The bewitching city of Khajuraho (590 km southeast of Delhi) is located in the state of Madhya Pradesh in Central India. It has a quaint charm and a rich cultural legacy of its own.
The city is internationally renowned for its exquisite Khajuraho group of Temples. The temples are an eternal gift of sensual love to the world.
Khajuraho Air Service has directed links with Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, and Kathmandu. Mahoba (64 km) and Harpalpur (94 km) are the closest railheads. However, the convenient railheads are Jhansi (175 km) and Satna (117 km). Khajuraho is connected by regular bus services to places like Mahoba, Satna, Harpalpur, Jhansi, Gwalior, Bhopal, Jabalpur and Agra. Khajuraho is 590 km from Delhi via Gwalior and Jhansi.
Khajuraho faces extremes of temperature during the summers, with temperature touching a high of 45 degrees centigrade. During the winter temperature drops down to a minimum of 4 degrees. July to August is the time of the monsoons. The average annual rainfall of the city records 1120 mm.
The construction of the Khajuraho group of temples dates back between 950 and 1050 AD. The magnificent temples were erected during the reign of the Chandela empire. The name ‘Khajuraho’ is derived from the word ‘Khajur’ meaning date palm tree and trees are present in the village in abundance. There were a total of 85 temples, of which only 22 stand today. The Khajuraho group of temples are considered to be the finest example of Indian architectural genius in the medieval period. Depending on their geographical locations the temples have been categorized into the western, the eastern and the southern group of temples.
The Kandariya Mahadeo Temple is the most prominent and the largest structure at Khajuraho. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Chaunsath Yogini temple is dedicated to goddess Kali. The temple depicts sensuous couples. The Chitragupta temple is devoted to the Sun god. A tri-headed image of Lord Brahma is enshrined in the Vishwanath temple.
The eastern group of temples can further be divide into Jain Temples and yet another group that is scattered through the small village. Parsvanath Temple is the largest of the groups. The Ghantai Temple represents Jainism. The temple bears a frieze depicting the 16 dreams of Lord Mahavira’s mother and a Jain goddess on a winged Garuda. The Adinath Temple stands in dedication to the Jain saint Adinath.
The southern group consists of the Duladeo Temple and the Chaturbhuj Temple. The Duladeo temple is among the latest built temple at Khajuraho and bears figures of Mithuna and women in various sexual postures. Inside the Chaturbhuj Temple is enshrined a 3-meter image of Lord Vishnu.
Entry fee for foreign nationals is Rs. 200 while for Indians it is Rs. 50 per head. The visiting hours are from 08-00 hours to 14-00 hours.
The Banisagar Lake(11 km) and the Ranguan Lake(25 km) are popular picnic spots. Visitors can enjoy the scenic beauty of the places, indulging themselves in activities like boating and fishing at the same time. For angling, the permission of the Assistant Director Fisheries Department, Nowgong, Madhya Pradesh is mandatory.
The legendary Pandav Waterfall is located at a distance of 30 km from the village of Khajuraho and is believed to have served as a sanctuary for the Pandavas of Mahabharata.
The Sound and Light Show also attracts a huge crowd. And to the amazement of all, Amitabh Bachchan, the Bollywood superstar, narrates the story of Khajuraho in his own mesmerizing voice. The 50-minute show runs in the complex of the western group of temples. The entry fee for Indians is Rs. 50 and for foreigners it is Rs. 200.
Hotel Chandela, a 5-star deluxe Government approved, provides fine accommodation. There are a total of 94 rooms in the hotel. Hotel Clark Khajuraho( on the Airport Road), is a 3-star Government approved hotel which has 104 rooms and provides all the basic amenities. Jass Oberoi is a 5-star on the By-pass Road. Usha Bundela, a 3-star Government approved, lies on the Temple Road.
Khajuraho is paved with numerous shops selling souvenirs and handicrafts made by the local artisans. Outside the temple gates, there are smaller stalls selling souvenirs that are truly interesting to buy. On Tuesdays, a weekly market is held at Rajinagar which is a 5-km distance from Khajuraho. Silver goods and brassware can be had in this market.
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