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Khajuraho - Quick Facts

Area: 16.93 sq. km.
Population: 19,282
Altitude: 283 meters
Season: July to March
Clothing: Summer- Light Cottons, Winter- Light Woollen
Average Rainfall: 114 cm
Language: Hindi and English

The temples of Khajuraho are India's unique gift to the world, representing, as they do, a paean to life, to love, to joy; perfect in execution and sublime in expression. Life, in every form and mood, has been captured in stone, testifying not only to the craftsman's artistry but also to the extraordinary breadth of vision of the Chandela Rajputs under whose rule the temples were conceived and constructed.

The Khajuraho temples were built in the short span of a hundred years, from 950-1050 A.D. in a truly inspired brust of creativity. Of the 85 original temples, 22 have survived till today to constitute one of the world's great artistic wonders. The creators of Khajuraho claimed descent from the moon and the legend behind the founding of this great dynasty and the temples is a fascinating one. Hemwati, the lovely young daughter of a Brahmin priest, was seduced by the moon-god while bathing in a forest pool. The child born of this union was seduced by the moon-god while bathing in a forest pool. The child born of this union was Chandravarman, founder of the Chandela dynasty. Brought up in the forests by his mother who sought refuge from a censorious society, Chandravarman, when established as a ruler, had a dream-visitation from his mother. It is said that she implored him to build temples that would reveal human passions, and in doing so, bring about a realisation of the emptiness of human desire. It is also possible that the Chandelas were followers of the Tantric cult, which believes that gratification of earthly desires is a step towards attaining the infinite liberation of nirvana.

Architecturally too, they are unique, being very different from the temple prototype of their period. Each stands on a high masonry platform with a marked upward direction in the structure, further enhanced by vertical projections to create the effect of grace and lightness. Each of the chief compartments is mounted by its own roof, grouped so that the highest is in the centre, the lowest over the portico; a highly imaginative recreation of the rising peaks of the Himalayas abode of the gods.

By Air
Regular services link Khajuraho with Delhi, Agra and Varanasi.

By Rail
The nearest rail heads are Harpalpur (94 km) and Mahoba (61 km). Jhansi (172 km) is a convenient rail head for those travelling from Delhi and Madras; Satna (117 km), on the Mumbai-Allahabad line.

By Road
Khajuraho is connected by regular buses with Satna, Harpalpur, Jhansi and Mahoba. Agra -395 kms, Allahabad-285 kms, Bhopal-340 kms, Chitrakoot-175 kms, Delhi-596 kms, Gwalior-276 kms, Indore-575 kms, Jabalpur-296 kms, Lucknow-287 kms, Mumbai-1250 kms, Rewa-176 kms and Varanasi-415 kms.

Western Group of Temples

Kandariya Mahadeo Temple
The largest, most typical Khajuraho temple, it soars 31 m high. Dedicated to Shiva, the sanctum sanctorum enshrines a lingam. The main shrine is exquisitely carved and features, in delicate detail, gods, goddess, celestial maidens and lovers. Particularly noteworthy are the entrance arch, the ceilings and pillars of the interior compartments.

Lakshmana Temple
It is one of the earliest and also one of the best preserved temples in the area, with full five part floor plane and four subsidiary shrines. Around the temple are two band instead of the usual three; the lower one has fine figures of Apsaras (Celestial maidens). Around the base of the temple is the continuous frieze with the scenes of the battles, hunting and the processions.

Chausat Yogini Temple
The only granite temple and the earliest surviving shrine of the group (900 A. D.). It is dedicated to Kali. Only 35 of the original 65 shrines remain. Another Kali temple (originally dedicated to Vishnu) is the Devi Jagdambe temple.

Matangeshwara Temple
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, a huge 2.5 meters high lingam is placed in the sanctum. There is a statue of Ganesha outside.

Chitragupta Temple
Facing eastwards to the rising sun, the temple is dedicated to the sungod, Surya. The image of the deity in the inner sanctum is particularly imposing: five feet high, and driving a horse-drawn chariot. The group scenes depict royal processions, hunting scenes and group dances, reflecting the lavish lifestyle of the Chandela courts.

Vishvanath Temple
A three-headed image of Brahma is enshrined in this temple. The approach is equally impressive, with lions flanking the northern and elephants the southern steps glimpsed here, with other rare species such as the leopard, wolf and gharial. Herds of bluebull, chinkara and sambar are a common sight. On the road to Panna are the spectacular Pandav Falls. Alternate picnic sites are Benisagar Dam, Raneh Falls and Ranguan Lake, while interesting trips can be made to Rajgarh Palace, now being converted into a Heritage Hotel, and Dhubela Museum. Further away is Bandhavgarh National Park and tranquil Chitrakoot.

