The heart of India, Madhya Pradesh is famous for several things, of which Khajuraho Temples are the most significant travel destination. It is like if you go to Madhya Pradesh and did not see Khajuraho Temples, you did not see MP at all! And why wouldn’t be, Khajuraho is one of the most important heritage cities of India that is home of numerous Hindu and Jain temples.
Its prominence is a great cultural and historical site is reflected by the very fact that it has been a UNSECO world heritage site. It has gained wide popularity all over the world by the dent of its unique and intricate carvings on temples which are symmetrically drawn in the craft of sandstone carvings.
Thousands of tourists throng this place from around the globe to see the beauty of Hindu art and culture being unravelled at its best.
Spread across 20 sq km in the north-eastern part of MP, Khajuraho holds immense historical importance as it was the cultural capital of the Chandela Rajputs.
These rulers ruled this part of India during 10th and 12th centuries. The capital was built over a period of 200 years and at one point of time it had flourishing construction of temples.
There were 85 temples at that time which have now shrunk to 22. Efforts have been made by the government to preserve these temples. The temple showcases the pinnacle achieved by the Indo-Aryan architecture which underscores different aspects of Indian life led thousand years ago.
As you begin your itinerary in Khajuraho, you will come across stone friezes of kings, gods, goddesses, concubines and many others. The most unique thing about the Khajuraho is its erotic sculptures which depict Kama Sutra.
When you look at the detailed sculptures, you come to know about different facets such as marriage, royalty, kinship, courtship, meditation, intimacy between humans and their emotions, spiritual teachings, etc. You will also enjoy the cultural performances of folk dances, light and sound show organized in the temple and art centres.
How to Reach Khajuraho?
By Air: Khajuraho has a domestic airport that flies flights to and from places like Bhopal, Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, among other cities.
The airport is 2 km south of Khajuraho. You will find stopover flights more at this place. Tourists can easily hire a taxi or cab at the airport and head to their hotel without any hassles.
By Road: Regular bus services run between Khajuraho and neighbouring places Bhopal, Jhansi, Agra, Satna, Chhatarpur, Mahoba, Jabalpur, Indore, Gwalior, Panna, Allahabad, and Varanasi. You will easily find non-AC and AC buses on this route.
By Rail: You will find a station at Khajuraho but the problem is that only a few trains have a stoppage here. However, it is directly connected with Delhi by rail. The important railhead is Mahoba which is located around 63 km away from Khajuraho.
You can easily board trains from Mumbai, Delhi, Varanasi, and Gwalior, Kolkata, Jabalpur, and other major Indian cities which have a halt here. Passengers will readily find cabs and autos outside the station if they want to go anywhere in Khajuraho.
What Is the Best Time to Visit Khajuraho?
It is better to do some research in advance about the place you are going to visit as it saves you from unforeseen circumstances. Before you make a plan about visiting Khajuraho, take a look at the inconveniences that may be caused to you during the season of your travel.
Make sure that you choose the best time of the year to make the most of the tour and avoid falling sick and bearing discomfort. The best time to visit this place is from September to March.
Winter Season in Khajuraho
The Winter season in Khajuraho starts from the month of December and lasts till the month of February. The temperature can reach a minimum of about 4 °C. You will find people wearing woolen and warm clothes during this time of the year.
Summer Season in Khajuraho
In summers, the maximum temperature may go up to 47°C. The summer season begins in the month of March and lasts till May. Summers are really hot and humid in Khajuraho and you will find people wearing light and comfortable clothes.
Monsoon Season in Khajuraho
Monsoon Season starts in June and lasts till the month of August. Khajuraho witnesses heavy rainfall and at this time the place looks more beautiful.
Temples in Khajuraho
The Khajuraho Temples are a magnificent example of the Nagara temple style, as the temple consists of a shrine, a narrow vestibule (Antarala), a transept (maha mandapa), an auxiliary hall (Ardha mandapa), a mandapa or nave, and an outpatient room. hallway (Pradakshina street) lit by large windows.
