Right through the Mughal invasion and the early British forays into India, Khajuraho temples in India remained unknown. Rediscovered in this century, they are fine reminders of India’s glorious past.To some, Khajuraho Temples are the most graphic, erotic and sensuous sculptures of India, the world has ever known. But Khajuraho has not received the attention it deserves for its significant contribution to the religious art of India – there are literally hundreds of exquisite images on the interior and exterior walls of the shrines.Architecturally these temples are unique. While each temple in Khajuraho has a distinct plan and design, several features are common to all. They are all built on high platforms, several metres off the ground, either in granite or a combination of light sandstone and granite. Each of these temples has an entrance hall or mandapa, and a sanctum sanctorum or garbha griha. The roofs of these various sections have a distinct form. The porch and hall have pyramidal roofs made of several horizontal layers. The inner sanctum’s roof is a conical tower – a colossal pile of stone (often 30m high) made of an arrangement of miniature towers called shikharas.The famous Western group of temples are designated as the World Heritage Site and is enclosed within a beautifully laid out park. The Lakshmana and Vishwanath Temples to the front and The Kandriya Mahadev, Jagadami and Chitragupta Temples displays the best craftmanship of Khajuraho
Major Groups of Khajuraho Temples:For the purpose of convenience, the village of Khajuraho has been divided into three directional areas in which are located the major groups of temples .
Western Group Temples:These groups of Khajuraho temples are entirely Hindu, and constitute some of the finest examples of Chandela art at its peak. The largest being the Kandhariya Mahadev, followed by a granite temple – Chaunsath Yogini. The Chitragupta Temple is dedicated to the Sun God, while the Vishwanath Temple sports a three-headed image of Brahma – the Creator of the Universe. The Lakshmana Temple is superbly decorated, while the Devi Jagdambi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. Other temples in the Western Group include the Varaha Temple with a nine-feet high boar-incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the Matangeshwara Temple with a eight-feet high lingam, and the Brahma Temple.
Eastern Group Temples: This group of Khajuraho tempels comprises of two historic Jain temples – the Adinath Temple lavishly embellished with sculpted figures, and the Parsvanath Temple, the largest Jain temple, sculpted with charming detail. There are other shrines such as the Vamana Temple with apsaras in sensuous poses, and the Javari Temple that has a richly-carved doorway.
Southern Group: This group has two impressive Khajuraho temples, mainly belonging to the 12th century – the Chaturbhuja Temple, with a massive, carved image of Vishnu, and the Duladeo Temple, one of the last temples of the Chandela era, dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Symbolising a medieval legacy, the Khajuraho temples of India are a perfect fusion of architectural and sculptural excellence, representing one of the finest examples of Indian art.
Souvenirs from Khajuraho: Being one of the most visited places in India, many shops have developed which offers souvenirs at best of prices. There are number of stalls in front of these temples that presents array of articles which are worth buying.
Khajuraho Dance Festival: Held every year from 25th February to 2nd March, Khajuraho Dance festival provides an exclusive platform to showcase the Indian classical dance forms like Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Odisi, Kathakali etc. For over 25 years now, the carved stones fills with life during the month of Feb.
Getting to Khajuraho
State : Madhya Pradesh
Location : The City of Khajuraho is situated in the forested plains of Madhya Pradesh in the region known as Bundelkhand and at a reasonable distance from most cities and town centers of the state
Watch Out : Western Group of Temples Eastern Gropu of Southern Group of Temples
Look Out : Khajuraho Dance Festival Held – 25 th Feb – 30 th Feb
World Heritage Site : Western Group of Temples
Air : The airport is 5 kms from the city centre and is well connected by domestic flights to and from Agra, Varanasi and Kathmandu.
Train : Mahoba, Satna and Jhansi are the nearest railway stations. All of these are well connected by most of the major cities of India.
Road : Khajuraho is connected by regular bus services with Mahoba, Harpalpur, Satna, Jhansi, Gwalior, Agra, Jabalpur and Bhopal. Khajuraho is 590 kms from Delhi via Gwalior and Jhansi.
Accommodation : Whether there are any good hotels in Khajuraho or not? Probably you don’t have to worry much as there are number of hotels in Khajuraho.Ranging from budget to deluxe, hotels in Khajuraho offer good accommodation at your price.