The name Khajuraho derives from the khajur or date palm trees that once surrounded the huge Khajurvahaka Tal. Khajuraho, once the great Chandela capital, is today a village of about a few thousand people in the interiors of central India, in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh. Tradition records the existence of eighty five temples, of which only twenty five, strewn amidst lakes and fields, have survived. The temples at Khajuraho, brilliant examples of medieval Indian architecture, were built under later Chandela kings between AD 950 and AD 1050. Each ancient structure in India has a fascinating story to tell. But few match the temples of Khajuraho.
The creators of Khajuraho claimed descent from the moon. The legend that describes the origin of this great dynasty is a fascinating one: Hemavati, the beautiful young daughter of a Brahmin priest was seduced by the moon god while bathing in the Rati one evening. The child born of this union between a mortal and a god was a son, Chandravarman. Harassed by society, the unwed mother sought refuge in the dense forest of Central India where she was both mother and guru to her young son. The boy grew up to found the great Chandela dynasty. When he was established as a ruler, he had a dream-visitation from his mother, who implored him to build temples that would reveal human passions, and in doing so bring about a realization of the emptiness of human desire. Chandravarman began the construction of the first of the temples, successive rulers added to the fast growing complex.
Location: Madhya Pradesh
Languages spoken: English and Hindi
Best time to visit: September till March
By air : Khajuraho has an airport of its own, with daily flights from Delhi and Varanasi. However during off season (April till September), only Indian airlines flights are operation and only 3 days of the week, i.e, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
By train : The nearest railway stations for Khajuraho are those of Mahoba and Harpalpur. For persons travelling from Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kerala. Jhansi is the convenient railhead and for those travelling from Varanasi and Calcutta, Satna is the railhead.
By road : Khajuraho can be reached by road from Nagpur via Bandhavgarh and also from Varanasi.
Traveling by train or air is the best option if you are traveling to Khajuraho.
Eastern Group of Temples Tour
Eastern group of temples consists of the Parsvanath Temple, which is the only Jain Temple surviving at Khajuraho and has excellent sculptures on the outer walls of the Sanctum, The Javeri Temple dedicated to Vishnu. The other temples in this group are those dedicated to Brahma, Yamuna and Adinath.
Western Group of Temples
Western group of temples is known to be the best and the largest Temples in India. These three temples, which are built of local granite, are also constructed with hard river sandstone dug from the east bank of the Ken River, 13 miles to the east. None of the temples are enclosed; rather they are erected on high masonry platforms, each on an east-west axis. It is their detailed sculpture which gives Khajuraho its appeal and importance.