Khajuraho | India
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Khajuraho is a small town located in the Bundelkhand region (Chhatarpur District) of Madhya Pradesh and is famous for groups of Hindu and Jain temples. These temples are a UNESCO World Heritage Site for their beautiful and erotic rock carvings. Khajuraho has the Vindhya range of mountains as its beautiful backdrop. This makes Khajuraho a particularly fascinating destination to visit.

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Khajuraho's art is a manifestation of the essence of the philosophy of Indian aesthetics. The erotic sculptures of Khajuraho depicting Kama Sutra are unique in the world. These sculptures representing the Indo-Aryan architecture, congeal in stone a lyrical paean to love and passion and reflect the Chandela dynasty's passion and immense appreciation for the forbidden art, paradoxically, in the land of Kama Sutra. They cannot be passed off as just erotic sculptures, the temples have some of the most revered gods of Hinduism. History The temples of Khajuraho were built between 950 to 1050 A.D. during the Chandela dynasty of Central India (These rulers claimed descent from the moon, hence the name Chand-ela). After the decline of the Chandela dynasty in 13th century, the temples were left under the cover of dense date palm trees for many years, which gave the city of Khajuraho its name, Khajur in Hindi means a date. In the ancient times it was known as Vatsa. In 1838, a British army engineer, Captain T.S. Burt rediscovered them. By that time only 22 of the original 85 temples had survived. Climate Khajuraho's climate is quite extreme, with wide variation in day and night temperatures along with minimal rainfall. Summers are hot at 45°C and winters are extremely pleasant at 27°C. Rainfall of 14 cms is observed annually. As summer is too hot, winter is a good time to visit Khajuraho. During month of March, the annual Dance Festival takes place. So from September to March is the best time to visit Khajuraho.