1. Vamana Temple
Vamana temple located in Chhatarpur in Khajuraho has an affiliation from Hinduism dedicated to Vamana, an avatar of God Vishnu. It is a part of the monuments in Khajuraho in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The temple has many beautiful artworks like the Vamana idol in the Sanctum, Varaha sculpture, and Nandi sculpture on the outer walls of the temple which are indeed a splendid view you will experience.
2. Brahma Temple
Brahma temple is a temple located in the Chhatarpur for Hindus dedicated to their deity Shiva. The location of the temple is near the lake Khajuraho Sagar and was built in the 9th century or the early 10th.
The temple is of granite and was built during the transition period from granite to sandstone, and there is a beautiful shiva Linga situated inside this temple.
3. Javari Temple
Javari Temple is a Hindu temple situated in Chhatarpur in Khajuraho which is also a part of the monuments in Khajuraho of UNESCO World Heritage Site. The deity of this temple is Lord Shiva and the main idol sculpture here is broken and headless.
This temple is one of the beautiful temples in Khajuraho that has many beautiful architectural works like the main idol inside the temple, the Capricorn(makar) arch, and the roof of the temple.
The temple of Javari is the most breathtaking tourist attraction of Khajuraho and it is loved for its beautiful designs. If we go by the word of the local people, this temple is named after the owner of the land and not after any Hindu God.
4. Adinatha Temple
Adinatha Temple, a Jain temple located at Chhatarpur with their deity Adinatha. The Adinath Temple is one of the beautiful temples in Khajuraho and a place where you see medieval Indian architecture at its zenith. It is a temple dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankar known as Adinath who was also the founder of Jainism.
The design of this temple is a bit similar to the temple Vamana. The sculptures in this temple include three bands featuring a graceful woman(surasundaris) in the exterior walls, a dancer with musicians, flying vidyadhara couples, and a mythical lion-like being called vyalas.
This temple is a part of the eastern group of temples and is enveloped in the lush greenery of gardens. You will see the intricate carvings of Yakshis that is a female mythical character. Tourists will also come across the marvel of Islamic architecture in its Ardha Mandapa.
5. Ghantai Temple
Ghantai temple known by the name Ghanti temple affiliated with the Jains and the deity here is Rishabhanatha. The temple is now ruined and only has the pillars of the entrance and a large hall.
6. Lalguan Mahadeva Temple
A ruined temple with the deity Shiva in the Chhatarpur in Khajuraho town is the Lalguan Mahadeva temple. The temple was constructed with granite and was built on the Lalguan Sagar lake banks. The design and size were simple and small, anyways the temple has been ruined and only a few parts remain.
7. Matangesvara Temple
The temple with Lord Shiva as the deity is the Matangesvara temple located in the Khajuraho region. The temple is actively used for worship nowadays too and the artistic works here include the Ganesh statue at the entrance of the temple, the ceiling cusps and the beautiful interior design of the temple.
8. Chausath Yogini Temple
Chausath Yogini temple is a ruined temple located in the district Chhatarpur with the deity as Devi. The sculptures were all ruined as the temple got collapsed and they were the statues of 3 goddesses Brahmani who has 3 faces with her vehicle swan (hamsa), Maheshwari with humped bull and trident, and Mahishamardini or Hingalaja who has her one foot on a buffalo which she had defeated.
9. Shantinath Temple
The temple that follows Jainism with their deity Shantinatha located in the eastern Khajuraho region. It is a temple that is still in use today and displays the recordings of the 11th century and one of the historical temples in Khajuraho. The temple includes older sculptures, it has a courtyard and some others are older period structures are present here.
10. Duladeo Temple
Duladeo temple is a Hindu based temple with the deity Shiva lord and is in the Khajuraho region in Madhya Pradesh.
The temple includes many beautiful sculptures that include a sculpture of Shiva on the outer walls of the temple, Nandi, devas, and others on the external walls. The architectural works are spectacular and were built during the Chandela period’s end.
