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The state of Madhya Pradesh’s Khajuraho, which is a part of the Chhattarpur district, is well-known for its magnificent architecture. Jain, Buddhist, and Hindu temples may be found throughout the territory, which is both long and wide. The temples in the area are thought to have been constructed at various times, although most of them are thought to have been constructed between 950 and 1050 AD, during the Rajput Dynasty. The area is included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Both the erotic sculptures on the sites and the architectural symbolism are well known. The Chandela Rajputs were the most significant of the many dynasties that ruled over Khajuraho. The Bundelkhand monarchy controlled the area. Famous Persian historian Al-Baruni identified Khajuraho as Jahahuti’s capital city in his writings. The territory was attacked by Muhammad of Ghazini. The Moroccan traveler Ibn-Batuta also made reference to the temple village in his books. The settlement was first discovered and then rediscovered by the British, who ruled over it for a considerable amount of time while making detailed drawings and beginning preservation efforts.
Location: Madhya Pradesh
Nearest Airport: Khajuraho Airport
How to reach: By road from airport/railway station
Famous for: Khajuraho Group of Monuments
Best Time to Visit: October to March
WHAT TO SEE
Various Hindu and Jain temples
Khajuraho still has the essence of the Chandela Dynasty in its architecture and surroundings. The area falls near Bundelkhand, and hence, one will find the Bundeli dialect spoken by the natives. The residents of Khajuraho are festive people, celebrating festivals such as Diwali, Dussehra, Holi, etc. with all vigor. Mahashivratri is the prominent festival of the area, and the locals await it every year.
Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad organizes a week-long dance festival in February and March as well. This festival displays the diversity in the various folk dances of India, including Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Kathakali, etc.
Places of Interest:
Khajuraho Western and Eastern Set of Temples – The western set of the Khajuraho group of monuments is an array of the most magnificent temples and shrines. It constitutes the grand Kandariya Mahadev Temple, the humble Varaha Temple with its splendid pavilion, Devi Jagdambi Temple, which is decorated with highly detailed Khajuraho sculptures. A kilometer away from the western set of temples lies the eastern set. The eastern collection of temples is found in the ancient yet untouched village. The village has temples dedicated to Brahma, Vamana, and Javari. One can also spot the oldest images that can be found in Khajuraho on the statue of Hanuman.
Jain temples -The Chandelas in the 10th Century sponsored the construction of not only Hindu but also splendid Jain temples. The temples were destroyed during the reign of the Mughals and forgotten. The ruins were discovered by the British, and the temples were restored to their original grandeur. The Jain temple complex consists of Parshwanath Temple, Adinath Temple, and Ghantai Temple. The complex also has shops and a museum for tourists. One can also behold the Shantinath Temple, which was built on the ruins of ancient temples.
Light Show in Kandariya Mahadev Temple -Kandariya Mahadev temple is the largest temple in Khajuraho. The temple hosts a light and sound show in the twilight hours to enlighten the tourists about the myths, history, and legends of the Khajuraho temple art. The show also showcases the form of architecture used in temples as well as the erotic nature of scriptures.
Shilpa Gram -Shilpa Gram near Khajuraho brings you closer to the art and cultural heritage of India. The dance performances showcase various art forms, the crafts shops where one can find the perfect souvenir, the splendor of the ancient village, and lighthearted people who will woo the tourists.
Excursion to Panna National Park – Panna is famous for its mines of emeralds. The national park has jaw-dropping views with its lush greenery and hills. A safari through Panna National Park ensures you a sight of tigers and gharials, the reptile similar to crocodiles, only found in the Indian Subcontinent. The National Park has various splendid sights of waterfalls and majestic predators that can spark adrenaline in anyone’s mind.
Excursion to Raneh Falls: -Almost 20 kilometers from Khajuraho, the majestic waterfall can be found by wading into the woods. The beautiful and shining pink sandstone, the clean waters of Ken River, the variety of birds, and the soothing sounds of the waterfall make it a must-visit for Khajuraho sightseeing.
Khajuraho Dance Festival: Khajuraho Dance Festival is a week-long celebration of different and diverse dance forms from all over India. Professional folk dancers come here to display and spread the art of their respective folk dances. Dances like Kuchipudi, Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Kathakali, Manipuri, Kathak, etc. will mesmerize with their beautiful style and precise movements.
What to eat:
There are cafes and restaurants near the temple complexes which offer all kinds of foods: from local to continental. One can enjoy the local tastes in the village of Khajuraho, and the hotels can provide specific choices for tourists.
How to Reach:
One can opt for the road route from any of the cities near Khajuraho, such as Satna, Jhansi, Bhopal, Gwalior, etc. If one wishes to take the route of the train, one can opt for New Delhi to Khajuraho train, which drops you at Khajuraho station, 5 kilometers away from the city. Another such option is from Varanasi to Khajuraho. For the air route, one can travel to Indore, Bhopal, Mumbai, or such and travel through the road from there. The Khajuraho Airport, 8 kilometers away from the city, is connected to New Delhi and Varanasi now.
Where to stay:
Khajuraho receives an array of tourists throughout the year and has a variety of luxurious hotels that suit the needs of everyone. They offer delectable local cuisine and all modern amenities. Here are our best suggestions:
The Lalit Temple View – The hotel is a five-star hotel with proximity to the railway station. It offers a splendid view of the Khajuraho group of monuments.
Raddison Jass – The hotel promises the best comfort after a winding day from Khajuraho sightseeing and traveling. It offers peace of mind with its amenities.
Ramada by Wyndham – The hotel is located near Panna National Park and offers all the luxuries one may need while traveling. The beautiful view of the forest fills the eyes with wonder.