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Khajuraho

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Plains : Madhya Pradesh : Jabalpur-Sagar Division : Khajuraho
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Khajuraho

Khajuraho[1] 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 more 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 pleasant at 27°C. Rainfall of 114 cms annually. As summer is too hot, winter is a good time to visit. A good time to visit is March, when the annual Dance Festival takes place. So the best time to visit Khajuraho is from September to March.

Talk

Hindi is spoken widely, English should not be a problem for the tourists. Dutch, French are also spoken by the 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 (fomerly Indian Airlines) [2] offering flights from Delhi, Agra, Varanasi and Mumbai, Jet Airways [3] offering flights from Delhi and Varanasi and Kingfisher offering flights from Varanasi. If one is not prepared for a 5-6 hours bumpy ride from Jhansi to Khajuraho, then the 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 [4] or [5] with credit cards/ Debit cards or Indian bank account.

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.

UP SAMPARK KRANTI Express (Train number 12448) runs from Delhi Hazarat Nizamuddin to Khajuraho 6 days a week except Wednesday. Dep time is 20.15 from Delhi Hazarat Nizamuddin station , ARR. time 06.35 on Khajuraho. 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.

Khajuraho is now well connected with major parts of Rajasthan by Rail since the extension of Udaipur-Gwalior Express till Khajuraho (Train No. 19665-19666), which now connects the two travel destinations via Jhansi and Agra. This train runs daily.

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 11:00AM Passenger(Train No:229A) to Khajuraho.

The Western Temples group is about 5 kms away from the railway station , infact 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 Rs 10 or hire one for yourself which will cost between 100 - 150 Rupees 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 5Kms 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 gruelling.

Get around

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

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.

There are many car rental companies available. The Auto rickshaws provide a comfortable enough ride around the small town. Also they offer a lot cheaper deal with a friendly guide in the rickshaw drivers.

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 Rs. 100 (+ taxes) in English & Foreign Languages or Rs. 60 in Hindi & Indian Languages

Official Smartphone App

An Android [6] and iOS [7] official smartphone app has become available that help visitors tour the Western Group of Monuments. The smartphone apps include a touch screen map, graphics, and the same audio content that is available in the official audio guide.

Western Group of Temples

There is a entry fee of Rs. 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

  • Lakhmana Temple - The oldest and finest of the western group of temples, named after the ruler that built the temple. The A horizontal beam over the entrance of this beautiful Vaishnavite temple shows the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva with Lakshmi, Vishnus consort.
  • Kandariya Mahadeo Temple - This temple is decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art.
  • Devi Jagdamba Temple - Dedicated to the Goddess(devi), this is smaller and much more delicately proportioned temple and is home to some of the finest sculptures of Khajuraho.The garbha griha has a huge image of the Devi of the Universe (Jagdambi), though it appears to have started as a Vishnu temple. It has the usual three bands of sculptures, but the third and most uppermost of these houses some of the most erotic sculptures.
  • Chaunsat Yogini - The only granite temple in the Khajuraho group
  • Chitragupta Temple - is dedicated to the Sun God (Surya), it faces eastward to the rising sun
  • Matanageswara Temple - A temple dedicated to Shiva, a huge 8ft Lingam adorns the temple.
  • Varaha temple - dedicated to the Varaha avatar of Lord Vishnu, it holds the statue of a Vraha[boar] in the centrestage with the Sheshnag lying beneath. Carving of an idol of Devi Saraswati on the snout of the Varaha reflects that every word/sound[dhvani] seeks blessing of Devi Saraswati [Goddess of speech,learning and knowledge]
  • Vishwanath Temple - dedicated to Lord Shiva, also called Vishwanath [master of the universe]. In the same premises, a temple dedicated to Nandi, holds a huge statue of Nandi [the Bull, the companion, attendant and closest aide of Lord Shiva].

Eastern Group of Temples

  • Parsvanath Temple - Largest among the group, with exquisite carvings in detail. The sculptures on the northern outer wall are the highlights of this temple. The image was installed in 1860.The three roofs of this temple depict mixture of Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim influences.
  • Ghantai Temple - This Jain temple has a frieze which depicts the 16 dreams of Mahavira's mother, and a jain goddess on a winged Garuda.
  • Adinath Temple - Dedicated to Jain Tirthankar(God), adinath, the temple is lavishly embellished with sculpted figures, including yakshis.
  • Hanuman Temple
  • Brahma Temple - considered to be one of the oldest temples of Khajuraho made entirely in granite and sandstone, is dedicated to Vishnu.
  • Vamana Temple - is the dwarf form of Lord Vishnu, located in a secluded place and is known for its simple architecture.
  • Javari Temple

