The City of Beautiful Temples, Khajuraho: Madhya Pradesh, India
The colourful Indian state of Madhya Pradesh (MP) is home to many culturally and historically significant towns and cities. In addition to Orchha which is famous for its architecture, forts, and temples, the small town of Khajuraho is also well-known.
Khajuraho was once the capital city of the Chandela rulers. Today, Khajuraho lies in the plains of Madhya Pradesh and is more popularly known for its beautiful temples which bring back reminisces of the past and highlight the bygone era.
DID YOU KNOW? Due to their fine detailing and architectural magnificence depicting the Indo Aryan architecture, the temples of Khajuraho have been declared a World Heritage site.
KHAJURAHO, A FAMOUS TOURIST DESTINATION
Khajuraho enjoys global appeal and is visited every year by thousands of tourists from all over the world who come here to appreciate the fine artistry, stone carvings and architectural excellence which was evident between 950 A.D and 1050 A.D when the region was under the Chandela rulers.
It is believed that more than 85 temples of Khajuraho were built in a span of 100 years and 22 of these original temples remain till date.
MUST-SEES IN KHAJURAHO
Magnificent temples that depict excellence in Architecture – The temples of Khajuraho are divided into 3 geographical groups –
Temple Group – Western
1. Chausat Yogini Temple, Khajuraho
If you are in Khajuraho, you must visit the Chausat Yogini Temple which is dedicated to Goddess Kali and is named after the 64 yoginis or attendants who were at Goddess Kali’s service. Made of granite stone, this is perhaps the oldest temple of the time and was built to hold 64 cells for the images of the yoginis.
2. Kandariya Mahadeo Temple, Khajuraho
It is the largest temple of the western group and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed that this temple portrays at best, the famous Chandela creativity and art.
3. Matangeshwara Temple, Khajuraho
A major distinguishing feature of this temple is the statue of Lord Ganesha which is placed outside the temple. If you are a true devotee of Lord Shiva, you will be enchanted by looking at the beautiful and large Shiva lingam which is placed in the sanctum.
4. Lakshmana Temple, Khajuraho
It is well preserved and stands out for its architectural detailing including the figures of apsaras, and other Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Each figure is wonderfully carved and it seems like the sculptors have taken care of every small detail.
5. Chitragupta Temple, Khajuraho
Another beauty, the Chitragupta temple is dedicated to the Sun God, Surya. Here you will find beautiful sculptures and figures of dancing girls, elephant fights, and scenes of hunting. Inside, there is a breathtaking image of the Sun God, riding a 5 feet tall horse-drawn chariot.
6. Varaha and Lakshmi Temple
There are two small temples, one dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and the other to Lord Vishnu’s incarnation, the Varaha or wild boar.
Temple Group – Eastern
1. Parsvanath Jain Temple, Khajuraho
This is the most revered Jain Temple in Khajuraho and is dedicated to Lord Parsvanath. It is also the largest Jain temple here.
2. Adinatha Temple, Khajuraho
This temple is located to the north of the Parsvanath temple. Here you will find some very intricate and detailed carvings which brilliantly depict different moods and emotions in stone.
Figures that can be well seen and deciphered include that of an apsara or female dancer, a woman experiencing sadness and a mother with her child.
3. Ghantal Temple, Khajuraho
Though mostly ruined remains of this temple exist today, it is still a holy place which showcases fine columns, bell-chain decorations and a figure of a Jain goddess on a garuda depicting the 16 dreams of Lord Mahavira’s mother.
4. Vamana Temple, Khajuraho
This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu’s Vamana avatar.
Temple Group – Southern
1. Dulah Deo Temple, Khajuraho
This temple is located towards the south and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The lingam in the inner sanctum is truly beautiful.
2. Chaturbhuj Temple, Khajuraho
At this temple, there is a large carved statue of Lord Vishnu.
Other Getaways near Khajuraho
In addition to its temples, Khajuraho is also hugely popular with travellers who come here & then head out to visit a number of other spectacular attractions which are situated close by. These include –
- Rajgarh Palace – Situated just 25kms from Khajuraho, the Rajgarh Palace is more than 150 years old and is one of the most wonderful fort palaces.
- Raneh Waterfalls – This is a perfect picnic spot, just 20kms away and situated on the river Ken. People come here to see the most talked about granite rock formations.
- Panna National Park – This is a green and natural forest belt, about 32kms away from Khajuraho and is located along the Ken River. If you are a true nature lover, you will thoroughly enjoy your visit here and will get to see a variety of different wildlife including tigers, sambar, panther, and gharials, etc.
- Majhgawan Diamond Mines – Located at a distance of about 56kms, the Majhgawan Diamond Mines have the privilege of being known as the largest mines in Asia and the only Indian working mine, under the control of the Indian Government.
- Chitrakoot – Also known as the Hill of many wonders, Chitrakoot is a holy town. It is believed that Lord Rama and his wife; Sita spent 14 years of exile here. The town of Chitrakoot is located at a distance of 185kms from Khajuraho.
Some of the other places to see, visit and discover around Khajuraho includes the Benisagar Lake, Archaeological Museum, Ken Natural Trail, Ranguan Lake, Kalinjar Fort, Satna, Pandav Falls, & Panna, among others.
Getting There: Khajuraho is well connected by road, rail, and air. There is a regular bus service which connects Khajuraho with Jhansi, Panna, Indore, Agra, Bhopal, and Satna, etc.