The heart of the country is home to one of the many architectural wonders that make India extremely rich in heritage and culture. The famous Khajurao set of temples lie in the state of Madhya Pradesh, enchanting thousands of tourists each year, who venture here to see the famed erotic sculptures. A UNESCO World Heritage site, these temples are one of the top attractions of the country.
In the 10th to 12th centuries, the city of Khajurao was home to a certain clan of the royal Rajputs – the Chandelas! The Chandelas are said to have been the creators of these fantastic temples that depict daily life in the sculptors. It took 200 years to build the structure and the Chandelas made Khajurao their cultural capital. Though they ruled from another region, this always remained the seat of culture.
About the Temples
The sandstone structures are grouped in three geographical divisions – western, eastern and southern. Though made out of sandstone, not a single mortar was said to be used while building these. Stones were placed together with the help of mortise and tenon joints and held together with the help of gravity. There were originally 80 temples, of which only about 25 are still standing. These are scattered over an area of 20 kms.
The deities inside the sanctum were never flanked by any erotic sculptures. These were part of the depiction on the outer walls about daily life or probably inclining people to leave sexual desires outside the temple. Many theories have developed as to the display of these in a comparatively conservative society like India.
Not to Miss
The light and sound show is organised every day at the Khajurao Temples which is a good way to understand the history and orient yourself to the place. The show is held on both English and Hindi.
The Khajurao Dance Festival is a rapidly growing attraction for many. The festival is organised in February.
Indians need to pay Rs 10/- to enter the temple complex and the fee is US$5.00 for foreign nationals. However, please check the rates before entering as they may be subject to change.
The temples open at sunrise and close after the sun sets.
Best Season to Go
Located in the heart of the nation, Khajurao gets very hot during the summers. The best time to visit ifs between October and March.
How to get there
The best way to get to Khajurao, other than a direct flight to Khajurao Airport, is by train. Agra is will connected to Khajurao by two regular trains. The other connection to Khajurao is via Jhansi, where you will have to travel by the road. It takes approximately 4 hours on this route.
Other Things to Do
This region can well be called the wildlife hub of India, as three major national parks are situated here. Spend some time by extending your itinerary to cover Panna, Kanha and Bandhavgarh. Another interesting place off Khajurao is Orchha, a city of forts and grandeur.