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Khajuraho Tourism

INTRODUCTION

khajuraho-tourism Khajuraho is a world famous site known for its magnificently sculptured historical group of temples. Although it is a small township but derives large number of tourists from all over the world. It is UNESCO World Heritage site in Central India. Khajuraho derives its name from the Khajoor tree (the Date palm tree) one of the famous fruit of India which can be found in abundance in the area. Khajuraho Temples are listed in UNESCO world heritage site located in the Indian state Madhya Pradesh. It comes under the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh. It is a group of Hindu and Jain Temples build by Chandela Dynasty in between 950 AD to 1050 AD. Khajuraho temples are more than thousand year old and the time taken to build these world famous temples took more than 100 years. The group of temples at Khajuraho is homogeneous group. All the temples there were built within a relatively short period. The concerted effort of making numerous grand temples at a single place hints that the one place speaks of the dynasty's desire to create a grand centre of worship. The temples are famous for their Nagara – style architectural symbolism. Out of the 85 temples believed to have been built between the 9th and 12th centuries, now only 22 temples are remain currently. These temples are considered the High Point of Indian architectural genius in the medieval period. Khajuraho has the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples. Khajuraho temples are rediscovered only in the 20th century and preserved. Credit for rediscovering the world famous ancient temples in year 1838 goes to British India Army Captain T.S. Burt. The Khajuraho temples are divided into three geographical divisions – western, eastern and southern. Archeological survey of India has ranked Khajuraho temples as the best preserved monuments of antiquity. Originally 85 temples were spreaded over 21 square kilometers area, but currently reduced to 22 temples over 6 square kilometers area. Material used in construction of these temples is Granite or Sandstone in shades of buff, pink and pale yellow. In Khajuraho there are group of temples that are built together but belongs to different religions that shows the acceptance of different religious views in that century. The walls of these temples are full of arts like meditation, spiritual teachings etc. The top ten tourist attraction and the places to visit in Khajuraho is Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Laxman Temple, Devi Jagdamba Temple, Parsvanath Temple, Adinath Temple, Lakshmi Temple, Light and Sound Show, Khajuraho Dance Festival organized in February and March, Vishwanath Temple etc. The sculptures of this place portraying Kama Sutra are completely unique in the world and most popular tourist attraction among the national and International tourists. After exploring and viewing the unique architecture and ornamentation of the temples like Lakhmana Temple, Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Devi Jagdamba Temple, and Chaunsat Yogini Temple architecture and sculpted figures at Parsvanath Temple, Ghantai Temple and Adinath Temple, don’t forget to enjoy the colorful light and sound shows at western group of temples. It’s an evening musical show which begins with a voice of the famous Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachan. Another tourist attraction which attracts tourist from all over the world to Khajuraho is a beautiful dance and culture of Khajuraho. The one week dance festival of Khajuraho is the time for mesmerizing dance performances every year in February to March. India’s best classical dancers give their performances in an open air auditorium.

