Khajuraho, the temple city
of central India, is famous throughout the world for its exquisitely
carved temples in stones. Thousands of visitors and tourists from all over
the world flock together to envisage this immortal saga of Hindu art and
culture engraved in stone by shilpies (stone craftsmen) a millennia ago.
Today, apart from the
temples, Khajuraho is a small village but a thousand years ago it was a
large city of the Chandelas, medieval Rajput kings who ruled over Central
Khajuraho is 595 km (370
miles) south-east of Delhi and can be visited by air, rail or road. An
overnight train journey from Delhi takes the visitor to Jhansi, from where
another morning train takes him to Harpalpur 85 km (53 miles) to the east.
By air :
A daily Boeing 737 service links Khajuraho with Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, and Kathmandu.
By rail :
The nearest railheads are Jhansi (172 km), Satna (117 km) which are linked to Delhi,
Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai. From Jhansi and Satna one can take buses or
taxis to Khajuraho.
By road : Khajuraho is
connected by regular buses with Satna, Harpalpur, Jhansi and Mahoba.
The divine sculptures in
these temples, are a tribute to life itself. Embodying everything that is
sublime and spontaneous. The murals depict the life and times of the Chandelas, while celebrating the erotic state of being. They not only
testify to the mastery of the craftsman, as also to the vision of the
The Western Group of
Chaunsat Yogini : This is the oldest of the surviving temples of Khajuraho.
It is dedicated to goddesses Kali and is the only temple that is built in
The Kandariya Mahadeo :
This is considered the most evolved example of central Indian temple
architecture. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is the largest of Khajuraho temples.
The Lakshmana Temple : This
is one of the oldest and finest of the western group of temples. Themes
recurring in the sculptures are battle, hunting, and women.
The temple of Vishwanath
and Nandi : Celebrates the marriage of Lord Shiva with Parvati. The
sculptures are dominated by women in various attitudes of life like
fondling babies and writing letters.
The temple of Devi Jagdamba
: This is considered to be one of the most erotic temples of Khajuraho by
many. It has the most talked-about image, mithuna, and the sensuously
Other important temples in
the western group are the temples of Lakshmi and Varaha, Mahadev,
Chitragupta, Parvati, and Matangesvara.
Eastern Group of Temples :
The temple of Parsvanath :
This is the largest of the Jain temples in Khajuraho. It was originally
dedicated to Adinath and later to Parsvanath.
Shantinath : This is the
youngest of all the temples in Khajuraho. It is just a century old and has
a big statue of Adinath.
The temple of Brahma and
Hanuman : This is one
of the oldest temples in Khajuraho. It is built
mostly of granite and sandstone and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Mostly in
ruins now, the temple of Ghantai has fine columns and chains and bells,
with a figure of a Jain goddess on a garuda.
The Southern Group :
The southern group only has
two temples, the Duladeo which is newer and built when the creativity of
Khajuraho was deteriorating. The Chaturbhuja Temple has a 3-m-high statue