Khajuraho

Khajuraho

Khajuraho is a small town located in the Bundelkhand region (Chhatarpur District) of Madhya Pradesh and is famous for groups of Hindu and Jain temples. These temples are a UNESCO World Heritage Site for their beautiful and erotic rock carvings.

Khajuraho has the Vindhya range of mountains as its beautiful backdrop. This makes Khajuraho a particularly fascinating destination to visit.

Understand

Khajuraho's art is a manifestation of the essence of the philosophy of Indian aesthetics. The erotic sculptures of Khajuraho depicting Kama Sutra are unique in the world. These sculptures representing the Indo-Aryan architecture, congeal in stone a lyrical paean to love and passion and reflect the Chandela dynasty's passion and immense appreciation for the forbidden art, paradoxically, in the land of Kama Sutra. They cannot be passed off as just erotic sculptures, the temples have some of the most revered Gods of Hinduism.

History

The temples of Khajuraho were built between 950 to 1050 A.D. during the Chandela dynasty of Central India (These rulers claimed descent from the moon, hence the name Chand-ela). After the decline of the Chandela dynasty in 13th century, the temples were left under the cover of dense date palm trees for many years, which gave the city of Khajuraho its name, Khajur in Hindi means a date. In the ancient times it was known as Vatsa.

In 1838, a British army engineer, Captain T.S. Burt rediscovered them. By that time only 22 of the original 85 temples had survived.

Climate

Khajuraho's climate is quite extreme, with wide variation in day and night temperatures along with minimal rainfall. Summers are hot at 45°C and winters are extremely pleasant at 27°C. Rainfall of 14 cms is observed annually. As summer is too hot, winter is a good time to visit Khajuraho. During month of March, the annual Dance Festival takes place. So from September to March is the best time to visit Khajuraho.

Talk

Though Hindi is spoken widely here, communicating in English should not be problem for the tourists. Dutch, French, German and some other foreign languages are also spoken by tourist guides and at the restaurants/hotels.

Get in

By plane

Khajuraho Airport (IATA: HJR) Tel:+91 7686 740-415 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. If one is not prepared for a 5-6 hours bumpy ride from Jhansi to Khajuraho, then plane is the best mode.

By train

A train station was finally opened in Khajuraho in 2008, linking it to Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh) (175km) on the Delhi-Chennai/Bangalore/ Trivandrum mainline. NOTE: You can not 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 (much cheaper than buying tickets through your hotel). Train tickets can also be booked online at or with credit cards/ Debit cards or Indian bank account at www.irctc.co.in

There are direct trains from New Delhi Station (Hazarat Nizamuddin Railway Station),Agra and Varanasi. Train departs from Delhi everyday except Wednesday at 20:15 and reaches 06:15 next morning at Khajuraho Railway Station.

Uttar Pradesh Sampark Kranti / Khajuraho Nizamuddin Express (Train number 22447) runs from Delhi Hazarat Nizamuddin to Khajuraho 6 days a week except Wednesday. If you have to go back towards New Delhi from Khajuraho then try to book this train's tickets as its very convenient to go from khajuraho by train than by bus. It departs from khajuraho (train no 22447) at 18.20 and reaches Delhi at 05.30 in the morning. For coming to khajuraho the train(train no 22447)departs from H. Nizamuddin at 20.15 hrs and reaches Khajuraho next day morning at 06.35 hrs.

The other options to reach Khajuraho is through Jhansi. It takes around 6 hours to reach Jhansi from Delhi by train, and another 3-4 hours (plus connecting time) to go to Khajuraho. Get the Dakshin Express from Delhi (22:50 hrs) and reach Jhansi by 05:00 hrs, connecting to the Jhansi-Khajuraho Link Passenger(Train No:51821) which now runs along with Jhansi-Allahabad Passenger(Train No:51821) starts from Jhansi at 7:10AM and reaches Khajuraho at 12:05PM. Another option is the Bhopal Shatabdi train from delhi (6.00) to Jhansi.Train from Khajuraho to Jhansi departs from Khajuraho at 12:25PM and will reach Jansi by 5:30PM. Both the trains have stoppage at Orcha.

An alternative station is Satna (Madhya Pradesh) (117km) on the Allahabad-Mumbai main line. Another option is Mahoba station on the Varanasi- Jhansi Route.Alight at Mahoba and catch the 11AM Passenger(Train No:229A) to Khajuraho.

