Want to travel back in time? Set in the Bundelkhand region of the magnificient state of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho takes you through the rich heritage of Indian culture. Remembering the ultimate rendeavour, it is renowned for their ancient temples which represent one of India's finest architecture. This vast cultural centre is a breathtaking combination of art and architecture. A lovely symphony of entrancing classical art is on display for its tourists and admirers. Khajuraho is home to some of the world's most beautiful and historic monuments, food and traditions. But before you go, let’s know more about this bewitching town.
Khajuraho, the ancient capital of the Chandella monarchs, governed Bundelkhand from the 10th to the 12th century CE. Despite Khajuraho being recognised as an important cultural centre, no non-religious buildings remain. Built between 950 AD to 1050 AD, roughly a thousand years ago, there were around 85 temples that were wrecked through time, and today, around few of them remain that could withstand the devastation. However, it has 35 Hindu and Jain temples, making it an important historical site of India. Henceforth,it is also known as 'the City of the Gods' as said by Muslim historian Abu Rihan Alberuni.
The Khajuraho temples show a variety of subjects, including meditation, spiritual teachings, kinfolk, wrestling, royalty, and, most notably, sensual art. The temples are part of World Heritage Sites due to their spectacular displays of superb sculptures and great architectural expertise. The artefacts and design of the Khajuraho temples are stunning, detailed, and expressive. It will surely leave you in amazement.
There is an intriguing narrative about how and why the temples are named 'Khajuraho,' according to local folklore. The Chandela monarchs, who started building the temples, had the entire territory surrounded by a wall. The wall featured roughly eight gates, most of which were utilised for access or exit. Each gate is supposed to have been bordered on both sides by date and palm trees. The concept came from these trees,thus the temples were known as "Khajura-vahika." 'Khajura' means 'Date fruit' and 'Vahika' means 'one who bears it' in Hindi. The Date Palm tree grows abundantly in this area. Thus, comes its name- Khajuraho.
Khajuraho temple groups are in three parts of the town as per their geographical location: Eastern, Western, and Southern.
Parsvanath Temple The largest temple of the group, featuring intricate sculptures. The statues on the northern outside wall are the temple's main attraction. In 1860, the picture was placed. This temple's three roofs symbolise a blend of Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim elements.
Ghantai Temple This Jain temple features a frieze depicting Mahavira's mother's 16 dreams, as well as a Jain goddess riding a winged Garuda.
Adinath Temple - It is devoted to Jain Tirthankar (God), Adinath, the temple is ornately decorated with carved sculptures.
Brahma Temple is one of Khajuraho's oldest temples. It was constructed completely of granite and sandstone, dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Vamana Temple - is Lord Vishnu's dwarf form, located in an isolated location and recognised for its modest construction.
Lakhmana Temple - Oldest yet the most beautiful temple of the Western group, named after the monarch who erected it. It shows in a horizontal beam over the entrance the trinity: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva along with Lakshmi, Vishnu's wife.
Kandariya Mahadeo Temple - This temple is adorned with a plethora of sculptures considered to be among the finest works of Indian art.
Devi Jagdamba Temple - It is devoted to the Goddess Jagdamba. This temple is smaller and is finely proportioned. It shows some of Khajuraho's best sculptures. It features three bands of sculptures, but the third one holds some most sensual works.
Chaunsat Yogini is the Khajuraho group's lone granite temple.
Chitragupta Temple - Facing the east direction, this temple is dedicated to the Sun God (Surya).
Matanageswara Temple - A Shiva shrine with a massive 8ft Lingam adorning the temple.
Vishwanath Temple - In Hinduism, Lord Shiva is also known as Vishwanath (Master of the Universe). This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. On the same grounds, a temple devoted to Nandi has a massive statue of Nandi (the Bull, Lord Shiva's friend, attendant, and closest aide).
Dulhadev Temple – Khajuraho's last temple, located to the south of Ghantai Temple. A Shivalingam is enshrined in the temple. The temple's most notable elements are the apsara and gilded statues.