11. Parsvanatha Temple
Parsvanantha temple is a Jain temple dedicated to their deity Parsvanatha. The temple is located at Khajuraho and was built during the Chandela period. The interior of the temple includes the sculptures of the Jain deities and the exterior walls of it have three bands of sculpture.
This temple is one of the historic temples in Khajuraho that include some of the sculptures are Goddess, Couple, Cross-legged apsara and Vishnu Lakshmi, Kama and Rati, Surasundaris applying eye make-up, etc.
12. Varaha Temple
Varaha temple situated in Chhatarpur has its deity as Varaha who is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is a simple and modest temple built with sandstone and the creations inside are wonderful, it even has lotus decoration on the roof.
Numerous figures are sculptured, and the one sculpture that is between the nose and the mouth is the Goddess Saraswathi carrying veena in her hands.
13. Lakshmana Temple
The Hindu temple dedicated to Vaikuntha Vishnu located in the small village area Khajuraho. The sculpture of the main idol Vaikuntha Vishnu (Tri-headed Vishnu where the central head is of a human and the other two, a lion(narashima) and a boar (Varaha) depicted).
The outer wall sculptures include the Ganesha sculpture and many others, and the ones inside include the Narshima sculpture, Hayagriya sculpture, Devi killing Mahisasura sculpture, Vamana sculpture, the damaged Varaha sculpture, and the Shiva and Bhrama sculpture.
The temple is a magnificent construction and absolutely mesmerises the tourists. The temple is the oldest and largest one in the Western Group of Temples and appears somewhat similar to the Kandariya Mahadeo Temple. The Lakshmana Temple is basically a shrine that is famous for its detailed carved statues and the adhisthana.
Lakshmana Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and you can also see a female bracket figure standing inside the temple. The work of art of the temple is unparalleled for its intricate craft and beauty.
14. Vishvanath Temple
The Vishvanath temple is a Hindu temple and one of the historic temples in Khajuraho having its deity as Lord Shiva and is situated in Khajuraho. The architecture of the temple is similar to the Lakshmana temple and the main shrine is an example of the style called nagara.
The sculptures in this temple include Goddess Parvati, Dancing Ganesha, a loving couple, an elephant at the steps, and some others too. In this temple, we can see female dominancy as most of the sculptures are women.
The temple also has female figures (surasundaris) sculptures are also present that depicts some of the instants they are included in like plucking a thorn, playing the flute in the sanctum, with the mythical beast vyala, fixing hair, etc.
15. Kandariya Mahadev Temple
Kandariya Mahadeva temple which has the meaning that ‘the great God of the cave’ is a Hindu temple in Chhatarpur with lord Shiva as their deity and is one of the biggest and most developed temples among the temples of Khajuraho.
In the interior walls of the temple, we can see many carvings turned into sculptures and the architectural features of the temple. The Kandariya Mahadeo Temple is another imposing temple construction of Khajuraho that depicts more than 800 sculptures.
The temple is dedicated to God Shiva and makes up the most resplendent constructions of Khajuraho. When you go into the sanctum, you will see a Shiva Linga made of marble which is surrounded by 646 statutes and the sight looks splendid.
Once you have paid visit to the temple, you can also explore a yellow sandstone temple that houses erotic sculptures.
Festivals and Events
Tourists can also enjoy classical dance performances in Khajuraho. These dance performances are organised every year in the month of February and March.
This happens to be a week-long festival where seven classical dance performances are held and famous dancers come to perform here. The dances which are performed include Indian classical dance genres of Kathak, Manipuri, Kuchipudi, Bharat Natyam, Odissi, Mohiniattam, and Kathakali.
Shopping in Khajuraho
Shopping buffs will not be disappointed by Khajuraho’s markets. As crowds of tourists come to this part, shopping has to be a wonderful experience. There are numerous handicraft stores as well as crafts emporium where you will find beautiful assemblage of sculptures of iron, brass, and stone.