Lakshmi & Varah Temple
There are two small shrines here. The Latter has a huge beautifully carved figure of the Varaha (wild boar) incarnation of Lord Vishnu worth seeing.

A Sun-et-Lumiere show, detailing the history of Khajuraho has been introduced at the western group of temples. It is represented in Hindi and English.

Eastern Group of Temples
The Eastern group consists of Hindu temple and Jain Temples.

Parsvanath Temple
The temple of Parsvanath is the largest of the Jain temples at Khajuraho and the finest. The temple was originally dedicated to Adinath and latter to Parsvanath. It is the finest example of the sensitive art.

Adinath Temple
Adjacent of the Parsvanath Temples, this temple has fine carvings, very similar top Hindu temples of Khajuraho.

Ghantai Temple
This temple has fine columns and chains and bells, with a figure of Jain Goddess on a Garuda. It depicts 16 dreams of Mahavira mother.

Shantinath Temple
Shantinath is youngest of all the temples at Khajuraho built a century ago.The temple has a four and a half meter statue of Adinath.

Brahma Temple
It is one of the oldest temples in Khajuraho, built mostly of granite and sand stone. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma.

Vamana Temple
This temple was named after the dwarf incarnation of Vishnu. It is fairly secluded and stands out in a field all by itself and is notable for the relatively simple design of the Shikhar.

Javari Temple
This temple is dedicated to Vishnu is an excellent example of Khajuraho architecture on a small scale dating back to around 1000 AD.

Southern Group Temples
Only two temples feature in this group.

Duladeo Temple
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, there are fine sculptures of apsaras on display here.

Chaturbhuj Temple
The temple has a 3 meter high richly carved statue of Vishnu.

Archeological Museum
Situated near western group temples; this museum has collection of sculptures inscriptions, architectural panels and friezes dating back to the 10th and 12th centuries.

Beni Sagar Lake (7 kms)
It is a good picnic spot, situated for boating & angling.

Panna National Park (32 kms)
Situated in a large dense forest belt forming the northern fringe of the natural teak forest, the park provides an ideal habitat for the tiger. Others rare species that can be seen are the panther, worlf and gharial.

Ken Gharial Sanctuary (25 kms)
It is the confluence of the Ken and Khudar rivers further down Raneh Falls and Nature trails. Long snouted Gharials can be seen here.

Rajgarh Palace (25 kms)
A picturesque 150 years old palace.

Gangau Dam (34 kms)
A natural Dam at the confluence of the Ken and simri rivers it is ideal for nature Lovers anglers and the adventure minded.

Panna (44 kms)
Historical town and capital of Chhatra sal, a national warrior and founder of Bundela Kingdom, Anna is also known for the temples of Baldevji, Kishorji, GovindjiPrannathji, Jagannath Swami and Ram.

Raneh Waterfalls (20kms)
Raneh Falls on the Ken River are famous for its granite rock formations. The main attractions is a 5 km long, 100 foot deep canyon made of pure crystalline granite in varying shades of colors ranging pink and red to grey. A series of seasonal waterfalls surrounded by jungles make it an ideal picnic spot.

Pandav Falls (34 kms)
A Picturesque waterfall in a bowl shaped valley on the Ken River. The Pandavas are said to have spent a part of their exile here.

Dhubela Museum (57 kms)
Located on the bank of the Lake, the museum houses a wide variety of Shakti Cult Sculptures.

Ken Nature Trail (25 kms)
It is a jungle track along the beautiful river Ken exhibiting natural beauty.

Ranguan Lake (25 kms)
It is an ideal picnic spot suitable for boating and angling.

Majhgawan Diamond Mines (56 kms)
The only working mines in India and the largest in Asia, under the control of the national mineral Development Corporation Ltd.

Ajaygarh Fort (80 kms)
An old fort, It was capital of the Chandelas.

Kalinjar Fort (100 kms)
The Fort Stands on an isolated hill of the Vindhyan range and was built during the period of Guptas.

Nachna (100 kms)
A Famous city of the Gupta Empire, It was known for the Chaturmukha Mahadeva Temple.

Satna (120 kms)
An upcoming industrial town, famous for its cement factory.

Chitrakoot (185 kms)
Chitrakoot “The hill of many Wonders” is a holy town closely associated with the epic Ramayana, set in sylvan surrounding on the banks of the river Mandakini; it is believed to be the place where Lord Rama and Sita spent 14 years of exile and where the Sage Atri and Sati Anasnya meditated. The river side is lined with ghats and the town dotted with temples dedicated to several deities of Hindu Pantheon.

4 hours drive from Khajuraho. A medieval city founded by Bundela rulers with palaces and temples of the 16th and 17th century-which have remarkably withstood the onslaught of time. The city is picturesquely flanked by the river Betwa.

There are number of curio and handicrafts shops in the market opposite the western Group of temples and nearby Gole Market.

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