Khajuraho TourismKhajuraho, a popular destination on the tourist map of India thrives on tourism and its ancillary industries. Built by the Chandela rulers in 950AD this ancient temple city houses 22 temples that are a stupendous architectural achievement of ancient India. The tourism industry of Khajuraho is centered around the temples which are located here. The main city is an otherwise agricultural town far removed from the bustling movement of domestic and international tourists. Once in Khajuraho there are lots of destinations to explore. Lets take look to the tourism scenario in Khajuraho.
Best Time to VisitThe best time to visit is from October to March. The summers are very hot and can be inconvenient to explore the temple area. Weather from October to March remains relatively cool helping the tourists to explore the region in detail. Further its in between these months when the world famous Khajuraho dance festivals are held attracting artists and guests from far and wide.
Places of Interest in KhajurahoYou will be happy to know that Khajuraho is listed among the 14 UNESCO world heritage sites in India. The main tourist attractions here are the temple complexes and the stunning frescoes and sculptures, which adorn the temple complexes. The temples are an architectural marvel and exhibit structural symmetry and showcase the sensuous and erotic sculptures inspired by the Kamasutra. The temples are clustered majorly into 3 complexes. The western cluster has temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Vishnu while the eastern cluster comprises the Jain temples and the Southern cluster comprised the Chaturbhuj and Dulhadeo temple. There are other single temples and all of them show great structural similarity.
Archeological survey of India has introduced Audio guides which are self guided audio tour facility for visitors. It allows visitors to experience the temples at their own pace and have access to factually correct information.
English and international languages- Rs.100+ taxes
Hindi and Indian languages- Rs.60+ taxes
Western Group of TemplesThis group comprises some of the most popular and much visited temples in the city. It is spread over an area of 11.3 hectares and consists mainly of the temples of Shiva and Vishnu. The major temple of this cluster is the Kandariya Mahadev temple. This temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is the largest amongst all the temples in Khajuraho with the Shikarareachinga upto 31m. This temple is famous for the erotic sculpture that covers the entire parikrama (circumambulation) of the temple.
The sculptures show enormous detail in every aspect of life and depict the mithunas in various stages of embrace. Chitragupta temple is another popular temple in this cluster and is the temple where the annual Khajuraho dance festival takes place. This temple is also abound with sculptures of yakshsis and mithunas depicting their everyday lives.Other famous temples of the western cluster are Chousath Yogini Temple, Lalgavan Mahadev temple, Hanuman temple, Devi Jagdamba temple, Chopara temple
Vishvanath and Nandi temple. Apart from these few mentioned there are numerous others to attract your eyes and attention.
Eastern Group of TemplesThese
temples of the eastern cluster are mainly the Jain and the Hindu
temples and are frequented by domestic travelers for religious worship.
These temples lie on the banks of the Khajur Sagar lake and are about a kilometer away from the western cluster. The themes of the sculptures of the eastern cluster are more related to daily life and activities though the erotic elements also predominate. The most important temple in this cluster is the Parsavnath temple, which is dedicated the Jain Tirthankara. Legend says that this temples was initially built for the first Jain Tirthankara, Lord Adinath, but the sculpture of Adinath was destroyed and the current one of Lord Parsavnath was later installed. Other famous temples of the eastern cluster are Khakramath temple, Shantinath temple, Vamana temple
Ghantai temple, Jawari temple and more.
Southern Group of TemplesThe Southern cluster is located at a distance from the other two clusters and is not as popular as the other two are. These temples are not as evolved as the other two temple clusters and bear a marked difference in treatment though they similar in style. The most important temple here is the Dulhadeo temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Chaturbhuja temple is the only temple in Khajuraho which is devoid of erotic elements and has no single sculpture dedicated to the larger theme of the temples of Khajuraho.
Architectural Style of the TemplesNoted for lofty terraces (jagati) and functionally effective plans comprising of an ardhamandapa, the mandapa, leading to garbha griha or sanctum, Khajuraho groups of temples are excellent pieces of architectural beauty. One can find mahamandapas in front of the ardhamandapa in almost every large temples of the area. They also have minor shrines at four corners and thus categorized as pancayatana. The temple consist of a distinct architectural style which comprises of a elevated sub structure, over which rises the main building covered with sculpted panels of open work galleries. This is crowned by a series of bundled towers with curvilinear contours, the Sikharas.The highest Shikaras are found over the temples of a main god. The temples are typical of the Nagara style of architecture and symbolize the cosmic mountain, Mount Kailasha. The temples have beautiful sculptures depicting various aspects of everyday life including sex, because according to the tantric tradition of the Chandela rulers, the union of male and female energy manifests itself in the cosmos and nothing can exist without the cooperation and coexistence of the two.
