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Khajuraho, a part of the Chhattarpur district of the state of Madhya Pradesh is known across the globe for its stunning architecture. The region several Jain, Buddhist and Hindu temples spread all across its length and breadth. The temples in the region are estimated to be built in various timelines, but most of them date back to between 950AD to 1050AD during the period of Rajput Dynasty. The region is on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sites are known for its architectural symbolism and also the erotic sculptures on them. Khajuraho has been ruled by several dynasties and the most important of them were the Chandela Rajputs. The region belonged to the Bundelkhand kingdom. Al-Baruni a famous Persian historian has mentioned Khajuraho in his works as the capital city of Jahahuti. Muhammad-of Ghazini invaded the region. Ibn-Batuta, a Moroccan traveller has also mentioned the temple town in his writings. The town was discovered and rediscovered by the British and was under her Majesties empire for a long period of time during which extensive drawing were made and preservation work started.
Hindus are in majority in the region but the influence of other religions is equally seen in its culture and traditions. The region is home to several communities like the Gonds, bhils, and oraons. The culture of the region is varied and beautiful. Today you can see a mix of these cultures in the life> popular especially the folk. The region in fact has three Gharanas of Indian classical music. The people here are well trained in playing of Flute and Harmonium. The dance > region include Matki, Ahiri, Rai, Saila, Gangaur and others.
Where to go
Vishwanath temple is a massive structure with main shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. The deity is in the form of a Linga representing the infinite nature of Lord Shiva. The other deity is that of Lord Brahma. There is a huge sculpture of Nandi the bull is also there in the premises. The construction of the temple dates back to 1002 AD. The temple has several elaborately carved figures which extend till the top of the temple. Another beautify temple is the Lakshmana Temple which dates back to around 954AD. It belongs to the western group of temples. The entrance of the temple has a horizontal beam which has the trinity sculpted on it. The temple has beautiful fine carving all along especially in the southern side of the temple. Originally dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Devi Jagdamba Temple is one of the most beautiful structures of the region. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali and has an idol of Goddess Paravati too. The temple is said to be older than Chitragupta temples because of its carvings and erosion of the rock. Kandariya Temple is the most frequented temple of them all and dates as back as 1025AD. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and hence is also known by the name Kandariya Mahadev Temple. The temple is carved with elaborate extensive figures most of which are about 3 ft in height and there are around 800 of these. The temple is a magnificent sandstone structure and the carvings on the walls give a new direction about the ancient Indian ideologies. Other places to visit in Khajuraho are Dulhadev Temple, Adinath Temple, Laxmi Temple and others. Every few kilometres in each of the directions are beautiful temples and sites to visit. The locals will be happy to take you around these and tell stories associated with them.
What to do
Visit the Khajuraho Dance festival held in February annually. See the light and sound show at Kandariya Mahadev Temple.
What to eat
Jowar and wheat is the staple food of the region. Bafla, a kind of wheat cakes, is the traditional dish of the region. The people here eat a protein rich diet which consists of lentils regularly. The food of the region is delicious and main course is more often than not accompanied by fruits. The sweets of the region are quite mouth watering like jelebi, kusli and burfi.
How to reach
Khajuraho has its own airport. The airport is well connected to major cities of India. Also there are regular flights from cities like Mumbai, Delhi, and Bhopal etc to Khajuraho. The town has its own railway station which is well connected to rest of India. There are frequent trains from cities like Indore, Bhopal, Mumbai, Delhi etc to Khajuraho. Khajuraho has a well developed road network which is well connected to rest of India. There are regular bus services to and from Khajuraho from places like Delhi, Indore, Bhopal and other nearby places.
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