Highway 75 and connects big cities and towns of the country. You can hire luxury buses, taxis and semi-deluxe vehicles to reach Khajuraho from any city in India.
  • By air: Khajuraho has an airport that is 2 km from the city. It has various flights to Agra, Varnasi, Delhi, Mumbai and other cities.
  • By train: The railway station is just 5 km from the city. The major cities are well connected by rail to Khajuraho.


Last Updated on : December 30, 2013

     


     

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