Unveil the Mysteries in and Around Khajuraho
The UNESCO World heritage site in India, The Group of Monuments in Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh are a treasure of eloquent stone sculptures. The masterpiece of stone carvings date back to 950 AD and 1050 AD, the reign of Chandela Dynasty. It is believed that there were about 85 temples earlier, but only 20 of them have survived. Dedicated to Hindus and Jainism, the carvings depict various themes like meditation, kinship, spiritual teachings, daily rituals and royalty; however, the main focus is on erotic art.
Khajuraho evokes a number of responses among all those who visit, but there are some other attractions which are worth exploring as well.
Places to visit in Khajuraho
Undoubtedly, the myths, legends and stories behind the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho hover in your mind, but this place holds much more than these. There is history, spirituality and tantric cults as well. Read on further to know more about the places to visit in Khajuraho.
Kandariya Mahadeo Temple
Kandariya Mahadeo Temple is a must visit historic site in Khajuraho. The holy shrine is a home to 872 spectacular sculptures, many of which are of Gods, goddesses, beautiful women, erotic groups and musicians. One of the biggest and oldest temple, this is dedicated Lord Shiva. The Garbha Griha of the sanctum sanctorum consists of a sacred lingam of the supreme almighty. Beautifully crafted temple is categorized into five parts namely, Ardhamandapa, Garbha Griha, Mahamandapa and Pradakshina.
Lakshmana Temple is the artistically pleasing temple with the Trimurti of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh at the main entrance of the temple. Built in 930-950 AD, the sacred monument preserves over 600 statues of Hindu God and Goddess. Figurines of apsaras, scenes of hunting, fights and processions also adorn the walls of this temple.
With Lord Shiva as the presiding deity, Matangeshvara temple is one of the famous temples in Khajuraho. Amongst the other monuments of Chandela Dynasty, this is the only Hindu temple which is still actively used for worship. Archeological Survey of India has categorized this shrine as the Monument of National Importance. Devotees throng the temple during the religious ceremony of Shivaratri. As on this day, the linga is bathed, dressed and decorated as the beautiful bridegroom.
A part of UNESCO World Heritage Site along with other temples, Adinatha Temple was built to pay reverence to Jain Tirthankara Adinatha. Although a Jain Temple but it also showcase Hindu deities on the exterior walls. Get to know in detail about the dance styles of Nilanjana, a well-known dancer in the court of Lord Adinatha.
A visit to Chaunsat Yogini Temple is one of the exciting things to do in Khajuraho. Constructed in 9th century, this tantric temple is devoted to 64 yoginis (female attendants). Though the temple is vacated yet a mystical aura is felt here. These 64 yoginis balance the very essence of life and hence charge Khajuraho with energy.
Devi Jagadambi Temple
Known for its Garbha Griha with a huge idol of Hindu Goddess Jagadambi, this temple is cited as the delicately balanced temple. The shrine got the privilege to be a holy abode of Lord Vishnu, Goddess Parvati and then Goddess Kali. The intricate sculptures are visible over three bands of carvings.
Vishwanatha means ‘God of Universe’, thus this temple houses a Shivalinga made up of white marble. A huge sculpture of Brahma and Nandi also adds to the charm of this place.
Quoted as the last temple of the Southern Group of Temples, Duladeo Temple was built in 1130. Lord Shiva along with his wife Parvati are the presiding deities here. Admire the intricately designed idols and workmanship that prevailed during the bygone era.
The intricate carvings on the walls of Parsvanath Temple captures all the attention. An aesthetic blend of Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist style is quite apparent here. It is dedicated to Jain Tirthankaras. The idols of Surasundaris in various poses are also quite prominent here.
Pay homage at Lakshmi Temple and seek the blessings of Goddess of wealth.
Other Places to Visit around Khajuraho
Although there are so many crowd-pleasing sites in Khajuraho but there is no dearth of places to visit around Khajuraho as well. Here we’ve mentioned a few.
Panna National Park
One of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh, Panna National Park is a day getaway from the historic ruins. Spend a day of wildlife adventure, safari to spot Tigers and many other species of the animal kingdom. This natural and archaeological splendor is also a land of mesmerizing waterfalls. The tiger reserve is counted as the best maintained and managed national park of India.
A day trip to Raneh Falls is an essential part while planning a holiday in Khajuraho. This exquisite and natural waterfall is formed by Ken River. The amazing waterfall is nestled amidst the striking rock formations. A 5 km long and 30 m deep canyon made of pure crystalline granite in diverse hues is formed by Ken River. Alternatively known as the ‘The Grand Canyon of India’, this waterfall flows with full intensity during monsoon.
Archaeological Museum Khajuraho
A tour to the Archaeological Museum Khajuraho allows you to time travel in the past. An unusual collection of architectural ruins, sculptures and galleries, this place entices the historical buffs. Intended to preserve the priceless and exquisite antiques the museum tells the tales of the glorious past.
Adivrat Tribal and Folk Art Museum
Adivrat Tribal and Folk Art Museum is a must visit around Khajuraho. A huge array of artefacts related to folk and tribal art is efficiently displayed in the museum. Further, the artistic works of the tribal sects of the Madhya Pradesh are showcased here.
Ken Gharial Sanctuary
Enjoy a wildlife tour at the Ken Ghariyal Sanctuary. This nature reserve leaves you spellbound with astonishing views of the critically-endangered species of animals.
Ajaigarh and Kalinjar Forts
Amidst the deep dense woods, there lies the Ajaigarh Fort on a height of 250 meters. Spot the partly ruined pillars and sculptures from Jain and Hindu temples. Kalinjar Fort overlooks the Gangetic plains.
Things to do in Khajuraho
Khajuraho Dance Festival
Khajuraho Dance Festival is hosted by Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad and lasts for about a week. In this, Classical Dances like Bharathnatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Kathakali and Manipuri are performed against the stunning backdrops of the impressively lit Khajuraho temples. The fiesta takes place every year from 20th to 26th February making it one of the best places to visit in February.
Savor delicious food
Khajuraho serves mouthwatering delicacies like Rogan Josh, Korma, Mutton Kababs, Keema, Chicken Biryani, Moong Dal Halwa, Sabudana Khichdi, Cashew Barfi, Jalebi, Kusli, Lavang Lata etc. A local cuisine known as Bafla is a must try.
Explore the old town of Khajuraho
Get a rustic appeal of the India as you walk through the old towns of Khajuraho, one of the best things to do here. The mud houses and women in colorful Sarees help you to discover another side of the temple town.
Light and Sound Show at Khajuraho is a must attend
The articulate temples of Khajuraho become a stunning backdrop for the exciting Light and Sound Show. The multicolored floodlights and Indian Classical music leaves a long lasting impact on the minds of spectators.
Hire a bike and go for sightseeing
After the hectic journey to the temples of Khajuraho, the best way to have a closer look of the temple town is via hiring a bike and going for a sightseeing tour.
Take some time out for Yoga
A rejuvenating session of Yoga is a must. Connect with the mysterious power of Yoga at various Yoga Ashrams and Yoga Centers.
Picnic, boating and angling at Beni Sagar Dam
Beni Sagar Dam present a tranquil environment for a relaxed getaway. The salubrious climate and scenic ambiance provide amazing opportunities for activities like angling, swimming and boating.
Best Time to Visit
Although Khajuraho can be visited any time of the year but it is usually advised to visit this winter holiday destination during the cooler months. October to February prove to be the best time to set on for the amazing journey.
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