Chattarbhuj Temple, also known as the Jatkari Temple, was built in 1100 A.D. and is well-renowned for its architecture. It is also the only temple without any sensual sculpture. To access the sanctum, face West and go 10 steps.
Chaturbhuja's enormous 9-foot-tall beautifully carved Vishnu idol (four-armed).
This vast cultural event is a breathtaking combination of art and architecture. A lovely symphony of entrancing classical dance performances by prominent performers from throughout the country is on display. While Hindi is the primary language spoken in the region, the Bundeli language has had a significant effect, which is apparent in all of the dialects spoken here. Aside from that, English is widely spoken, which can be linked to the growth of the tourism business. Because the majority of the population works in tourism and associated businesses and has to interact with international visitors, English is the language of choice for many people.
Khajuraho has a rich folk dance and music legacy. The city is well-known for its yearly dance festival, which features local dance genres. Raai is another popular dance style in the region that gets its name from the mustard seed. Just like a mustard seed swings about when thrown in a bowl, the dancers swing around to the accompaniment of drums. Diwari is a popular folk dance in the region that is performed during the Diwali holiday. It commemorates Lord Krishna's raising of the Govardhan mountain. This is usually done following the harvest season. The major folk song sung in the harvest season is Faag. During the monsoon season, alha songs are performed, and the subject always revolves around historical heroes and their accomplishments. Lamtera is a folk song spoken in appreciation to the Lord for the riches he has bestowed upon us.
Now, you know a little bit about Khajuraho’s culture and history, let’s dive into locations for sightseeing.
All the temples are open in the morning till the sunset. Temples that should be on your tour list: Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Lakshmana Temple. Adinath Temple. Matangeshwar Temple, Javari Temple. Moreover, after viewing the temple complex, the sound and light show is presented every evening, narrated by Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachhan.
If you wish to know more about Khajuraho’s history, what is a better place than a museum with artefacts. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Khajuraho is the Archaeological Museum. It displays around 2000 meticulously preserved antiquities and sculptures from temples built between the 9th and 12th centuries, mirroring Hindu and Jain cultures and customs. The Jain Museum, also known as the Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain Kala Sangrahalaya, protects a variety of historic Jain artefacts and remnants that are older than the complex's oldest temples! The museum houses a collection of sculptures of 24 Tirthankaras and yakshis that reflect traditional Jain culture and heritage. Khajuraho's State Museum of Tribal and Folk Art is a gathering place for all kinds of traditional and cultural items and antiquities. It also functions as a gallery, displaying the progress of tribal craftsmen' works.
Panna Reserve, established in 1981, is Madhya Pradesh's 5th Tiger Reserve and India's 22nd. Panna National Park, which is home to various kinds of animals such as Jackal, Nilgai, Chinkara, Sambar, and Wild Boar, is an ideal destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts.
Raneh Falls, which forms a 30-foot deep canyon with pure, gorgeous crystalline granite embellished with a rainbow of colours, is without a doubt one of the most awe-inspiring Khajuraho Tourist Places! Mother Nature has lavishly gifted it, drawing visitors and nature lovers into its enchanted domains year after year.
The Ken Gharial Sanctuary, is a prominent tourist destination in Khajuraho. Like temples, it is a popular tourist destination. The sanctuary, which is located in the Panna National Park region, is great for people who love trekking and wish to be close to nature. It falls into the path of the lovely Ken River, which travels north to join the Holy Ganges. It is also home to the magnificent animals like Gharials, Wolf, Chinkara, Spotted Deer, Nilgai, and Sloth Bear.
The Pandav Falls, located in Madhya Pradesh's Panna area, adorn the banks of the Ken River and stand at a height of roughly 30 metres. The location is rich in natural jewels and is named for the Pandava brothers from the Indian epic Mahabharata, who are said to have been there. The flowing water is collected in a vast pool below by a deep gap in the mountainside. Spending a full day amongst these lovely waterfalls, which are relatively near to Raneh Falls, will provide you with the serenity that your soul desires.