Khajuraho

Planning a Trip

1 Get in 1.1 By plane 1.2 By train 1.3 By taxi/bus By plane Khajuraho Airport (HJR IATA) (is located 5 km from the city), ☎ +91 7686 740-415. Served by Air India (formerly Indian Airlines) offering flights from Delhi, Varanasi and Mumbai and Jet Airways offering flights from Delhi and Varanasi. If one is not prepared for a 5-6 hours bumpy ride from Jhansi to Khajuraho, then plane is the best mode.  By train A train station was finally opened in Khajuraho in 2008, linking it to Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh) (175km) on the Delhi-Chennai/Bangalore/ Trivandrum mainline. NOTE: You can not buy train tickets at the Khajuraho train station! You must go to the BUS station, about 1km walk out of town, to buy train tickets (much cheaper than buying tickets through your hotel). Train tickets can also be booked online at [1] or [2] with credit cards/ Debit cards or Indian bank account at www.irctc.co.in. Without an IRCTC account, tickets can be booked on 12Go Asia website with credit card or PayPal. There are direct trains from New Delhi Station (Hazarat Nizamuddin Railway Station), Agra and Varanasi. Train departs from Delhi everyday except Wednesday at 20:15 and reaches 06:15 next morning at Khajuraho Railway Station. Uttar Pradesh Sampark Kranti / Khajuraho Nizamuddin Express (Train number 22447) runs from Delhi Hazarat Nizamuddin to Khajuraho 6 days a week except Wednesday. If you have to go back towards New Delhi from Khajuraho then try to book this train's tickets as its very convenient to go from khajuraho by train than by bus. It departs from khajuraho (train no 22447) at 18.20 and reaches Delhi at 05.30 in the morning. For coming to khajuraho the train (train no 22447) departs from H. Nizamuddin at 20.15 hrs and reaches Khajuraho next day morning at 06.35 hrs. The other options to reach Khajuraho are through Jhansi. It takes around 6 hours to reach Jhansi from Delhi by train, and another 3-4 hours (plus connecting time) to go to Khajuraho. Get the Dakshin Express from Delhi (22:50 hrs) and reach Jhansi by 05:00 hrs, connecting to the Jhansi-Khajuraho Link Passenger(Train No:51821) which now runs along with Jhansi-Allahabad Passenger(Train No:51821) starts from Jhansi at 7:10AM and reaches Khajuraho at 12:05PM. Another option is the Bhopal Shatabdi train from delhi (6.00) to Jhansi. Train from Khajuraho to Jhansi departs from Khajuraho at 12:25PM and will reach Jansi by 5:30PM. Both the trains have stoppage at Orcha. An alternative station is Satna (Madhya Pradesh) (117km) on the Allahabad-Mumbai main line. Another option is Mahoba station on the Varanasi- Jhansi Route.Alight at Mahoba and catch the 11AM Passenger(Train No:229A) to Khajuraho. The Western Temples group is about 5 km away from the railway station, in fact the airport is much closer to the temples than the railway station. There is no bus service from the railway station to the town at present and you will have to travel in a "Vikram"/ Diesel Auto, you can join a group of passengers for ₹10 or hire one for yourself which will cost between ₹100 - ₹150 one way. By taxi/bus Satna and Jhansi both are connected to Khajuraho by regular bus service. It takes around 3 hours to reach Khajuraho from Satna or Jhansi by taxi, and 5-6 hours by bus. There are daily bus services with Satna, Jhansi, Harpalpur, Chhatarpur, Mahoba, Sagar,Jabalpur, Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Panna, Agra, Allahabad and Varanasi. From Jhansi railway station catch a rickshaw to Jhansi bus station which is 5 km away. It is very difficult to get a bus to Khajuraho from Jhansi after 5PM. So try to reach Jhansi by afternoon if you want to catch a bus to Khajuraho from Jhansi. Khajuraho to Bandhavgarh (225km, 5hrs), Satna (117km, 4hrs), Harpalpur (94km), Jhansi (172km)and Mahoba (61km). Khajuraho is located 600km (11hrs journey) south-east of Delhi. There are bus services from Agra (12 hrs), Gwalior (9hrs) and Jhansi. Taxis are recommended because the condition of buses and roads are not good, and the ride is grueling. If you are traveling by your own car and if you are novice driver, then the chances of meeting with an accident is significantly high.

