A view behind one of the temples at Khajuraho
A view behind one of the temples at Khajuraho

Khajuraho Group of Monuments represent the collection of Hindu temples and Jain temples located in Chhatarpur District, Madhya Pradesh. The name Khajuraho was derived from the Sanskrit word “kharjura”, which means date palm and “vahaka”, which means bearer. The Khajuraho Temples site is located within the Vindhya mountain range and the legend says that Lord Shiva and other deities along Lord Shiva enjoy the awe-inspiring hill formation found in Kalinjar area. And there is an interesting statement that the deities love these ancient and excellent architectural design and building and enjoys their presence in this Khajuraho Temples site with enthusiasm.

One more unique feature of this site is the Khajuraho group of temples are agglomerated near water bodies. The water bodies include Sib Sagar, Khajur Sagar and Khudar River.and it was said that before there were 64 water bodies in the complex of Khajuraho temples. Khajuraho Group of Monuments are revered as one of the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Sites in India. The Khajuraho temples are believed to be built by Chandela dynasty (Rajput clan in Central India) between the periods of 950 and 1050 CE.

A beautiful view of one of the twenty temples at Khajuraho
A beautiful view of one of the twenty temples at Khajuraho

Ancient records specifies that the Khajuraho temple site had 85 temples early by 12th century. And among the eighty five temples, only 25 temples are in existence now. All Khajuraho temples are built together and it is dedicated to the schools of Hinduism and Jainism. And it is also said that the holy marriage of Lord Shiva took place in Khajuraho. Khajuraho Group of temples are built in a Nagara style of architecture, which has a square with a number of graduated projections in the middle and contains a grand Vimanam (temple tower). The temples are adorned with erotic sculptures.

The Khajuraho temples sites are closely linked with Lord Shiva. There are four temple sites which is closely associated with the deity Lord Shiva. The four temples sites related to Lord Shiva are:

  1. Khajuraho
  2. Kedarnath
  3. Kashi
  4. Gaya

Khajuraho group of temples stands awe-inspiring with its artistic excellence, which includes erotic arts and sculptures. There are sculptures dedicated to Lord Vishnu, which adds Vyala, the hybrid imaginary animals with the body of lion and it also includes Vrik Vyala, hybrid of wolf and lion and Gaja Vyala, hybrid of elephant and lion. Khajuraho Group of temples demonstrate the esteem for different religious behavior of Hindu and Jain tradition.

A distant view of a temple tower in the Khajuraho complex
A distant view of a temple tower in the Khajuraho complex

The currently surviving Khajuraho temples are:

  • Chausath Yogini Temple
  • Brahma Temple
  • Lalgun Mahadev Temple
  • Matangeshwar Temple
  • Varaha Temple
  • Lakshmana Temple
  • Parshvanath Temple
  • Vishvanath Temple
  • Devi Jagadambi Temple
  • Chitragupta Temple
  • Kandariya Mahadeva Temple
  • Vamana Temple
  • Rishabha Temple
  • Javeri Temple
  • Chaturbhuja Temple
  • Duladeo (Duladeva) Temple
  • Ghantai Temple
  • Vishnu-Garuda
  • Ganesha Temple
  • Hanuman Temple
  • Mahishasuramardini Temple

Jain temples of Khajuraho

The Jain (Jainism) temples of Khajuraho are situated in the region of east-southeast region. The Jain temples of Khajuraho are:

  • Parshvanath Temple
  • Adinath Temple
  • Shantinath Temple

Festivals of Khajuraho

Khajuraho dance festival is celebrated in the month of February.

By Road

Satna and Jhansi both are connected to Khajuraho by regular bus service. It takes around 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. Taxis are recommended the most because the condition of buses and roads are not good.

By Train

Khajuraho train station is linked with Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh) (175km) on the Delhi-Chennai/Bangalore/ Trivandrum mainline. But one cannot 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. Train tickets can also be booked in online.

By Air

Khajuraho Airport is located 5 km from the city, and is served by Air India (formerly Indian Airlines) offering flights from Delhi, Varanasi and Mumbai and Jet Airways offering flights from Delhi and Varanasi.

  • Division of Khajuraho Temples are:
  • Western Group of Temples
  • Eastern Group of Temples
  • Jain Group of Temples
  • South-East Group Temples