Beni Sagar Dam, which is on the Khuddar River, is one of Khajuraho's most popular tourist destinations, spanning roughly 8 square kilometres. The beautiful thick flora that surrounds the dam attracts nature enthusiasts from all across the nation. Aside from the serene settings provided by the dam, there are other thrilling water activities to get your heart pounding. As a bonus, the sunrise and sunset from up there are magnificent.
Here is the list of dishes of regional cuisine you must taste when visiting Khajuraho. Khajuraho is famed for some of the best cuisine, with non-vegetarian choice Korma at the top of the list. Chicken Korma is a popular Indian meal, created with tomato puree with almonds that makes it flavorful, a variety of spices, and butter that's basically excellent. This meal is widely accessible throughout India, but the ingredients used in MP are distinctive, giving it a distinct fragrance and flavour. Another one is Dal Bafra. It is a variant of the popular Rajasthani and Bihari meals Dal Bati and Litti. It is an improved variant of Rajasthan's Dal Batiriatibati. Baati is cooked straight in the oven, whereas Bafla is boiled first and then baked. This technique softens Bafna Little. Dal Bafla is typically served with a basic malwa dal, or with Panchmel Dal, whichever you fancy.
Poha, Rogan Josh, Mutton Kababs, Chicken Biryani, Kheema, Sabudana Lassi, Moong Dal Halwa, Jalebi, Cashew Barfi, Kusli, Lavang Lata, are some of the many available dishes. The location is famous for its Bafla, delectable Ladoos, and Gulab Jamuns, and the best part is that these goods are conveniently available in every corner of Khajuraho and near the temple grounds. Local delicacies such as ‘chironji barfi' (a nut and condensed milk sweet) and ‘Ghol'(which is dried fruit, ghee and black sugar) can also be tried.
Khajuraho is home to some of the world's most beautiful and historic monuments! The Khajuraho Group of Monuments, essentially a collection of Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist temples, is famous for its beautiful nagara-style architecture that adorn its beauty. Some temples date back to the ninth century and have witnessed lives and culture of various kingdoms, notably the Chandela dynasty. Visiting the temples is unquestionably an important milestone for travellers in Khajuraho. Nagara-style buildings and sculptures. For an interesting religious journey, visit the temples of Ghantai, Matangeshwar, Vamana, Brahma, Jagdambi, Kandariya Mahadev, Adinath, and others.
After visiting temples, you can visit Western Group of Temples' music and light performance. This ticketed event promises to fulfil attendees' burning curiosity like nothing else, illustrating diverse historical and religious truths and civilizations from ancient times. While the temples are gorgeous on their own, the sound and light spectacle practically bathes them in a new light. The programme is shown in both English and Hindi. Learn more about the temple paintings, sculptures, and interesting stories that will leave you speechless.
The village of Khajuraho experiences the grandeur of the beautiful Khajuraho Dance Festival as the severe winter begins its trek towards the pleasant season of spring. The event, which is usually celebrated in the latter weeks of February, has a fascinating backdrop of magnificently lit Khajuraho Temples. The Dance Festival of Khajuraho is an interesting thing to see in Khajuraho and should not be missed! The Dance Festival attracts and includes many well-known performers. The adjacent Chitragupta Temple's splendour just adds to the excitement.
One of the most anticipated events in Khajuraho is Mahashivratri. It is a celebration honouring Lord Shiva. Devotees stay awake all night listening to hymns and religious texts on this day. The festival commemorates Lord Shiva's celestial marriage with Goddess Parvati. On this day, the lingam is decorated with leaves and flowers. Devotees shower the god with bel leaves and flowers.
Khajuraho is divided into two magnificent sections, but if you like to venture off the main path, the old town of Khajuraho is your best chance! The ancient town, which is filled with lovely rustic houses and mud houses, is paved with highways that are cleaner than any other Indian city. It is a vivid depiction of India's past in its totality. You are also given rare views into the odd lives of the inhabitants, and passing by females dressed in traditional clothes is not unusual. Investigate the indigenous lifestyles and customs of the ancient town. Only you will be able to witness the grandeur of true 'rural' India emerge. Over a warm cup of tea, engage in informative conversations with the locals.
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