The Temples of Khajuraho are India’s unique gift to the world, representing, as they do, a paean to life, to love to joy; perfect in execution and sublime in expression. The amazingly short span of 100 years, from 950 AD – 1050 AD, saw the completion of all the temples, in an inspired burst of creativity. Today, of the original 85, only 22 have survived the ravages of time; these remain as a collective paean to life, to joy and to creativity; to the ultimate fusion of man with his creator. This wonderful group of temples shows the life and times of the great Chandela Kings and traces the story during 10th and 11th centuries. The magnificent temples of the Western Group were accorded the World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 1986.
Khajuraho is situated in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh. Chhatarpur district is a part of Bundelkhand region. Bundelkhand is known for its rich culture, local customs and traditions, and heritage. There are various monuments and heritage attractions which showcase the glorious history of this region. Khajuraho, Panna, Orchha, Dhubela, Kalinjar, Chitrakot, Maihar, Jatashankar temple etc alike numerous sites come under Bundelkhand region.
So, this season we planned to visit Khajuraho Group of Temples and Jatashankar Temple.
Take Intercity Express from Gwalior at 13:35 and reached Khajuraho by 19:00. It was a comfortable journey. Check into a hotel.
Next day we book a cab and went out for Jatashankar Temple.
Jatashankar Temple: Jatashankar is situated in Bijawar town i.e 70 km from Khajuraho. It is a very beautiful Shiva temple surrounded by green mountains. Pilgrims from all over country visit and take blessings. Beside by a beautiful waterfall, this temple is located atop of mountains, so the visitor has to reach there by pedestrians. This location is a perfect place to take blessings and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Reached by 12:00 Noon. Climbed the stairs and reached temple campus. Took bath in the waterfall and then worshiped at Shiva temple. Back to our parking by 3:00 pm. Drove back to Khajuraho and reached by 5:00 pm. Lunch at Dhaba
Take rest in the hotel and now time for Light and Sound Show of Khajuraho.
Next day, Woke up late. Planned to visit Temple of Khajuraho. Decided to go Western Group of temples. Now very far from my hotel So started walking and reached there in next 10 mins.
Western Group of Temples: These are the most visited temples of Khajuraho, the group to which the largest – Kandariya Mahadev, the most popular- Matangeshwar Mahadev, the oldest- Chausath Yogini and the 13 other temples. These world famous temples belong to Nagara Style of architecture and are surrounded by a beautiful park.
Here I started from
Varaha Temple: The Varaha Temple, dedicated to the boar incarnation of Vishnu, is a modest shrine built entirely of sandstone. Beautifully stone carved 9 feet statue of the boar was looking very attractive. Statue of the boar was carved all over with multiple sculptures of Hindu deities.
Matangeshwar Temple: It considered to be the holiest temple of this region. Within the sanctum is a stupendous polished linga, about 2.4 m in height and 1m in diameter. Lakhs of pilgrims visit this holiest shrine of Khajuraho on Mahashivratri. It is decorated with flowers and sandalwood on festivals.
Lakshman Temple: This is a Vaishnav temple and its platform has a series of battle scenes, hunting expeditions, processions and scene of daily life. The lintel over the entrance of temple shows the trinity of Lord Bramha, Vishnu and Shiva. The sculptures carved outside wall of the temple was amazing
Lakshmi Temple: It was small temple situated opposite to Lakshman Temple dedicated to Hindu Goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth, fortune, and prosperity.
Kandariya Mahadev Temple: The most popular and the grandest among all temples of Khajuraho, Kandariya Mahadev temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Its height is 31 m seems like mountain ranges. Both the interior and the exterior walls of the temple are exquisitely carved with figures of gods and goddesses, warriors and acrobats, musicians, hunters and mythical animals, as well as the scenes of erotic groupings, unabashedly sensuous and vibrantly alive. There are more than 900 figures who beauty attracted tourists from all over the world.
Devi Jagadambi Temple: Jagdambi Temple shares the platform with the Kandariya Mahadev. Jagdambi Temple was originally dedicated to Lord Vishnu as the four-armed Vishnu statue on the sanctum doorway. Its ceiling is richly embellished and the outside walls have fine figures of gods and goddesses, Surasundaris and erotic couples.
Chitragupt Temple: The only temple in Khajuraho dedicated to the Sun God, Surya. It is one of the few shrines in India dedicated to Surya. An ornate doorway leads to the sanctum which enshrines a 5 feet high standing image of the deity riding a chariot of seven horses.
Vishwanath Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the architecture indicates that it was built in the early 11th century. The sanctum once enshrined two Shivalingas, one of emerald and the other of stone, but now only the latter remains. Facing the temple is a colossal Nandi bull while to the southwest is a small Parvati Temple.
It was an amazing experience the Khajuraho group of Temples. Back to Hotel and took a Video Coach Bus and to the city.
Other must visit places in Khajuraho:
Eastern group and Southern group: The other groups of temples in Khajuraho are the Eastern group around Brahma and the Vamana Temples and the Southern group around Duladeo and Chaturbhuj temples.
Tribal Folk Art Museum makes for a pleasant break from the sensory overload of the Khajuraho temples. The small museum houses a good collection of folk art from across the state including items of metalwork, terracotta, and woodwork.
Timings: 9 am to 4 pm, Entry fee: Rs 10 (Indians)
The Archaeological Museum, established in 1910, exhibits some of the most outstanding objects of Chandella art and is well worth a visit.
Timings: 9 am to 4 pm, Entry fee: Rs 5
Khajuraho Festival of Dances is held every year in February-March and it is a good time to visit Khajuraho. It draws the best classical dancers from across the country. This culturally rich, a week dance festival showcases the diversity of India. Classical Dances like Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Manipuri, Kuchipudi, Kathakali etc and various Folk Dances etc performed by dancers. The festival is a unique treat for connoisseurs from across the world. For details log on to www.mpculture.in.
How to Reach:
Airways: Khajuraho Airport (HJR) which is directly connected with New Delhi and Varanasi.
Railways: Khajuraho Railway Station (KURJ) is connected with cities like New Delhi, Udaipur, Jaipur, Agra, Kanpur, Gwalior, Jhansi etc.
Roadways: Buses facilities are always available for all near cities like Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Allahabad etc.
Where to Stay: All categories of Hotels and Resorts available in Khajuraho. Some of them are Hotel Jhankar, Hotel Payal and Tourist Village of MP Tourism. Others are Taj, Radisson, Lalit, Jass Trident etc.
I have been nominated by Simran from Tripscam for ‘Travel Expert Awards-2017’ and asked to take up the challenge of drafting a 3-day Khajuraho itinerary. Thank you Tripscam, it is an honour to be nominated. Just the kind of encouragement bloggers like me need!
My nominations for Trip Expert 2017 Awards
Passing the baton to you guys:
- Aditi Shukla of Lyf & Spice
- Abhishek and Neha of A Revolving Compass
- Sibananda Bhanja of ClicksbySiba
Here is what you have to do: Read the Rules for Trip Expert 2017 Award Accept the nomination and publish a post on planning the trip.