Nestled in the heart of India, Khajuraho stands as a testament to the grandeur of ancient Indian architecture and the richness of its cultural heritage. It is renowned worldwide for its exquisite temples adorned with intricate carvings depicting scenes of love, life, and spirituality. Visitors to Khajuraho can experience a journey back in time to an era of artistic brilliance and spiritual fervour. Check out our comprehensive guide if you wish to delve into the history, temples, attractions and essential travel tips for experiencing the enchantment of Khajuraho.
Khajuraho is situated in the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh and was at its peak between the 9th and 12th centuries under the Chandela dynasty. It was during this period that the breathtaking temples, which are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, were constructed. Originally, there were approximately 85 temples, but only about 25 remain today, serving as a testimony to the architectural and artistic excellence of the Chandela craftsmen.
The temples of Khajuraho are divided into three groups: Western, Eastern, and Southern. Each group has its own architectural style and intricate carvings. The Western Group is the most well-known, comprising temples such as Kandariya Mahadeva, Lakshmana, and Vishwanath, which showcase stunning sculptures that depict various aspects of Hindu mythology, everyday life, and erotica. The Eastern Group offers a more serene atmosphere, with temples like Parsvanath and Ghantai known for their Jain architecture and exquisite carvings. The Southern Group, although less visited, offers gems like Dulhadev and Chaturbhuj, each with its own unique charm and historical significance.
The temples of Khajuraho were discovered in the 19th century by British army captain TS Burt. He found them hidden in dense forests. The carvings on the temples are not only erotic but also depict scenes from everyday life, mythical stories, and spiritual teachings. The temples were built using sandstone, and the carvings were originally adorned with vibrant colours, but much of it has faded over time.
The Western Group of temples in Khajuraho presents a captivating light and sound show in the evenings. This show narrates the history and legends of Khajuraho and takes place against the backdrop of illuminated temples.
Ajaigarh Fort is situated atop a hill that overlooks Khajuraho. It offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and provides insight into the region's military history.
Just a short drive from Khajuraho, you can find the mesmerising Raneh Falls. The Ken River cascades over rocky cliffs amidst a pristine natural setting, making it an ideal place to visit.
The ideal time to visit Khajuraho is from October to March when the weather is pleasant and the monsoon rains have transformed the landscape into a lush green paradise. Khajuraho offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to budget guesthouses, catering to every traveller's needs and preferences. The temples are conveniently located within close proximity to each other, making it easy to explore them on foot or by bicycle. Taxis and auto-rickshaws are also available for longer distances.
The Khajuraho Airport is the nearest airport from the monuments. Alternatively, you can also take a train if boarding from New Delhi, the Khajuraho-Hazrat Nizamuddin Express, which takes around 10 to 11 hours to reach Khajuraho.