FACT FILEFamous For: Art Sculptures, Carved Temples and Dance Festival.
Location of Khajuraho: 385 Miles Southeast Of Delhi
State: Madhya Pradesh.
Temperature: Summer - Max - 47oC, Winter - Min - 4oC
Annual Rainfall: 1,120 mm (July-Aug)
Name Derived From: 'Khajur', The Date Palm.
Temples Built By: Chandela Rajputs.
Built During: 950 AD - 1050 AD.
HOW TO REACH KHAJURAHOBy Air
A daily Boeing 737 of Alliance Air links Khajuraho with Delhi, Agra, and Varanasi.
The nearest railheads are Harpalpur (94 km) and Mahoba (63 km). Country buses and tongas take you to Khajuraho. The Shatabdi Express from Delhi to Bhopal stops at Jhansi (172 km from Khajuraho). Satna, 117 km away, is convenient for travelers from Mumbai (Bombay), Calcutta, and Varanasi. Taxis and buses are available from here.
Direct bus services connect Khajuraho with Panna, Satna, Chattarpur, Jabalpur, Mahoba, Bhopal, Gwalior, and Indore. For local transport, cycle rickshaws, tongas, and taxis are available
GENERAL INFORMATIONIt is often mysteriously questioned as to why the Chandelas chose Khajuraho as the site for building their great temple complex. It is said that these temples are a creation of skilled artisans and masons who were brought here from elsewhere. Having remained unknown through the Mughal invasion and the early British forays into India, these temples were rediscovered in this century and today they are fine reminders of India's glorious past. Thus Khajuraho is now, after the Taj , India's biggest single tourist attraction.
There are few things in the world which are beyond compare and certain things that inspired human emotions to give an outlet to his spirtual and physical love. The erotic images of Khajuraho are the expresions of these human inner fellings . Every facade-wall, window, pillar, and ceiling of Khajuraho is carved with figures of mythical and historical origins, and while many of these depict the innocent form of love on these walls.
To some, they are the most graphic, erotic and sensuous sculptures the world has ever known. But Khajuraho has not received the attention it deserves for its significant contribution to the religious art of India - there are literally hundreds of exquisite images on the interior and exterior walls of the shrines.
Architecturally they are unique. While each temple has a distinct plan and design, several features are common to all. They are all built on high platforms, several metres off the ground. The stone used throughout is either granite or a combination of light sandstone and granite. Each of these temples has an entrance hall or mandapa, and a sanctum sanctorum or garbha griha. The roofs of these various sections have a distinct form. The porch and hall have pyramidal roofs made of several horizontal layers. The inner sanctum's roof is a conical tower - a colossal pile of stone (often 30m high) made of an arrangement of miniature towers called shikharas.
For the purpose of convenience, the village of Khajuraho has been divided into three directional areas in which are located the major groups of temples.
Western Group: These groups of temples are entirely Hindu, and constitute some of the finest examples of Chandela art at its peak. The largest being the Kandhariya Mahadev, followed by a granite temple - Chaunsath Yogini. The Chitragupta Temple is dedicated to the Sun God, while the Vishwanath Temple sports a three-headed image of Brahma - the Creator of the Universe. The Lakshmana Temple is superbly decorated, while the Devi Jagdambi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. Other temples in the Western Group include the Varaha Temple with a nine-feet high boar-incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the Matangeshwara Temple with a eight-feet high lingam, and the Brahma Temple.
Eastern Group: This group comprises of two historic Jain temples - the Adinath Temple lavishly embellished with sculpted figures, and the Parsvanath Temple, the largest Jain temple, sculpted with charming detail. There are other shrines such as the Vamana Temple with apsaras in sensuous poses, and the Javari Temple that has a richly-carved doorway.
Southern Group: This group has two impressive temples, mainly belonging to the 12th century - the Chaturbhuja Temple, with a massive, carved image of Vishnu, and the Duladeo Temple, one of the last temples of the Chandela era, dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Symbolising a medieval legacy, the Khajuraho temples are a perfect fusion of architectural and sculptural excellence, representing one of the finest examples of Indian art.