Khajuraho at times referred to as the Kamasutra temple is world renowned for its sculptured temples dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, and Jain deities, and the sexually explicit carvings both inside and outside the temple. A UNESCO world heritage site Khajuraho is believed to have had over 75 temples of which 22 remain today. Spread over an area of approximately 20 square kilometers on the north eastern part of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is a major tourist and archaeological site in Madhya Pradesh. Khajuraho temples are divided into three sections or zones, namely, western, eastern and southern, according to their location. The western complex is the largest of the three and comprises of some of the most popular temples at Khajuraho.
In every temple, there is the depiction of royalty, armies, wrestling, kinship, war, courtship, marriage, lovemaking, music and dancing, spiritual teachings, union, meditation, bliss, gods, goddesses, plants, animals and an abundance of all human forms.
Western Group of Temples
There is a entry fee to enter the Western Group of temples. All the temples are open from sunrise to sunset. These are the richest and largest of all temple groups.
The oldest and finest of the western group of temples, named after the ruler that built the temple. The A horizontal beam over the entrance of this beautiful Vaishnavite temple shows the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva with Lakshmi, Vishnus consort.
This temple is decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art.
Dedicated to the Goddess(devi), this is smaller and much more delicately proportioned temple and is home to some of the finest sculptures of Khajuraho.The garbha griha has a huge image of the Devi of the Universe (Jagdambi), though it appears to have started as a Vishnu temple. It has the usual three bands of sculptures, but the third and most uppermost of these houses some of the most erotic sculptures.
The only granite temple in the Khajuraho group ChitraguptaTemple - is dedicated to the Sun God (Surya), it faces eastward to the rising sun.
MatanageswaraTemple - A temple dedicated to Shiva, a huge 8ft Lingam adorns the temple.
Eastern Group of Temples
ParsvanathTemple - Largest among the group, with exquisite carvings in detail. The sculptures on the northern outer wall are the highlights of this temple. The image was installed in 1860.
GhantaiTemple - This Jain temple has a frieze which depicts the 16 dreams of Mahavira's mother, and a jain goddess on a winged Garuda.
AdinathTemple - Dedicated to Jain Tirthankar(God), adinath, the temple is lavishly embellished with sculpted figures, including yakshis.
BrahmaTemple - considered to be one of the oldest temples of Khajuraho made entirely in granite and sandstone, is dedicated to Vishnu.
VamanaTemple - is the dwarf form of Lord Vishnu, located in a secluded place and is known for its simple architecture.
Southern Group of Temples
DulhadevTemple - The last temple of Khajuraho, lies to the south of Ghantai temple. The temple enshrines a Shivalingam. The apsara and ornamented figures are the temple's most striking features.
Beejamandal Temple - It is a ruined temple, and is near the ChattarbhujTemple
ChattarbhujTemple Or The JatkariTemple - Built in 1100 A.D., is well-known for its architecture, and is also the only temple to be devoid of any erotic sculpture. 3 km away from the Eastern Group. Facing West, have to take 10 steps to reach the sanctum. The massive 9 feet intricately carved Vishnu idol in Chaturbhuja (four-armed).
Light and Sound Show at Western group of temples - After visiting the temple complex is over, the sound and light show, narrated by the Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachhan, is held every evening.
Khajuraho Dance Festival
Khajuraho is a small town located in the Bundelkhand region (Chhatarpur District) of Madhya Pradesh and is famous for groups of Hindu and Jain temples. These temples are a UNESCO World Heritage Site for their beautiful and erotic rock carvings.
Khajuraho has the Vindhya range of mountains as its beautiful backdrop. This makes Khajuraho a more fascinating destination to visit.
Khajuraho's art is a manifestation of the essence of the philosophy of Indian aesthetics. The erotic sculptures of Khajuraho depicting Kama Sutra are unique in the world. These sculptures representing the Indo-Aryan architecture, congeal in stone a lyrical paean to love and passion and reflect the Chandela dynasty's passion and immense appreciation for the forbidden art, paradoxically, in the land of Kama Sutra. They cannot be passed off as just erotic sculptures, the temples have some of the most revered Gods of Hinduism.
The temples of Khajuraho were built between 950 to 1050 A.D. during the Chandela dynasty ofCentral India (These rulers claimed descent from the moon, hence the name Chand-ela). After the decline of the Chandela dynasty in 13th century, the temples were left under the cover of dense date palm trees for many years, which gave the city of Khajuraho its name, Khajur in Hindi means a date. In the ancient times it was known as Vatsa.
In 1838, a British army engineer, Captain T.S. Burt rediscovered them. By that time only 22 of the original 85 temples had survived.
Khajuraho Airport (IATA: HJR) is located 5 km from the city, and is served by Air India (fomerly Indian Airlines) offering flights from Delhi, Varanasi and Mumbai, Jet Airways offering flights from Delhi and Varanasi and Kingfisher offering flights from Varanasi. If one is not prepared for a 5-6 hours bumpy ride from Jhansi to Khajuraho, then the plane is the best mode.
A train station was finally opened in Khajuraho in 2008, linking it to Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh) (175km) on the Delhi-Chennai/Bangalore/ Trivandrum mainline. NOTE: You can not buy train tickets at the Khajuraho train station! You must go to the BUS station, about 1km walk out of town, to buy train tickets (much cheaper than buying tickets through your hotel). Train tickets can also be booked online at or with credit cards/ Debit cards or Indian bank account.
There are direct trains from New Delhi Station The other options to reach Khajuraho is through Jhansi. It takes around 6 hours to reach Jhansi from Delhi by train, and another 3-4 hours (plus connecting time) to go to Khajuraho. Another option is the Bhopal Shatabdi train from delhi to Jhansi. Train from Khajuraho to Jhansi departs from Khajuraho and will reach Jhansi Both the trains have stoppage at Orcha. An alternative station is Satna (Madhya Pradesh) (117km) on the Allahabad-Mumbai main line. Another option is Mahoba station on the Varanasi- Jhansi Route. Alight at Mahoba and catch thePassenger to Khajuraho.
Satna and Jhansi both are connected to Khajuraho by regular bus service. It takes around 3 hours to reach Khajuraho from Satna or Jhansi by taxi, and 5-6 hours by bus. There are daily bus services with Satna, Jhansi, Harpalpur, Chhatarpur, Mahoba, Sagar,Jabalpur, Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Panna,Agra, Allahabad and Varanasi. From Jhansi railway station catch a rickshaw to Jhansi bus station which is 5Kms away. It is very difficult to get a bus to Khajuraho from Jhansi after 5PM. So try to reach Jhansi by afternoon if you want to catch a bus to Khajuraho from Jhansi. Khajuraho to Bandhavgarh (225km, 5hrs), Satna (117km, 4hrs), Harpalpur (94km), Jhansi (172km)and Mahoba (61km). Khajuraho is located 600km (11hrs journey) south-east of Delhi. There are bus services fromAgra (12 hrs), Gwalior (9hrs) and Jhansi.
A good way to get around and see the temples as well the village life in Kharujaho is by bicycle, which you can easily rent in the bike shops near the main temple complex, or bicycle rickshaw. They charge Rs.20 per day.
Beware of the fake school teachers, principals and students who are too much interested in your dollars as donation, which hardly goes to the school itself.