The word Khajuraho was derived from the Hindi word khajur meaning date palm. It is seen that the entrance had two golden khajur trees carved on them. Khajuraho is a popular tourist destination in India famous for its figurines. The temples of Khajuraho are well known for their breathtaking sculptures and widespread compilation of medieval temples.
Khajuraho, though a small town is easily accessible by air, rail and road. Within Khajuraho you can easily find local cabs and rickshaws to travel. The nearest railway stations to Khajuraho are located at Jhansi and Satna. Satna and Jhansi connect Khajuraho by road and there are regular bus services available. It takes 5-6 hours by bus and 3-4 hours by car to reach Khajuraho. This place is connected by road to other towns in India too.
The temples were built for over a hundred years between 950 and 1050 AD. Originally there were 80 temples built on an area of 8 square miles, only 22 temples are in an intact state as of date. The temples were lost in ruins over a period and were rediscovered in the 20th century. Meanwhile the jungles had caused enough damage to the temples. Khajuraho has been declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO.
Khajuraho is divided into three geological groups namely the Western, Eastern and Southern. Excluding few temples, there is no puja offered in any of the temples in Khajuraho. An entry fee is charged for visiting the temples and all temples are open from morning till evening. Sculptures at the temples at Khajuraho celebrate the theme of womanhood. You can find women in different moods, be it dancing with abandon or seductively beautiful. Few sculptures are based on erotic and sexual themes.
The Western group: This group is perhaps the most famous amongst the three groups for the chief and archetypal Khajuraho temples. The Kandariya Mahadeo temple is absolutely symmetrical and is 31m high; the arch in the main entrance is wonderfully carved.
Chitragupta temple houses the sun god and has a 5 feet high idol in the sanctum sanctorum. Devi Jagadamba temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali, Lakshmana temple to Lord Vishnu, as the Chandela rulers were all vaishnavites (devotees of Lord Vishnu).
Chaunsat Yogini temple is the only temple built in granite, quadrangular in shape and is dedicated to Goddess Kali. Vishwanath temple has an exquisitely carved exterior and an icon of a three-headed Brahma. The other temples are Matangeswara temple with an archeological museum in the south and Varaha temple.
The Eastern group: The Eastern group has a combination and Hindu and Jain temples. Parswanath temple is the biggest of all Jain temples located here and the temple is an example of structural design.
Ghantai temple is another Jain temple and is almost in ruins, the remains look splendid till date. Adinatha temple is another one in the group of Jain temples. The Hindu temples include Vishnu, Brahma and Javari temples and each of them speak their own architectural language.
The Southern group: This cluster of temples is located 5 km from the Khajuraho complex and houses the Chaturbhuj temple for Lord Vishnu and Duladeo temple.
Apart from these there are other places of interest near Khajuraho like Ramvan, Ajaygarh Fort, Nachna, Kalinjar Fort, Panna, Panna national park, Pandav Falls, Raneh Falls, Dhubela Museum, and Rajgarh Palace etc.
The Khajuraho Dance Festival is well known and is held from 25th February to 2nd of March every year. The festival is conducted in front of the Chitragupta temple in the Western group. The dance festival brings together famed artists from all over India and has been conducted every year since its inception in 2002.
A small town, Khajuraho is located in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The summers at Khajuraho are pretty hot, with the mercury soaring up to very high levels (47 degrees). On winter nights, the mercury dips to low levels (4 degrees).
The best time to visit Khajuraho is between September and March. Stay at Khajuraho is available at both budget and high-end hotels. Shopping at Khajuraho is only for souvenirs and handicrafts crafted skillfully by the locals. A weekly bazaar is held every Tuesday at Rajinagar, 5km from Khajuraho.