Sound and Light Show in KhajurahoEvery evening, the magic of Khajuraho comes alive in the form of the Sound and Light show which is organized in the western group of temples. The history of Khajuraho right from the 10th century to the present day is presented as narrated by the ‘master sculptor’. Narrated by the great Indian actor, Amitabh Bachchan, this 50-minute show runs in both English and Hindi every evening at 6.30pm.
Timings : English: 06:30 pm to 07:25 pm. Hindi: 07:40 pm to 08:35 pm.
Entry fees: Indian Adult: Rs. 120/-
Indian Child: Rs. 60/-
Foreign Adult: Rs. 350/-
Foreign child: Rs. 200/-
Khajuraho Dance Festival
Adventure Sports Festival in KhajurahoThis festival is organized during the month of February and is a one of a kind festival in the country. It is organized around the Benisagar dam which is spread over an area of 7.7 sqkm. The dam is an ideal picnic spot and has the river Khuddar flowing through the city of Khajuraho. The adventure sports, which form a part of the event, are hot air balloon, paragliding, water surfing, archery, rapelling, zorbing, banana ride, tent accommodation etc. Apart from this one can also indulge in leisure activities like fishing and angling in the quiet and serene atmosphere.
Panna National ParkLocated just 32 kms from Khajuraho, this national park is one of the popular tiger reserves in India. It also houses the breathtaking Pandav falls which offers spectacular views. There is also a crocodile sanctuary nearby and a few other falls at Rane near Ken river. Panna National park comes under the Project Tiger program and has been awarded the best tiger reserve in India in 2007. Panna has had an amazing turnaround story with reaching a near depletion of tiger population due to poaching to now having a very healthy numbers of tigers in the reserve. Apart from this there are also other animals like the Sambar deer, Chital, Sloth bear etc which can be sighted in the reserve.
Tourist Helplines and Information Centers in KhajurahoTourist Interpretation Center
Regional Office, Khajuraho
Tel : (07686) 274051
Fax : (07686) 272330
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Airport Tourist Office
Tel : (07686) 274648
Railway Tourist Office
Tel : (07686) 288880
How to Reach Khajuraho ?Khajuraho with robust transportation network is well connected to other parts of the country. It has an airport to cater to the increasing inflow of tourists and has good connectivity with Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, Allahabad etc. It is served by most of the major Indian carriers. Khajuraho railway station connects the city to nearby parts of Madhya Pradesh. Being small station it handles around 3,000 passengers every day. Other nearest rail line would be at Jhansi, which is 172 km away and lies on the Delhi line. The alternative station would be at Satna, which is 117km away and lies on the Mumbai-Allahabad line. The best way to reach from either of these stations is to take a bus or hire a taxi.
One can make use of the frequent bus service from every major city in Madhya Pradesh like Jhansi, Satna, Mahoba, Chhatarpur, Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Panna, Agra, Varanasi and Allahabad. One can also hire a taxi which offers more convenience and flexibility in exploring these temples at leisure.
Local Transportation in Khajuraho
Khajuraho is best explored either in foot or on a bicycle. Cycles offer the flexibility to explore the city and the temple complexes at leisure and are also a cheap and convenient option. One can hire cycles from near the western complex of temples at nominal rates. Apart from this, one can also hire auto rickshaws or for a more exotic experience can hire the horse drawn carriages.
Where to Stay in Khajuraho ?
Khajuraho caters to every traveler group right from backpackers looking for a bargain to high-end luxury travelers looking for all the comforts. Most of the hotels are conveniently located close to the temple groups so that reaching the temples is easy. Most of the hotels also provide add-on services like planning travel itineraries, booking tickets to shows and museums, arranging cabs etc. Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation also runs medium budget hotels with good amenities and is ideal for travelers who are looking for comfort and cost at the same time.
Address: By Pass Road, Khajuraho, Chhatarpur, MP, Sevagram, Khajuraho
Madhya Pradesh 471606
Phone:076 86 272777
The Lalit Temple View Khajuraho
Address: Opposite Circuit House, Sevagram, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh 471606
Phone:076 86 272333
Hotel Surya Khajuraho
Address: Jain Temple Road, Near Westurn Group Temple, Sevagram
Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh 471606
Phone:076 86 274145
Address: Jain Temple Road, Sevagram, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh 471606
Phone:076 86 274135
To know more about famous hotels in Khajuraho Click Here.
Shopping in Khajuraho
Khajuraho is a treasure trove for people looking to buy ethnic Indian art and craft. One can indulge in ethnic hand crafted apparel, textile, wood carving, metal work etc and the world famous Dhokra metal craft. The shops near the temple clusters are ideal for picking up replicas of the temples at a very nominal cost. They make ideal gifting options. People looking to buy highly artistic and curated work can head to the Adivart Tribal Art and Craft fair which has some of the best collections of the local artisans on display. Rajnagar, the main commercial center in the city has some of the best shops for bargain hunters looking to buy high quality stuff at attractive prices. In all we can say that shopping in Khajuraho could be exciting for every age group and gender.