Temple town of Khajuraho is much different from any other temple city of India. It is not about religion and worshipping and deities. The temples of Khajuraho are instead famous for the eroticism etched on its walls in the form of sculptures. An amalgamation of science and art of architecture, these 10th-11th century temples have a very interesting legend behind them that connects them to the origin of Chandela dynasty. It is said that in a fit of passion and lust, the Moon God seduced and ravaged a beautiful Brahmin girls known as Hemvati, resulting in the birth of Chandravarman (the founder of the Chandela dynasty). Later, Chandravarman had a dream where his mother requested him to make a temple, which would reveal all aspects of the treasure of passion and erotic fantasy to the world.
Thus he brought an artistic revolution by building the famous Khajuraho
temples, in the town, which was his capital. Some people also believe
these erotic art forms to be the visual depiction of Kamasutra, art of
sex or the relations between Shiva and Parvati, the divine couple.
Khajuraho temples got lost into obscurity and were only discovered by
chance but they quickly became India's second most favored tourist
destination after Taj Mahal. This temple complex is perhaps the largest
group of medieval temples. Other than eroticism, these sculptures also
depict other refined courtly accomplishments such as music and dance.
Only 22 temples have survived out of the original 85 temples. It
displays one of the most unique stone-carving work and was declared a
World Heritage Site in 1986.
Location: In Madhya Pradesh, India.
Significance:Well-known for the sculptures in erotic poses in its temples.
Climate:Khajuraho has extreme tropical climate with temperature as high as 47°C in summers and as low as 4°C in winters.
How to Reach:
By Air: Khajuraho has daily domestic flights to and from Agra, Varanasi and Kathmandu.
By Train:The nearest railway stations to Khajuraho are Mahoba, Satna and Jhansi. All of these are well connected to most of the major cities of India.
By Road:Khajuraho has frequent bus services and good roads to and from the major cities of India including Panna, Mahoba, Satna, Jabalpur, Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore, Agra and Jhansi.
The two distinctive group of temples of Khajuraho
have dozens of souvenir stalls, hotels and restaurants at their
entrances from where one can buy mementos and gifts for their loved ones
back at home. Since it is the second most visited tourist destination in
India (after Taj Mahal), it is not surprising to see signboards posted
here in different languages as little boys efficient in number of
languages peddling handicrafts and mineral water. It is even surprising
to note how these little peddlers switch from Spanish to German to
French, trying to sell a trinket to you almost forcibly.
Temples of Khajuraho
It took more than 200 years to complete elaborately carved Khajuraho
temples that are planned in a similar pattern. Built in the central
Indian temple architectural style, the uninhibited and graceful erotic
sculptures of Khajuraho temples are known for their paramount
architectural balance and exquisiteness. The temple plans range from the
simple ones to the most inspired ones. The lovely temples can be divided
into three broad groups, namely, the Eastern group, the Southern group
and the Western group. However, the Western group is not only the
largest one but also the one, which is most easily accessible.
1. The Eastern Group takes in five
isolated sub-group of temples situated in and around the present town of
Khajuraho. Along with the three Brahmanical temples more commonly spoken
of as temples of Brahma, Vamana and Javari, the three Jain temples of
the deities Ghantai, Adinath and Parsvanath fall under this group.
2. The Southern Group is situated
at the most distant location and includes mainly the two temples of
Duladeo and Chaturbhuja, which are situated near and across the
3. The Western Group is the
largest of all the temple groups of Khajuraho. It is not compact and
located in the center but also include the most renowned and noteworthy
monuments built during the reign of the Chandela rulers. They are also
known to have been maintained well by the Archaeological Survey of India
and the lush green lawns surrounding them with multihued shrums and
fragrant blossoms add to their beauty. The most prominent temples of the
group are the Lakshmana Temple, the Matangesvara Temple and the Varaha
Temple that are a part of a single complex, the Visvanatha and Nandi
temples situated near the above-mentioned complex and the Chitragupta,
Jagadambi and the Kandariya Mahadeo temples a little to the west of the
Khajuraho is known for the beautifully sculpted figures in its 10th-11th century temples.