KHAJURAHO HISTORY

The Hindu and Jain temple complex at Khajuraho in central India has become a major tourist site for Indians and International tourist. Built nearly a thousand years ago, but abandoned two centuries later, Khajuraho remained a minor pilgrimage site into the present century. The Khajuraho temples include thousands of sexual relief carvings, much publicized throughout India. Khajuraho temples were built during the Chandela period, a dynasty which survived for five centuries before falling to the onslaught of Islam. The history tells us that in the ancient India, the kings did not sponsor directly the making of rock-cut caves, stupas or temples. None of the stupas have sculptures of the Kings and rulers of those times. But with the arrival of the medieval period, rulers began to patronize personally the making of temples. The personal attention of the ruler led to the making of the larger temples, especially from the 10th or 11th century onwards, under the Cholas in south India. Similarly changes were seen under the rule of the Chandela in the central India. Chandela dynasty was well established and there was peace and prosperity in 10th and 11th century. Art and culture flourished there as the kings were great patrons of poetry and theatre. The symbol of their cultural achievements was at their capital city of Khajuraho, where between the 10th and 12th centuries, one of the most splendid temple cities in the history of the world was created. There were originally 85 temples were created out of which only 22 are remain today. The first king who started construction in Khajuraho was Harsh who built the 64 Yogini Temples. The most notable prince of this dynasty was King Dhanga whose time is known for building the most beautiful Khajuraho Temples of Parsvanath and Vishwavanath. His grandson Vidyadhara built the Kandariya Mahadev Temple. This was the golden era of central India. Most of the Khajuraho Temples at Khajuraho were constructed between 950 AD and 1050 AD and are either Hindu or Jain. The Kandariya Mahadev temple built in the early 11th century and dedicated to Shiva. The Lakhmana temple was built in 954 AD by King Dhanga to celebrate independence from the Gurjara Pratihara rulers. The Lakhmana Temple was dedicated to Vishnu. By the time of Chandela, the Indian temples form had fully developed. The objective of the temple was that a devotee comes to it with the aspiration of the self transcendence and to receive the grace of the deity in the garbha griha. The devotees came to the temple to awaken within themselves and to realize the whole creation of the world is the manifestation of the deity in the garbha griha. Some believe that the erotic art suggest the sexual practices. Its noted that only ten percent of the carvings contain errotic themes and rest of the sculptures depict the everyday life of the common persons such as women putting on makeup, playing games, dancing, knotting and unknotting their girdles, and other themes such as musicians, potters, farmers etc. On the temple walls, one can see Siva, Vishnu, Brahma, Indira, Agni and their spouses.

TOURISM IN KHAJURAHO

While visiting Khajuraho, we will notice that tourism is the main activity of local people. Here we can find tourists from all over the world which is enough understand the popularity of Khajuraho tourism. Here tourism activities remain high from October to March month due to various reasons like climatic condition, holidays, festivals etc. Although it is a small town which can be covered on feet but impact of tourism can be understood at every part of town. Most of the houses are engaged in tourism activity in different ways like opened shops, guest-houses, money exchange office, restaurants, yoga centers, hotels etc. Tourists can be seen freely moving in different parts of towns, at any time. It is very safe to visit. Here temples are the main attraction. Apart from temples, their are many more places to visit in Khajuraho like village walk, small pond, cycling around town, bikes are available to visit nearby attractions like Raneh fall, Pandav fall, Chousat Yogini temples etc.

KHAJURAHO DANCE FESTIVALS

Khajuraho Dance Festival is a popular event organized in Western Group of Temples where dance artists from India and other countries can give their live performance. It is organized mainly in February months. Khajuraho Dance festival dates are decided by the organizing committee. Dance festival in Khajuraho begun in 1975. It is organized by the Department of Culture of the Government of Madhya Pradesh, takes place every year. It is a great platform for artists to show their performance. Here artists from all over India, comes and exhibits their amazing talent and art. This festival includes classical dances like Kathak, Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Mohiniattam etc. It is a six day festival organized in February to March. Another tourist attraction is the Art Mart, which is a part of festival showcased paintings of international artists from Germany, France, China and other countries. Dances were performed in an open air auditorium, in front of Vishwanatha temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Chitragupta Temple dedicated to Sun God. This dance festival is motivated and inspired from the Hindu Mythology. Like Shiva’s Tandava or Krishna’s Raas Leela with the gopis or apsara dancers like Menaka, Urvasi and Rambha whom inspires to organize dance festival in Khajuraho.

CLIMATE

Khajuraho lies in Bundelkhand region which is comparatively hot and receives less rainfall in compare to southern & Western Madhya Pradesh. Like most of north India it has a hot dry summer(April-June) followed by monsoon rains (July-September) and a cool and relatively dry winter. The average rainfall is about 1,370 mm (53.9 in). It decreases from east to west. The south-eastern districts have the heaviest rainfall, some places receiving as much as 2,150 mm (84.6 in), while the western and north-western districts receive 1,000 mm (39.4 in) or less.

HOW TO REACH

Khajuraho is located at Northern region of Madhya Pradesh state in Central India. It is a popular tourist attraction under Madhya Pradesh tourism. Although it is a small town but have own airport of International category which makes it easy to reach this destinations. Here tourists can reach by train and road also. Let us check how to reach Khajuraho by different modes of transportation.