Southern Group of Temples

  • Dulhadev Temple - The last temple of Khajuraho, lies to the south of Ghantai temple. The temple enshrines a Shivalingam. The apsara and ornamented figures are the temple's most striking features.
  • Beejamandal Temple - It is a ruined temple, and is near the Chattarbhuj Temple
  • Chattarbhuj Temple Or The Jatkari Temple - Built in 1100 A.D., is well-known for its architecture, and is also the only temple to be devoid of any erotic sculpture. 3 km away from the Eastern Group. Facing West, have to take 10 steps to reach the sanctum. The massive 9 feet intricately carved Vishnu idol in Chaturbhuja (four-armed).


Light and Sound Show at Western group of temples - After visiting the temple complex is over, the sound and light show, narrated by the Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachhan, is held every evening. Entry ticket Rs. 120/- for Indians and Rs. 300/- for foreigners.

  • Khajuraho Dance Festival

Do

Yoga

At Arhanta Yoga Ashram ,Classical Hatha Yoga classes can be followed in a traditional ashram lifestyle.

Swimming

Some star hotels like Jas Raddison and Chandela offer use of their swimmining pool for Rs 300 onwards, which is a popular activity during summers.

The Annual Dance Festival of Khajuraho happens from 1st Feb to 7th Feb. The same date goes for 2012 year also.

Buy

  • Iron, brass and stone sculptures depicting Kama Sutra poses are a specialty of Khajuraho and are available at the handicraft stores in the town.
  • Crafts Emporium [8] govt. authorized shop,deals in gold and silver ornaments, sand stone statues, and various other local handicraft which is located at Hotel Gem Palace ,Jain Temple Road.
  • Market - A weekly bazaar is held at Rajinagar (5km from Khajuraho) on Tuesdays. The market is a good place to pick up silver and brass ware.

Eat

Madhya Pradesh cuisine. The area offers a good opportunity to try some local MP delicacies. The region is famous for its desserts, which are mainly sweet though there is also a spicy variety called namkeen. Popular deserts are cashew burfi, jalebi, lavang lata, kusli, khurma, moong dal ka halwa (a pudding made from green lentils), sabudana ki khichadi and shikanji.

  • 'Beware: SCAM!' Safari Restaurant & Sharukh Internet Cafe. Beware of this restaurant and attached internet cafe. Travelers who have tried to book train tickets through here have been given fake tickets or threatened into paying huge amounts of commission on top of the normal ticket prices. The brothers running this business can quickly turn rude and aggressive, especially towards women.
  • The Green view Restaurant. A very colorful and nice restaurant, red and green colour. The cook is one of the best in town, he will prepare you the most tastefully meal as the waiter will serve it with a smile. Most welcome to have breakfast,lunch and/or dinner. In front of the western groups of temples.
  • Paradise Restaurant. A small, but cozy restaurant offering delicious, and inexpensive meals. It is also very clean establishment with helpful and friendly staff. Try the breakfast specialty of mango pancakes.
  • Blue Sky restaurant. A rooftop dining area offering views over the Western group of temples - excellent Indian cuisine.
  • Siddhartha Hotel Restaurant, Located across from the Western group of temples.
  • La Dolce Vita, Jain Temples Road, Town center. An Italian-theme restaurant, rooftop dining and good, hearty breakfasts.
  • La Terraza Off Main Square, the western group of temples
  • Mediterranean Restaurant - a Greek delicacy café, Rooftop café serving western food and snacks.
  • Apsara Radisson Jass - Eclectic Cuisine Tel: (+91)-(07686)-272 344
  • Raja Cafe, opposite the Western termple group and next to the main square. Popular restaurant from two swiss sisters. Good swiss food and breakfast for Rs.70.
  • Madras Coffee House Off Main Square, located across from Western group of temples. A restaurant specializing in Southern Indian cuisine
  • Punjab Restaurant. located across from the Western group of temples.
  • Agrawal Veg Restaurant. located beside Hotel Gem Palace on the Jain Temple road near the Western group of temples. It offers great quality vegetarian food, specially alu tamatar and boondi raita. Specially Jain cuisines are a delight there and the waiters are very friendly.
  • Shivam restaurant, jain temple road (150 mtr from western group of temples), 9200271589. 0800hrs to 2300hrs. Pure Vegetarian Food Only 50Rs per thali.