The Western Temples group is about 5 km away from the railway station, in fact the airport is much closer to the temples than the railway station. There is no bus service from the railway station to the town at present and you will have to travel in a "Vikram"/ Diesel Auto, you can join a group of passengers for ₹10 or hire one for yourself which will cost between ₹100 - ₹150 one way.

By taxi/bus

Satna and Jhansi both are connected to Khajuraho by regular bus service. It takes around 3 hours to reach Khajuraho from Satna or Jhansi by taxi, and 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. From Jhansi railway station catch a rickshaw to Jhansi bus station which is 5 km away. It is very difficult to get a bus to Khajuraho from Jhansi after 5PM. So try to reach Jhansi by afternoon if you want to catch a bus to Khajuraho from Jhansi. Khajuraho to Bandhavgarh (225km, 5hrs), Satna (117km, 4hrs), Harpalpur (94km), Jhansi (172km)and Mahoba (61km). Khajuraho is located 600km (11hrs journey) south-east of Delhi. There are bus services from Agra (12 hrs), Gwalior (9hrs) and Jhansi.

Taxis are recommended because the condition of buses and roads are not good, and the ride is grueling. If you are traveling by your own car and if you are novice driver, then the chances of meeting with an accident is significantly high.

Get around

Khajuraho is now well connected to rail link via Jhansi, Gwalior, Agra and New Delhi.

A good way to get around and see the temples as well as the village life in Kharujaho is by bicycle, which you can easily rent in the bike shops near main temple complex. They charge ₹20 per day.

Cycle rickshaw costs around ₹15 per km and ₹200 for entire day. Taxis to and from airport cost ₹150; however auto-rickshaws cost ₹50 for the same distance.

Khajuraho is one of the cities nicely connected by private and public buses. Private tour service operators can arrange Non Ac or deluxe Ac buses for passengers from the main bus stations within the city.

See

In every temple, there is the depiction of royalty, armies, wrestling, kinship, war, courtship, marriage, lovemaking, music and dancing, spiritual teachings, union, meditation, bliss, gods, goddesses, plants, animals and an abundance of all human forms.

One of the Temples

Audio Guides

Effective 1 August 2011, the Archaeological Survey of India introduced an official self-guided audio tour facility of international standards for visitors. The tour allows visitors to experience the Khajuraho Group of Monuments at their own pace, with authentic and factually accurate information. Visitors may avail of the audio guide facility from the official audio guide booth near the monument ticket counter. Prices for audio guide services are ₹100 (+ taxes) in English & Foreign Languages or ₹60 in Hindi & Indian Languages

Western Group of Temples

There is an entry fee of ₹10/- (for Indians) and USD $ 5 (for foreigners) to enter the Western Group of temples. (If you have a ticket from Taj Mahal, you can use it here again.) All the temples are open from sunrise to sunset. These are the richest and largest of all temple groups.

Eastern Group of Temples

Southern Group of Temples

Do

Yoga

Swimming

Places worth visit

Buy

Drink

Bars & Pubs

Sleep

Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board Hotels

Budget

Mid Range

Splurge

Stay safe

Always listen to the travel alerts and frequent warnings, as some areas in Khajuraho are considered extremely unsafe for foreign travelers.

Beware of the fake school teachers, principals and students who are too much interested in your dollars as donation, which hardly goes to the school itself. If you really want to donate someone, just check there authenticity or else your charity will go in vain.

Put a sticky note with your passport having local telephone number of your close family member or travel consultant.

For women, if traveling alone then try to get accommodate near other women travelers.

Emergency Numbers

Connect

The dialing code for Khajuraho is 07686. When calling from overseas, dial +91 7686 XXXX XXXX. If you have a non-working phone number with only 5 digits then try using '2' as prefix.

Mobile Phones

Internet

Internet is available at most of the tourist locations, with around ₹25 per hour. The western group of temples has one of the highest density of internet cafes. Don't expect broadband speeds.

Post Office

Cope

Try not to give any money to children or beggars who swarm at all the major tourist spots as this will only encourage them to make their livelihood. They will try all the tricks of the trade to get money off you. Even a dollar or fifty cents given by the foreign tourists is big money here in MP.

Money Changers

Banks are better for changing foreign exchange. You won't get good rates at the airport or the hotels.

Things to carry

A torch light/flash light and a Map.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, January 23, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.