The Khajuraho complex always remains unique and famous in the temple architecture of India. The Chandela rulers built these temples around 950 AD-1050 AD. There were 85 temples, which were built, and only 22 of them survive today. Spread over an area of approximately 20 square kilometer on the North Eastern part of Madhya Pradesh (heart of India). It is a major tourist archaeological site. Khajuraho is also referred to as Kama sutra temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Jain deities. The temples are famous for the exquisite work of art and sculpture on the walls that depict the inner human feelings. The temples are lofty with ample walking space separating them. The interior rooms are inter-connected. Each contain an entrance, a hall, a vestibule and a sanctum. Windows were added to the larger temples to add a feeling of space and light. They are divided into three sections according to their location:
Western– On the main road, (beside the path leading to the Matangeshwar Temple) there is an ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) counter where you can purchase a ticket to visit the western group of temple.
It is the largest complex of the three and comprises some of the most famous temples of Khajuraho.
- Kandariya Mahadev Temple– It is studded with several statues and designs dedicated to Shiva and is the largest temple of Khajuraho.
- Lakshmana Temple– Dedicated to God Vishnu, It is one of the oldest in the Khajurahi fields and is situated near Kandariya Mahadev Temple. It is decorated and covered completely with images of over 600 Gods (Hindu Pantheon)
- Chousath Yogini Temple – Dedicated to 64 Yoginis i.e. Mother Goddess Shakti. It is built in granite. It is situated in an open courtyard on the bank of Shivsagar Lake with small temples surrounding it.
- Vishwanath Temple – Dedicated to Shiva, the temple enshrines not only a Shiva lingam but also his vehicle: the bull Nandi, as well as an image of his consort depicted as Durga. In another subsidiary corner shrine, there is an image of the Shiva lingam with four faces attached. The sculptures are striking in the carving.
- Jagadambi Temple (age certain)- It is one of the most finely decorated temples at Khajuraho, with numerous erotic carvings, There is an enormous image of the goddess Devi, though it was probably originally designed as a Vishnu Temple.
Southern– Sacred Temles can be found 5 km from the Khajuraho town and slightly located away from the other temples. It includes only two temples:
- Duladeo Temple– It is also known as the Groom Temple. There is a pciture of Shiva on the lintel of the entry to the underground garbh griha (main house). The sanctum has a holy Shiva Lingam. The entire temple is decorated with carvings of Shiva and Parvati.
- Chaturbhuja Temple– Dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It has a large 9ft designed picture of Lord Vishnu brought from Tibet. In addition, the Temple also has another incarnation of Vishnu known as the ‘Narasingha Avatar’.
Eastern– A km distance or a 10 minute walk away from the Western group of temples is the Khajur Sagar and the old village if Khajuraho. A number of Jain temples are located in the eastern complex. It includes four temples:
- Bramha Temple– Dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Lord Bramha’s forehead is without the ornamental styles, sculptures and architectures. Instead, there is an easy framework and is created along with a pyramidal spire made up of sandstones. At the entry, on the either part, you can see the sacred Ganga and holy Yamuna.
- Vamana and Javari Temples– These are two sacred temples devoted to Lord Vishnu. The Vamana temple resembles the incarnation of Lord Vishnu’s puffy and dwarfed face. Javari temple is named after the millet crop that is grown in the nearby fields.
- Parshvanatha Temple– Parashvanatha forehead is the largest Jain forehead at Khajuraho and is devoted to the first Jain holy Tirthankara Adinatha. The forehead includes wonderful sculptures and styles on the external walls of beautiful apsaras (fairies), sacred vyalas and other animals. It also includes Hindu deities like Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Lord Bramha, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The temple has pierced windows.
- Ghantai Temple– It is named after the gong. It has decorative roof, the lintel, entry and area have lived through. The higher lintels represents styles of the 16 excellent signs of the Jain sacred Digambra where as the primary lintel represents the Jain goddess Chakreshwari driving Garuda.
- The renowned Khajuraho is having a household terminal known as Town Airport Khajuraho area. It is situated at only 2 kms south of Khajuraho city. Now routes from city of Delhi as well as Varanasi city are managing for Khajuraho.
The world famous Khajuraho has its own railway station, which is just around 5km from the renowned places of Khajuraho. All the trains from significant places in India stop at the Mahoba station. From here one can seek the services of a cab or bus to reach world famous Khajuraho.
List of some trains from some nearby city to Khajuraho
- Uttar Pradesh state Sampark Kranti- Starts from Delhi
- Bundelkhand Express- Starts from Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)
- Jhansi Khajuraho Express- Starts from Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh)
- Udaipur City Khajuraho Express- Starts from Udaipur (Rajasthan)
- Kanpur Khajuraho Traveler- Starts from Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh)
The world famous Khajuraho is well linked with many places in and around of Madhya Pradesh by roads. Roads from all major cities nearby and far connect Madhya Pradesh with a variety of some 75 roads. Local transportation and personal providers offer common, semi-deluxe and elegant vehicles for visiting Khajuraho. Private cabs and trainers are also available.
Distance to world famous Khajuraho from some nearby cities:
- Distance from Satna 115 Kms Approx 2 and half hour drive
- Distance from Jhansi 175 Kms Approx 3 hour drive
- Distance from Kanpur 210 Kms Approx 4 hour drive
- Distance from Allahabad 315 Kms Approx 5 hour 20 min drive
- Distance from Gwalior 280 Kms Approx 5 and a half hour drive
- Distance from Lucknow 300 Kms Approx 5 hour 45 min drive
- Distance from Bhopal 370 Kms Approx 7 hour drive
- Distance from Agra 409 Kms Approx 7 and a half hour drive
- Distance from Delhi 650 Kms Approx 10 hour drive
Note: Distances and drive mentioned above are all approximate distances and drive time to Khajuraho. Actual may vary by some units. Time may depend upon the traffic and road conditions.
Getting Around Khajuraho
An excellent way to discover around the location and see the sacred temples in world famous Khajuraho is by leasing a motorcylce or strolling around. Leased vehicles, pattern rickshaws and equine golf trolleys (popularly known as Tongas) are the regularly used as method of trasnportation within the location. The western record of sacred remples is near to the location and transportation is only needed to see the rest of the two places of sacred temples.