Drink

  • The Gandhi Cafe (with family restaurent), Jain Temple Road (Near Gandhi Chorraha), 07686-210786. 24 hours. One of the Best Restaurant in khajuraho normal.

Sleep

  • hotel nirvana (siddharth restaurant), front of ramada hotel near l.i.c. office khajuraho (main temple road khajuraho), 00917686272233.

Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board Hotels

  • Hotel Jhankar Ph: (+91)-(07686) 274 063, 274 194 E-mail: mptjhankar@sancharnet.in Price Range: Rs.1190
  • Hotel Payal Ph: (+91)-(07686) 274 064, 274 076 E-mail: mptpayal@sancharnet.in Price Range: Rs.690-1190
  • Hotel Rahil Ph: (07686) 274 062 E-mail: mptrahil@sancharnet.in, Dormitory Beds Rs.90, Single Room Rs.490[9]

Budget

  • Hotel Isabel Palace Khajuraho, Main temple road khajuraho (Chhatarpur), +91-9893163287,07686274770, [10]. checkin: 12; checkout: 12. 15 rooms with a/c and non a/c, every rooms have balcony with view of nice gaden.very near to the temples, nice view of temples and mountens and nice garden as well. $50.
  • Hotel Lakeside, Khajuraho 471606 (opposite Shivsagar lake), 0091-7686-274120; 0091-7686-272370; 0091-9425143675; 0091-7869176133 (). checkin: 10 a.m.; checkout: 10 a.m.. A budget hotel and well cleaned. Breakfast is quite good, even it's not expensive. Location is suitable and near to the western group of temples. Breezy rooms are facing to the lake. From Rs.500 to Rs.1400.
  • Hotel Gautama, Khajuraho 471606 (opposite Shivsagar lake), 07686272675; 098 93409919 (). Friendly staff, reasonably priced and good location
  • Hotel Greenwood, (opposite Airport), +91 7686 274 505.
  • Hotel Surya, Jain Temple road, ( 91)-(07686) 274 145 , 274 572 fax ( 91)-(07686)-274 538 (), [11]. Cheap, friendly and clean room, good value for the price (200 to 500 as april 2011) at least out of peak season. Nice garden but very expensive.This hotel is a mainstay of touts(commision boys).The touts always misguide tourists.Don't trust them. 200-500rs. (24.8423210,79.9246300)
  • Hotel Zen, Jain Temples Road, +91 7686 274 228 (). Owned by an Osho pupil, Rajesh. Offers free meditation (around 5am) and paid yoga classes (booking req'd) with Rajesh. The rooms are colourfully named after great personalities and thinkers (Laotzu, Meera, etc.) Try to get a room on a second floor or above. Nice zen garden.
  • Hotel Bharat Lodge. Owned by the popular Paradise Restaurant management
  • Hotel Yogi Lodge (not to be confused with Yogi Ashram), (opposite the western group of temples), +91 7686 274 158; +91 7686 244 158 (). Clean, good food, and an owner who seems to care for his guests (he is around only half the year, when not in Europe). Cheaper rooms have hot water only by the bucket. Free WiFi. Rs.80-400.
  • Hotel Gem Palace, Jain Temple Road, +91 9039393047 (). checkout: 10:00. Hotel with a homelike comfort. Rs.200-. (800,)
  • Hotel Jain, Jain Temples Road, +91 7686 242 352.
  • Hotel Sunset View, +91 7686 244 077.
  • Hotel Casa Di William, +91 7686 244244.
  • Golbro Tiger View Resort, (near Petrol Pump, Tala, Bandhavgarh), +91 7627 265 314, [12].
  • Hotel Marble Palace, (oppsite gole market), +91 7686 274353, [13].
  • Hotel Isabel Palace Khajuraho, Main temple road khajuraho (Chhatarpur), +91-9893163287,07686274770, [14]. checkin: 12; checkout: 12. 15 rooms with a/c and non a/c, every rooms have balcony with view of nice gaden.very near to the temples, nice view of temples and mountens and nice garden as well. $50.

