Khajuraho Sculpture - Khajuraho
Khajuraho - Here the Most Graceful Manifestation of the Divine Comes to Life
Situated in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh, the town of
Khajuraho has been recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO. The
town is famous for its imperial temples. The temples were built by the
rulers of Chandela dynasty between 10th and 11th century. The
construction of the temple just took around 100 years to complete.
There were around 85 temples in the area but now only 22 exist. Rest
are nothing more than ruins. They sure have gained popularity due to
the erotic sculptures carved on the walls. However such sculptures
cover only a small portion. The major share of sculptures are
depicting the daily life of people in the rural India.
If you thought that there are only temples to see in Khajuraho, then you are mistaken. There is more to the town than these one of a kind temples. Visit the town in the month of February and March and you can be a part of the renowned Khajuraho Dance Festival. The festival witnesses performances by many great exponents of Indian classical dances like Kathak, Kuchipudi, Bharatnatyam, Odissi, and Manipuri Dance. And after you are through with the attractions in the town, you can move out to nearby sites like the famous Panna National Park and many appealing waterfalls. The climate here is not very different from other parts of Madhya Pradesh. It is sweltering in summers and extremely pleasant in winters. Although it is worth a visit at any time of the year, but September to March season is by far the best.
The biggest tourist attractions of Khajuraho are the many temples that adorn the face of this unique town. Temples of Khajuraho are the greatest artistic gift given by the Chandela Kings to the world. The walls of these temples are carved with erotic statues and sculptures. Temples have been divided into three group, Western Group, Eastern Group and Southern Group according to their location in the town.
The Western Group
This is clearly the most important section of Khajuraho temples. It is here that you will find the biggest and most intricate temples of all. The Kandriya Mahadev which is dedicated to Lord Shiva is the largest temple in Khajuraho towering to a height of 31 m. In the Sanctum Sanctorum, there is a lingam. Do notice the ceilings and pillars of the temple that are magnificently carved. Other well-known temples in the group are Chaunsat Yogini Temple, Lakshmana Temple and Matangeshwara Temple. The Chandela Kings were Lord Vishnu's ardent devotees, so you will find many temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The most important of them is Varaha Temple, famous for the 9 feet high Boar statue.
The Eastern Group
There are mostly Hindu and Jain Temples in the eastern group. They are situated closer to Khajuraho temple. Parsvanath Temple, which is the largest Jain temple, has the most scintillating structure in the group. Ghantai Temple is another famous Jain Temple in the group. The images on the walls depict day to day lives of people. The three Hindu temples in the group are Brahma, Vamana and Javari Temples.
The Southern Group
The southern group is also called Jain group of Temples. They are situated 5 km to the southeast of the town. Chaturbhuj Temple and Duladeo Temple are the most important of all. Chaturbhuj temple has a massive structure of Lord Vishnu inside the sanctum.
When you are visiting Khajuraho, apart from the major temples, look out for some other attractions as well. Most of these attractions are few kilometers away from Khajuraho. The main attraction is definitely Panna national Park that is one of the major wildlife parks in Madhya Pradesh. The park is rich in flora and fauna and is famous for the exquisite surroundings. The park is around 20 km away from Khajuraho. Also explore Ken Gharial sanctuary that is 24 km away. The park is the natural habitat of long snouted alligators. Pandava Water Fall which is around 30 km from Khajuraho, is the favorite picnic spot for the locales. It is said that Pandavas spent the major part of their exile here. Temples of Khajuraho are surely a spellbinding sight, but leaving Khajuraho without visiting these attractions lying around the town, is a big loss for tourist who are looking for perfect amalgamation of history and nature.
Where to Stay
Khajuraho is certainly the most famous city of Madhya Pradesh. Due to the temples here, it receives tourists from all over the world in a huge number. And to accommodate them, many hotels have been opened. You will find high-end luxury hotels like Taj Chandela and Radisson Jass Hotel alongside good budget hotels like Hotel Clark and Hotel Usha Bundela. Most of these hotels are situated close to the temples.
Khajuraho has its own domestic airport, which receives regular flights from Delhi and Agra. Both Indian Airlines and Private flight operators have their flights coming in and out of Khajuraho
The nearest railway station is at Mahoba which is at a distance of 64 km from here. Other close by station is at Harpalpur at a distance of 94 km.
Khajuraho is well connected to all the cities of Madhya Pradesh. There is regular bus service Gwalior, Bhopal Jabalpur and Agra.
For getting around in the town you can hire a taxi or a cycle rickshaw. But the best way to explore the town is by taking a ride in a tonga (Horse Carriage).