Khajuraho

Top Attractions

1 See 1.1 Audio Guides 1.2 Western Group of Temples 1.3 Eastern Group of Temples 1.4 Southern Group of Temples In every temple, there is the depiction of royalty, armies, wrestling, kinship, war, courtship, marriage, lovemaking, music and dancing, spiritual teachings, union, meditation, bliss, gods, goddesses, plants, animals and an abundance of all human forms. One of the Temples Audio Guides Effective 1 August 2011, the Archaeological Survey of India introduced an official self-guided audio tour facility of international standards for visitors. The tour allows visitors to experience the Khajuraho Group of Monuments at their own pace, with authentic and factually accurate information. Visitors may avail of the audio guide facility from the official audio guide booth near the monument ticket counter. Prices for audio guide services are ₹100 (+ taxes) in English & Foreign Languages or ₹60 in Hindi & Indian Languages Western Group of Temples There is an entry fee of ₹10/- (for Indians) and USD $ 5 (for foreigners) to enter the Western Group of temples. (If you have a ticket from Taj Mahal, you can use it here again.) All the temples are open from sunrise to sunset. These are the richest and largest of all temple groups. 24.8495279.918131 Chaunsat Yogini. The only granite temple in the Khajuraho group.  24.8543479.920322 Chitragupta Temple. It is dedicated to Lord Chitragupta, the book keeper of the good and bad deeds.  Devi Jagdamba Temple. Dedicated to the Goddess(devi), this is smaller and much more delicately proportioned temple and is home to some of the finest sculptures of Khajuraho. The garbha griha has a huge image of the Devi of the Universe (Jagdambi), though it appears to have started as a Vishnu temple. It has the usual three bands of sculptures, but the third and most uppermost of these houses some of the most erotic sculptures.  24.8530679.919673 Kandariya Mahadev Temple. This temple is decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art.  24.8521779.921714 Lakhmana Temple. The oldest and finest of the western group of temples, named after the ruler that built the temple. The A horizontal beam over the entrance of this beautiful Vaishnavite temple shows the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva with Lakshmi, Vishnus consort.  Matanageswara Temple. A temple dedicated to Shiva, a huge 8ft Lingam adorns the temple.  Eastern Group of Temples 24.8451179.936615 Adinath Temple. Dedicated to Jain Tirthankar(God), Adinath, the temple is lavishly embellished with sculpted figures, including yakshis.  24.8491279.932736 Brahma Temple. Considered to be one of the oldest temples of Khajuraho made entirely in granite and sandstone, is dedicated to Vishnu.  24.8461279.93347 Ghantai Temple. This Jain temple has a frieze which depicts the 16 dreams of Mahavira's mother, and a Jain goddess on a winged Garuda.  24.8499979.928588 Hanuman Temple.  24.8494579.935279 Javari Temple.  24.8448579.9365710 Parsvanath Temple. Largest among the group, with exquisite carvings in detail. The sculptures on the northern outer wall are the highlights of this temple. The image was installed in 1860.  24.8515279.9349811 Vamana Temple. It is the dwarf form of Lord Vishnu, located in a secluded place and is known for its simple architecture.  Southern Group of Temples 24.8293479.934412 Beejamandal Temple. It is a ruined temple, and is near the Chattarbhuj Temple.  24.8251179.9310113 Chattarbhuj Temple (The Jatkari Temple). Built in 1100 A.D., is well known for its architecture, and is also the only temple to be devoid of any erotic sculpture. 3 km away from the Eastern Group. Facing West, have to take 10 steps to reach the sanctum. The massive 9 feet intricately carved Vishnu idol in Chaturbhuja (four-armed).  Dulhadev Temple. The last temple of Khajuraho, lies to the south of Ghantai temple. The temple enshrines a Shivalingam. The apsara and ornamented figures are the temple's most striking features.  Khajuraho Dance Festival.  Light and Sound Show at Western group of temples. After visiting the temple complex is over, the sound and light show, narrated by the Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachhan, is held every evening. Entry ticket ₹120/- for Indians and ₹300/- for foreigners. 

Khajuraho

Things to do

Yoga Arhanta Yoga International, Arihanta Yatri Niwas, ☎ +91 8120121002, e-mail: info@arhantayoga.org. 9am - 5pm. Hatha Yoga classes can be followed in a traditional ashram lifestyle.  Swimming Some star hotels like Jas Raddison and Chandela offer use of their swimmining pool for ₹300 onwards, which is a popular activity during summers. Places worth visit The Annual Dance Festival of Khajuraho. This festival happens from 1st Feb to 7th Feb. The same date goes for 2012 year also.  24.8587579.920321 Archaeology Museum. It is very small museum located exactly opposite to Shiv Sagar and nearby to Hotel Lakeside. The museum is a must place to visit as it features varied selection of unique carvings from area. The photography is strictly banned in the museum.  Nandi Temple. It is grand hall of more than 20 square size pillars with spectacular circular ceiling. You can spend some peaceful time here as it is one of the less crowded spots in Khajuraho.  RssVidyamandir school (Tinku free school), near vamana temple (eastern group temples), ☎ +91 9981785382, e-mail: oldvillageschool@gmail.com. 10h-14h. Vidyamandir school is a place you can visit to see changes that can be made to improve the futur of children from the countryside of India where life is not always easy.Run by friendly director Tinku, he can show you around and would be more than happy if you could participate to one class (or many if you have a couple of days) donations appreciated because the school is absolutely free for children. donations appreciated. (updated Apr 2015)

Khajuraho