Mid Range

  • Hotel Harmony khajuraho (91)7686-274135[15] very near to the temples, 40 rooms with air condition and non aircondition. roof top resturant serving chinese,indian and continental dishes.
  • Hotel Khajuraho Ashok Ph: (+91)-(07686)-274 024
  • Kairali Ayurvedic Health Spa [16] Opposite Khajuraho Airport, Tel: (+91)-(07686)-272 219 / 274 757
  • Ken River Lodge [17] Village: Madla, Near Panna National Park Tel: (+91)-(07732) 275 200 Price: Around $165 The Ken River Lodge remains closed from May to Oct. May be a good information.
  • Holiday Inn [18],Khajuraho Tel: (+91)-(07686)-272 301, Price: Around $75
  • Hotel Jass Oberoi Pass Road, Tel: (+91)-(07686)-2723 44, 2Km from airport, Price: Around $95'

Splurge

Hotel Isabel Palace Khajuraho, Main temple road khajuraho (Chhatarpur), ☎ +91-9893163287,07686274770, [10]. checkin: 12; checkout: 12. 15 rooms with a/c and non a/c, every rooms have balcony with view of nice gaden.very near to the temples, nice view of temples and mountens and nice garden as well. $50.

  • The Lalit Temple View [19],opp. Circuit House, Khajuraho - 471606. Tel: (+91) (07686)- 272 111, (+91) -(07686) 272 333 Fax:(+91)- (07686) 272 123 Email:khajuraho@thegrandhotels.net, Price: Around $160
  • Hotel Taj Chandela [20], Chhatarpur, Khajuraho 471 606 Tel: (+91)-(07686) 272 355-64 Fax: (+91)-(07686) 272 365-66 Email:chandela.khajuraho@tajhotels.com, Price: Around $100
  • Hotel Clarks Khajuraho [21] Tel: (+91)-(07686)-274 038, fax (+91)-(07686)- 274 257 1 Km from airport, Price: Around $100
  • Hotel Radisson [22], By Pass Road, Khajuraho, Tel: (+91)-(07686)-272 777 Email: reservations@radissonkhajuraho.com, Price: Around $70
  • Usha Bundela [23], Usha Bundela Temple Road Tel: (07686) 272 386/87, Fax: (+91)+(07686) 272 385 E-mail: reservations@ushalexushotels.com Price: Around $90
  • Lalit Temple View Khajuraho, (+91)-(07686) 272 111, 272 333 E-mail: khajuraho@thelalit.com, [24]. 48 rooms, spa, pool, large landscape gardens. Member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.

Stay safe

  • 'Beware: SCAM!' Safari Restaurant & Sharukh Internet Cafe. Beware of this restaurant and attached internet cafe. Travelers who have tried to book train tickets through here have been given fake tickets or threatened into paying huge amounts of commission on top of the normal ticket prices. The brothers running this business can quickly turn rude and aggressive, especially towards women.

Emergency Numbers

  • Police: Tel: (+91)-(07686)-274 032 or 100 (from Any phone)
  • Ambulance: 102 (from Any phone)
  • Fire: 101 (from Any phone)

Contact

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

  • BSNL-CellOne GSM 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz.(Tri-Band)
  • Airtel GSM 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz.(Tri-Band)
  • Idea GSM 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz.(Tri-Band)
  • Reliance Mobile CDMA
  • Tata Indicom CDMA

Internet

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

  • Om Internet and travel agency . On the way to Yogi Lodge. Market square, in front western group of temples. Broadband speed, helpful and english speaken owner and stuff

Post Office

India Post, Govt-run, office is located near the Bus Stand. Tel: (+91)-(07686)-274 022 Pincode/Post code is 471606

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 it 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.

  • State Bank of India (open until 6PM on Friday and 4PM on Saturday), Opp. the Western group of temples.Tel: (+91)-(07686) - 272 373, 274 083
  • Canara Bank (also gives advances on Visa & MasterCard), Opp. the Western group of temples. (less crowded and close to SBI) Tel: (+91)-(07686) -274 071
  • Khajuraho Ashok. Tel: (+91)-(07686)-274 024

Things to carry

A torch light/flash light and a Map.


Get out

  • Bandhavgarh National Park — Small park famous for its high density of tigers
  • Panna National Park — more tigers
  • Nachna -40 km from Panna was a famous city of the Nagvakataka and Gupta empire.
  • Orchha
  • Raneh Falls (19 km)
  • Ken Nature Trail - A 22 km , close to Raneh falls, is a jungle track, a natural beauty and imparts a knowledge of the surroundings.
  • Ajaygarh Fort - located 80 km away from Khajuraho, is at a height of 688 meters above sea level and once the capital of the Chandelas during their decline.
  • Kalinjar - A historical fort.
  • Pandav Falls (34 km)
  • Majhgavan Diamond Mines (56 km) - India's only working diamond mines.
  • Benisagar Dam (10 km)
  • Ranguan Dam (25 km)
  • Gangau Dam and Sanctuary (34 km)



This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!



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