About Khajuraho
Location: Madhya Pradesh, India
Significance: Well-known for the sculptures in erotic poses in its temples.
Climate: Khajuraho has extreme tropical climate with temperature as high as 47°C in summers and as low as 4°C in winters.

Khajuraho, the temple city of central India, is famous throughout the world for its exquisitely carved temples in stones. Located in the Chhatarpur District of Madhya Pradesh at a distance of 385 miles from Delhi Khajuraho is one of India’s most popular tourist destinations next to the Taj Mahal. Derived from the Hindi word 'Khajur' meaning date palm, the quaint little temple town of Khajuraho is famous through out the world for its medieval Hindu temples and more so for its erotic sculpture. Built over a span of a hundred years, from 950 to 1050 AD, the Khajuraho temples represent the expression of a highly matured civilization and are the country's unique gift of love to the world.

Chandela dynasty had already lost its glory by the time the last temple was completed. Khajuraho was the capital of the Chandelas for a brief period but for most of the part, it was their religious center. However, there have been many theories regarding the sculptures adorning the facades and interiors of the Khajuraho temples. Some of them believe these temples to be centers of tantrik mysticism, which regards sex as an important part of human development and the attainment of the Absolute. Others believe that they were constructed as such to lure men and women back to the family and worldly life, which play an important part in Hinduism, from the austerities preached by the Buddha that were gaining favor with people of that time. As Khajuraho gets a fair number of tourists from all over the world every year, hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops have sprung up in large numbers at the entrances to the two distinctive groups of temples here.

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 capured 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. Temple town of Khajuraho is much different from any other temple city of India. It is not about religion and worshipping and deities. The temples of Khajuraho are instead famous for the eroticism etched on its walls in the form of sculptures.

Khajuraho temples got lost into obscurity and were only discovered by chance but they quickly became India's second most favored tourist destination after Taj Mahal. This temple complex is perhaps the largest group of medieval temples. Other than eroticism, these sculptures also depict other refined courtly accomplishments such as music and dance. Only 22 temples have survived out of the original 85 temples. It displays one of the most unique stone-carving work and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1986.

Legend Behind Khajuraho Temples:
An amalgamation of science and art of architecture, these 10th-11th century temples have a very interesting legend behind them that connects them to the origin of Chandela dynasty. It is said that in a fit of passion and lust, the Moon God seduced and ravaged a beautiful Brahmin girls known as Hemvati, resulting in the birth of Chandravarman (the founder of the Chandela dynasty). Later, Chandravarman had a dream where his mother requested him to make a temple, which would reveal all aspects of the treasure of passion and erotic fantasy to the world. Thus he brought an artistic revolution by building the famous Khajuraho temples, in the town, which was his capital. Some people also believe these erotic art forms to be the visual depiction of Kamasutra, art of sex or the relations between Shiva and Parvati, the divine couple.

Architecture of Khajuraho Temples

Khajuraho group of temples in Central India is one of the most illustrious manifestations of Indian architecture. While each temple in Khajuraho has a distinct plan and design, several features are common to all. They are all built on high platforms, several metres off the ground, either in granite or a combination of light sandstone and granite. Each of these temples has an entrance hall or mandapa, and a sanctum sanctorum or garbha griha. The roofs of these various sections have a distinct form. The porch and hall have pyramidal roofs made of several horizontal layers. The inner sanctum's roof is a conical tower - a colossal pile of stone (often 30m high) made of an arrangement of miniature towers called shikharas. These walled sculptures include depiction of numerous deities, their attendants, celestial maidens in sensuous positions and provocative postures, embracing couples (some of them in erotic sexual positions), dancers and musicians and couples engaged in various refinements of courtly love. It is believed that one temple alone sports over six hundred and fifty such figures ranging from sensual and warm depictions to explicit sexual activity (believed to illustrate the tantric rites by some). Some of these much-famed or much-notorious sexual postures are said to follow the Kama Sutra, the ancient Indian manual of art of making love.

The famous Western group of temples are designated as the World Heritage Site and is enclosed within a beautifully laid out park. The Lakshmana and Vishwanath Temples to the front and The Kandriya Mahadev, Jagadami and Chitragupta Temples displays the best craftmanship of Khajuraho. One of the most preferred destinations after Taj Mahal, Khajuraho has provided a scenic backdrop for many movies as well as many Indian classical dances that have been performed here.

Major Attractions in Khajuraho

Temples of Khajuraho:
It took more than 200 years to complete elaborately carved Khajuraho temples that are planned in a similar pattern. Built in the central Indian temple architectural style, the uninhibited and graceful erotic sculptures of Khajuraho temples are known for their paramount architectural balance and exquisiteness. The temple plans range from the simple ones to the most inspired ones. The lovely temples can be divided into three broad groups, namely, the Eastern group, the Southern group and the Western group. However, the Western group is not only the largest one but also the one, which is most easily accessible.

The Eastern Group: - The Eastern Group of Temples takes in five isolated sub-group of temples situated in and around the present town of Khajuraho. Along with the three Brahmanical temples more commonly spoken of as temples of Brahma, Vamana and Javari, the three Jain temples of the deities Ghantai, Adinath and Parsvanath fall under this group.

The Southern Group: - The Southern Group of Temples is situated at the most distant location and includes mainly the two temples of Duladeo and Chaturbhuja, which are situated near and across the Khudarnala.

The Western Group: - The Western Group of Temples is the largest of all the temple groups of Khajuraho. It is not compact and located in the center but also include the most renowned and noteworthy monuments built during the reign of the Chandela rulers. They are also known to have been maintained well by the Archaeological Survey of India and the lush green lawns surrounding them with multihued shrums and fragrant blossoms add to their beauty. The most prominent temples of the group are the Lakshmana Temple, the Matangesvara Temple and the Varaha Temple that are a part of a single complex, the Visvanatha and Nandi temples situated near the above-mentioned complex and the Chitragupta, Jagadambi and the Kandariya Mahadeo temples a little to the west of the complex.

Shopping – an excellent option for experiencing Khajuraho:-
The two distinctive group of temples of Khajuraho have dozens of souvenir stalls, hotels and restaurants at their entrances from where one can buy mementos and gifts for their loved ones back at home. Since it is the second most visited tourist destination in India (after Taj Mahal), it is not surprising to see signboards posted here in different languages as little boys efficient in number of languages peddling handicrafts and mineral water. It is even surprising to note how these little peddlers switch from Spanish to German to French, trying to sell a trinket to you almost forcibly.

Khajuraho Dance Festival
Held every year from 25th February to 2nd March, Khajuraho Dance festival provides an exclusive platform to showcase the Indian classical dance forms like Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Odisi, Kathakali etc. For over 25 years now, the carved stones fill with life during the month of Feb.

How to Reach Khajuraho:-

By Air: - Khajuraho has daily domestic flights to and from Agra, Varanasi and Kathmandu. 

By Train: - The nearest railway stations to Khajuraho are Mahoba, Satna and Jhansi. All of these are well connected to most of the major cities of India. 

By Road:- Khajuraho has frequent bus services and good roads to and from the major cities of India including Panna, Mahoba, Satna, Jabalpur, Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore, Agra and Jhansi. 

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