By Air:

Khajuraho is well connected by airways to major cities of India. This place has its own domestic airport and is located only 5 Kms from the historical place Khajuraho. Domestic flights are available for Varanasi etc. Flights coming from Delhi, also comes via Varanasi thus it is best connected with Varanasi. Local taxis and tour and taxi services are easily available to pick you up and drop you at airport from any locations of the Khajuraho.

DISTANCE CHART
LOCATION MAP
From
Distance
(in Kms)
Jhansi 200
Orchha 180
Bandhavgarh 260
Panna National Park 50
Varanasi 420
Satna 130

By Train:

Khajuraho has its own railway station which is only 5.9 Kms from the historical monuments. Local cabs and tour and taxi services, cabs are available there to pick and drop you from and to railway station. Some other nearby railway stations to Khajuraho are at Mahoba which is approx 75 Kms from Khajuraho, Satna railway station which is 115 Kms away from Khajuraho, Katni 160 Kms away and Jhansi which is approx 118 Kms away from Khajuraho.

By Road:

Taxi is the most popular mode to reach Khajuraho from nearby tourist destinations like Jhansi, Orchha, Gwalior, Bandhavgarh, Panna national park etc. Most of the cities of Madhya Pradesh are easily reachable by road from Khajuraho by hiring taxi at a very reasonable taxi fares or by bus which is also easily available for almost all major cities of Madhya Pradesh. The main Highway is National Highway 75 which covers Gwalior-Dabra-Karari-Jhansi-Barwa-Sagar-Mauranjur-Alipura-Nowgong-Chhartarpur-Khajuraho-Basari-Ganj-Panna-Baroura-Nagod-Satna-Rampur-Baghelan- Rewa and is almost well constructed and safe for road trip by hiring taxi or by bus. Private taxis are recommended because the buses are overcrowded and take more time to reach the destinations.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Best time to visit Khajuraho is from October to March. It is the period when we will find most of the tourists visits these temples. Theirs are different reasons for high tourism in this period in which climatic condition is the main reason. If we visit Khajuraho, we will find that it is basically a arid zone where vegetation is not so dense and surrounding area is more rocky thus in summers, temperature rises rapidly and sightseeing under open sky becomes challenging. Temperature remains good during October to March period and most of the domestic and international holidays lies in this period thus people like to go for outing. World famous Khajuraho Dance Festival also helds in this period, at the end of Feb month. All these factors contributes to declare this period as the best time to visit Khajuraho. Here monsoon prevails from July to September month during which surrounding areas become green and many nature lovers like to visit in this time also.

VISITOR TIMING

Visitors timing of Khajuraho temples is from sunrise to sunset. It is open for tourists in all days of week. Its entry is chargeable which means tourists are required to buy entrance ticket for visiting these groups of temples. Close to entrance gate of Western group of temples, we can find the ticket counter from which we can buy entrance tickets. Small bags are allowed to carry inside but will be first checked by security personal, at entrance gate. Only Matangeshwar Temple of Western group of Khajuraho temples remains open from 6am to 10pm. Archaeological Survey of India manages the tourism activities. Those who are interested in evening sound & light show can buy entrance ticket from different gate of same Western Group of Temples.

ACCOMMODATION

Here in Khajuraho, we can find variety of accommodation options for all category of tourists. Comparative to surrounding destinations like Orchha, Panna national park, Bandhavgarh etc., we can find Khajuraho is a cheap destination in terms of hotels and lodges. Here we can find good hotels are very reasonable tariff which makes it very much affordable destination. Here we can find different categories of accommodation options like home-stay, cheap hotels, budget hotels, standard category of hotels, Deluxe and luxury hotels options. All major accommodation options are close to Western Group of Temples.

NEXT TO KHAJURAHO

After visiting Khajuraho, we have option to visit Panna national park (50kms), Bandhavgarh national park (260kms), Orchha (180kms), Jhansi (200kms), Gwalior (330kms) etc.

RELATED LINKS
Panna National Park Orchha Tourism Link3
Link4 Link5 Link6


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