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Khajurah Tour

Khajurah Tour - Mahendra India Travel

Situated in the heart of Central India, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is a fascinating village with a rural ambience and a rich cultural heritage. The name itself means that a lot of Khajur trees could be found here but it's not known for its trees, instead it's known for its temple architecture and exquisite sculptures.

Constructed by the Chandela kings a millennium back and on UNESCO's World Heritage List, the Khajuraho's temples are an astounding spectacle of sensuality and frozen ecstasy. The erotic art clearly reflects the then society's acceptance of sex as a source of gratification of earthly desires, and as a step towards attaining ultimate liberation or moksha.

In all 85 temples were built in Khajuraho, but only 22 are left to speak of the grandeur of conception of the rulers and architects of the day. These exquisitely carved temples are also the site for an annual mela on the occasion of Shivaratri which is celebrated here as the wedding of Shiva. This living tradition fits in with the new theory about Khajuraho that the temples were built as wedding chariots for the gods who came to attend the wedding.

An older legend however describes the origin slightly differently as follows: 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 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 brought about a realization of the emptiness of human desire.

Khajuraho combines history, architecture, culture and environment with delectable charm and has some excellent accommodation choices to select for your stay here. Let Khajuraho take you away from the noise and pollution of many of the other typical Indian cities, with its fresh air and scenic countryside. Its quaint charm and marvelous beauty of the temples makes it Madhya Pradesh's most famous tourist town and you really shouldn't miss it.

Archaeological Museum Close to the western enclosure, this small museum has a fine collection of statues and sculptures rescued from around Khajuraho worth seeing. It is open daily except Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Chausath Yogini is one the earliest surviving temples and the only one made of granite. Dedicated to Goddess Kali, the temple has 64 cells for the figures of the 64 yoginis who attended Kali (hence the name "Chausath Yogini") with the 65th cell for Kali herself. Only half the cells now remain, but like the other temples, it's worth a 'look see'.

Chitragupta Temple is dedicated to Surya, the Sun God. Though not in the most desirable condition in terms of restoration and maintenance, it houses some of the finest sculptures which include processions, dancing girls, elephant fights and hunting scenes. In the inner sanctum, Surya can been seen driving his chariot and seven horses, while on the south facade is an 11-headed statue of Vishnu. The central head is of Vishnu himself; the 10 others are his incarnations.

Devi Jagadamba Temple Sharing a common platform with the Mahadeva and Kandariya Mahadev temples, this is the simplest of all the three temples. No one seems to know which gods the temple is really dedicated to, but it is either Vishnu, Parvati or Kali. The sculptures are in depicted three bands running around the temple itself with the famous Mithunas (loving couples) on the uppermost one.

Jain Museum This museum has a modern circular gallery filled with statues of 24 tirthankars that's worth seeing while in the area. Its open daily except Sunday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Kandariya Mahadev Temple Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it soars 31 m high. The first of the temples on the common platform at the back of the western enclosure is not only the largest but also artistically and architecturally the most perfect. Although the four subsidiary shrines are long gone, the middle one is intact and in a superb condition. There are around 226 statutes inside the temple and nearly 646 outside; each one approx 1m high. The statues are carved around the buildings in three bands and include gods, goddess, beautiful women, musicians; some of them famed erotic groups worth seeing.

Lakshmana Temple is one of the earliest and also one of the best preserved temples in the area, with full five-part floor plan and four subsidiary shrines. Around the temple are two bands instead of the usual three; the lower one has fine figures of Apsaras (celestial maidens) and some erotic scenes. Around the base of the temple is the continuous frieze with the scenes of the battles, hunting and the processions. The temple platform gives you the good view of Matangesvara temple.

Lakshmi and Varaha face the Lakshmana Temple and are two small shrines. The latter has a huge beautifully carved figure of the Varaha (wild boar) incarnation of Lord Vishnu worth seeing.

Mahadeva Though in ruins, small and quite unnoticeable, this temple has one of the most remarkable sculptures of Khajuraho- A 'sardula' figure caressing a lion worth taking a look at.

Matangesvara Temple Matangeshwar TempleThis temple is used even today and sports a lingum that is nearly 2.5 metres high. The temple is quite plain and doesn't bear many of the characteristics of the Khajuraho temples suggesting that it was one of the first built.

Parvati Temple was originally dedicated to Lord Vishnu but also has an image of Ganga riding on the back of a crocodile so it's a little unclear as to which of the two gods this temple is currently dedicated to.

Vishvanath and Nandi The sculptures around this temple include the usual Khajuraho scenes but it is the depiction of women here that draws the maximum attention. They are shown fondling a baby, writing letters, playing music and also in the most provocative of poses. Apart from these, it also has a large image of Shiva's vehicle, the bull Nandi and statues of elephants on one side and lions on the other at the steps which lead to the high terrace. This is quite a complete temple, truly impressive and worth a photo or two.

Adinatha Temple is adjacent to the Parsvanath temple. It has fine carvings on three bands of sculptures and is similar to other Hindu temples of Khajuraho. The only noticeable difference is the striking black image in the inner sanctum which marks it as a Jain temple.

Brahma Temple is considered to be one of the oldest temples of Khajuraho made purely in granite and sandstone it was dedicated to Vishnu.

Ghantai Temple Fine columns with bell-and-chain decoration, with the figure of a Jain goddess astride a Garuda, is what this temple ruins offers and is another worth seeing in the area. Particularly, arresting is the frieze which depicts, in graphic detail, the 16 dreams of Mahavira's mother and a multi-armed Jain goddess riding on a winged Garuda. North of Parswanatha is the more modestly sized Adinatha Temple.

Hanuman Temple located near the Brahma Temple is Hanuman (the Monkey God) temple reputed to have the earliest inscription dating 922 AD on a 2.5m statue worth a 'look see'.

Javari Temple dedicated to Vishnu is an excellent example of Khajuraho architecture on a small scale dating back to around 1000 AD. The exterior has more of Khajuraho's maidens worth taking a look at.

Parsvanath Temple This temple is the largest of the Jain temples of Khajuraho and also considered one of the finest. It was originally dedicated to Adinath and later to Parsvanath (Jain Gurus). Without too many sexual motifs, it is a beautiful example of sensitive art with images of a woman taking a thorn out of her foot or applying make-up to her eyes. Some of the best known classic figures of Khajuraho can be seen here.

Shanti Nath is a youthful cousin of its neighbouring temples. Though it is very much like the older Khajuraho temples, it is just over a century old. It has a 4.5m statue of Adinath which was said to be sculpted in 1028. Naked groups of Digambara Jains are often seen here.

Vamana Temple or Varaha Temple was named after the dwarf incarnation of Vishnu. It is fairly secluded and stands out in a field all by itself and is notable for the relatively simple design of the Shikhar. The bands of sculpture around the temple are like many others in the area with fine celestial maidens adopting numerous poses.

Duladeo Temple was probably amongst the last temples built when the creativity of the temple builders was ebbing. Though the sculptures are more monotonous and stereo-typed, figures of women and Mithuna couples in variety of erotic poses adorn the temple. Chaturbhuja Temple Located quite far from the village, this temple has a 3m high statue of Vishnu but no erotic sculptures.

Climate

Khajuraho is located in the forested plains of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh in the region known as Bundelkhand. The climate is extreme. The summers are hot with the mercury climbing up to 47degC. On the other hand, winters can be very cold with temperature dipping down to 4degC. The monsoon starts from the month of July and lasts until September so if you don't want to get wet, it's best to visit anytime from October through to June.

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