Khajuraho is the place to see if you want proof that the Kama Surta did indeed originate in India. There are over 20 temples that are devoted to sexuality and sex within Khajuraho dating back to the 10th and 11th century. The few that remain are the only ones from the 85 that were originally constructed.
A quite village in the depths on Madhya Pradesh is quickly turning into a tourist town. There are around 12000 local residents with thousand of tourists swarming in every year in the past 20 years to embark upon an adventure to explore history. These temples have been well preserved unlike the other temples in north India that were destroyed by invaders.
There are a lot of theories about each temple but the final interpretation in your own, and only you can decide what you want to take back with you. Their depiction of sexual life during the medieval era is an ode to the Indian architecture that has gained popularity over time.
- Currency: Indian Rupees
- Climate: Sub Tropical Climate
- Neighboring Cities: The nearest railways stations are in Harpalpur and Mahoba, 94kms and 63kms away respectively. The nearest big city is Jhansi located 172kms away. If you’re coming from South India, Satna is the closest town to Khujaraho, a mere 117kms away.
Climate conditions and the best time to plan your trip
The best time to visit Khajuraho is during October through to March, when the temperatures are moderate and compared to the sneering heat that takes over the rest of the year.
If you want to catch the classical dance festival that happens at the Chitragupta Temple each year, the best time to come is late February or early Match. It has performances by artists from all over the country like Kathak, Odissi, Kathakali, Kuchipudi among many others. There’s even an arts and crafts fair that happens during the festival, where you can pick up trinkets to take back home with you.
Top Spots to Visit
The entire Khajuraho complex is worth the time that spend there. To properly appreciate the beauty and temples that an encased, it takes a week to journey though them. The entrance to all the temples is free, except for the ones locate in the western group, where children under the age of 15 can enter for free and adults are charged USD 15. All the temples are open from just before sunrise till a few minutes after sunset.
- Lakshmana Temple – This temple is located in the western complex and stands on a high platform. It’s consists of all the major elements of architecture in Hindu Temple construction. It has an entrance porch, also called an Ardh-Mandapa, a main Mandapa, the Maha-Mandapa, the Antarala and the Garbhagriha. It is the oldest of all the temples and also one of the most decorated with over 600 images of various deities in the building. It’s famous for the sexual carvings that are on the southern side of the temples, only 12 or 13, which are actually just a small portion of the whole temple.
- Kandariya Mahadev Temple – This particular temple is the most sacred, only just in Khajuraho or in India, but in the world. It’s renowned for having the best shaped statues. It has the highest forehead in all of Khajuraho and it’s cave like structure give it the name Kandara. It’s located in the western complex and will you spell bound in its grandeur.
- Devi Jagdamda Temple: The northern complex of Khajuraho consists of around 25 temples and the Devi Jagdamda temple is one of them. It’s one of the most finely decorated from the whole lot and is adorned with a lot of erotic carvings. There are three bands of carvings that go around the body of the temple and in the center is a huge image of the goddess. Originally, the temple was meant for Vishnu but it now honors Parvati, Shiva’s consort. Since she was black, a color that is associated with Kali Devi, the temple is also known as the Kali Temple.
North and central India is known best for it’s richness in flavors and diverse cuisine. Any trip is incomplete without indulging what the local delicacies have to offer. Khajuraho offers many authentic vegetarian dishes, chicken and mutton kebabs and also biryani, but what’s unique to the region of Khajuraho is Bafla. It’s made of wheat and soaked in butter. It’s served with lentil and sweets, and once you’re done, you can finish off with some laddoos.
Some other things that you should try are korma, rogan josh and kheema. These delicacies are sure to tickle a non-vegetarians fancy.
Why Khajuraho is Amazing!
Khajuraho is a little out of the way but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth a visit! These unique temples and detailed carvings can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Though most people only come for the erotic carvings and sculptures, the important aspect is to realize that the decorations show a celebration of love and worship. It’s a unique way to peek through the gateway into ancient Hindu faith.
Though photography is generally not an issues, but places required special permission. Head the signs that read no photography otherwise there’s a hefty fine if you’re caught. Also, be sure to carry sunblock and stay hydrated at all times due the harsh climate of the region.
Planning your Budget
Aside from the 5 USD dollars fee for the western complex there isn’t any other expenditure that you have to worry about in terms of visiting the monuments. Most of the luxury hotels in the village are located on Airport Road but mid-range hotels can be found on Bamhita road, which fairly close to western complex of Khajuraho. MP Tourism hotels are another option if you’re looking for a reasonable place to stay.
You can always pick an audio guide for Rs.50 when you’re visiting the temples or hire a guide. Normally, guides should cost your around Rs.600 for four hours in a group of 4/5 people. Be sure to pick your guide properly and form a trusted source otherwise the information can easily be interpreted.