Tuesdays are usually crowded because of the weekly bazaar held at Rajinagar which is 5 km away from Khajuraho. This bazaar is famous for getting brass and silver items at very reasonable prices. Other than these places, you can also explore shopping places at Oswal Complex and City Center in Khajuraho.
Food in Khajuraho
There is no scarcity of places when you want to try some lip-smacking food. The street food of the place such as tangy chutney and delicious samosas is a must-try. You will easily find numerous restaurants and cafes in the city that serve scrumptious, piping hot food to satiate your hunger.
If you want to try some cheap food, you can go to the Jain Temples Road, where a number of joints selling south and north Indian cuisine are lined up after the sunset. You can try omelets, Tibetan dumplings, patties, and much more here.
Where to Stay in Khajuraho?
Tourists will find numerous budgeted as well as luxurious hotels in and around Khajuraho to spend a comfortable stay here. You will get hotels as per your requirements without much trouble.
If you are planning to go to Khajuraho, then there will be ample options of staying, and all the needs of tourists are well taken care of. Some of the famous hotels are:
- Ramada Khajuraho
- Radisson Jass Hotel
- Hotel Harmony
- The Lalit Temple View
- Eurostar Inn
- Hotel Surya
- Hotel Zen
- Marble Palace Hotel
- Shri Krishna Jungle Resort
- Hotel Isabel Palace
Places You Cannot Miss in Khajuraho
Khajuraho is a haven for people who want to spend a peaceful holiday away from the chaos of the city life. There is no dearth of greenery, wildlife, picnic spots, delicious cuisine architectural marvels, museums etc.
If you are planning a visit to the place, you will be greeted by a myriad of tourist attractions. Let us see some of the best and most luring tourist hotspots of Khajuraho below.
Archaeological Museum Khajuraho
The Archaeological Museum of Khajuraho which is situated in the north of the Western Group of Temples was built in 1910 by W.A. Jardine. The museum was reconstructed very recently in 2016 and preserves exquisite antiques. The museum houses a grand assemblage of interesting items that narrate the stories of the rich history of the place.
You can expect some very rare collections curated in the form of sculptures, galleries, and architectural ruins. There are different information panels that will tell you about Chandela rulers of the place. Make sure that you pay a visit to the museum to learn about the bright past of Khajuraho.
Ken Gharial Sanctuary
This is the best haunt for tourists who are nature lovers and want to explore wildlife of the place. The Ken Gharial Sanctuary lies 5 km north of the Raneh Falls and is one of the attractive destinations of Khajuraho. It is a hotspot for exploring the viridescent sights and some critically endangered animal species.
You can spot animals like tigers, wild boars, deer, as well as various species of birds. The sanctuary is close of Panna reserve and most of the tour guides take this route to enable the visitors to see to places in a single day.
Panna National Park
The Panna National Park is just 40 minutes away from Khajuraho. It is a famous tiger reserve where animal lovers will really have a feast for their eyes.
Do not miss the opportunity of spotting animals like leopard, wolf, hyena and many other species. The national park is lashed by a beautiful river Ken where you can enjoy a boat safari.
It is to be noted that there are no jeep safaris provided in the national park but if you can arrange your own jeep, you will allowed a wildlife safari in the park.
Beni Sagar Dam
This is another remarkable nature hotspot lying just a kilometre away from the Khajuraho railway station. The Beni Sagar Dam offers a wonderful opportunity to spend some time close to the nature and also serves as picnic spot for people.
The Beni Sagar Dam stretches across 7.7 sq km and is enveloped in greenery and a placid environment. You can also go on long walks in lush trails and even boat around the dam. Those who love adventure sports can have a gala time here as the spot also offers activities such as hiking and rowing.
Eastern Group of Temples
When you compare it with the Western Group, the Eastern Group of Temples of Khajuraho are a little small. But like the Western Group, the Eastern side also has a string of adorable temples such as Vamana Temple, Parsvanath Temple, Brahma Temple, Ghantai Temple, and Hanuman Temple.