A travel Guide to Khajuraho
Khajuraho is a small town, located about 175 kms southeast of Jhansi, in the Chhatarpur District of Madhya Pradesh in India. Three groups of enchanting Hindu and Jain temples make Khajuraho, India famous as a Unesco World Heritage Site. Khajuraho tourism attracts people from all across the world as the intricate rock carvings and marvellous Nagara style architecture of these temples are some of the finest forms of temple art.
These ancient temples were built during the reign of the Chandela Dynasty between 950 and 1050 AD. Out of the original 85 temples, only 22 have survived the ravages of nature and destruction. These were rediscovered by a British army engineer, Captain T. S. Burt in the year 1838. The temples have been classified into the Western Group, the Eastern Group and the Southern Group of Temples. According to legends, the temples had a couple of golden date-palm trees as their gate. The name, ‘Khajuraho’ was derived from ‘Khajuraho meaning date palm. The erotic sculptures of some of the temples depicting the Kamasutra are among the primary Khajuraho tourist attractions. These magnificent temples portray a perfect balance between architecture and sculpture.
Apart from the temples, your Khajuraho tour itinerary can easily include visits to the Panna National Park and Raneh Waterfalls. Also, there are many hotels in Khajuraho suiting the budget of all kinds of visitors.
Places to Visit in Khajuraho
1. Kandariya Mahadev Temple
2. Lakshmana Temple
3. Raneh Falls
4. Beni Sagar Dam
5. Ajaigarh Fort
Things To Do in Khajuraho
There is no dearth of options for travellers in this city. In this travel guide, let’s check out some of the most interesting things to do in Khajuraho.
Light and Sound Show at the Western Group of Temples
If you plan to spend a night in Khajuraho, you should positively make it a point to witness the spectacular Light and Sound Show performed at the Western Group of Temples. The rich baritone of veteran actor Mr Amitabh Bachchan leaves you awestruck as you listen to the captivating folklores and watch the folk dances accompanied by Indian classical music. The multi-colour laser lights bathe the magnificent temples in an array of beautiful colours adding to the splendour of the show. These are paid shows which are held every evening inside the temple gardens and you should cross-check the timings with the authorities when buying the tickets. The shows are held in both English and Hindi and are considered among the top Khajuraho attractions.
Explore Wildlife at Panna National Park
Founded in 1981, the Panna National Park is situated about 57 kms from Khajuraho and spread across 543 square kms. It is India’s 22nd tiger reserve and also hosts many rare endangered species like cheetah, wild dog, hyena, nilgai, sloth bear, chital, sambar and chinkara. Wildlife enthusiasts can also spot around 200 species of exotic birds here that include white-necked stork, honey buzzard, king vulture, blossom-headed parakeet and paradise flycatcher. You can take fun-filled jeep safaris, boat rides or elephant rides inside the park. You also get an opportunity to stay at the cottages and rest houses made in the forest. Another important part of Khajuraho tourism, the cascading Pandava Falls awaits nature lovers here as they stop to rejuvenate their souls.
Witness Khajuraho Dance Festival
A Khajuraho travel guide is incomplete without mentioning the Khajuraho Dance Festival, usually held during the last week of February. Performed inside a massive open auditorium in the backdrop of the amazingly lit Chitragupta and Vishwanatha temples of the Western Group of Temples, the Khajuraho Dance Festival should never be missed. Many famous dancers and artists come here to perform the various classical Indian dance forms like Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi and Kathakali to name a few. Recently some modern dance forms have also added to the charm of the festival.
Explore History at State Museum of Tribal and Folk Art
You can spend some quality time exploring the rich history of Khajuraho at the State Museum of Tribal and Folk Art inside the Chandala Cultural Complex. The museum is a treasure of some of the most ancient relics and artefacts and also has a lovely art gallery exhibiting the exquisite tribal handicrafts. It is a well-maintained repository of masks, terracotta sculptures, folk paintings, bamboo articles and other articles of culture and tradition. The museum captures your interest instantly and does not fail to satiate the curiosity of the travellers and patrons of art. Among all Khajuraho tourist places, it holds its own importance.
Best Time to Visit Khajuraho
Located in central India, Khajuraho has a warm tropical climate with sultry summers when temperatures can reach as high as 45-degree centigrade in the afternoon. The best season to visit Khajuraho would be during the winter months from October till February when the weather is quite pleasant. It is the ideal time for sightseeing and taking temple tours. One can also easily roam around the museums without feeling tired. Apart from that, the much-awaited Khajuraho Dance Festival takes place in February, so late winter should be the best time to visit Khajuraho. Summers and monsoons are not considered ideal as the heat and humidity can spoil your plans.
How to Reach Khajuraho
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Khajuraho is well connected to the rest of the country by airways, railways and roadways. As such passengers travel to and from the town at all times of the year.
Khajuraho has a domestic airport located at a distance of around 2 kms from the south of the town. Most of the major carriers operate flights to Khajuraho from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal and Varanasi. These are mainly stopover flights. International travellers can take flights from Mumbai and Delhi. Passengers can avail of local cabs to reach any destination from the airport.
Though Khajuraho has its own railway station, only a few trains stop here. One such train is Khajuraho-Hazrat Nizamuddin Express, which runs daily to and from Delhi. The nearest major railway station is Mahoba Junction, approximately 75 kms away from Khajuraho.
Khajuraho is nicely linked to nearby cities and towns with a regular bus network. Many buses ply from Khajuraho to cities like Satna, Jhansi, Chhatarpur, Jabalpur, Mahoba, Bhopal, Indore, etc. Passengers can choose from ac, non-ac and deluxe buses depending upon their preferences.