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Khajuraho

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Plains : Madhya Pradesh : Khajuraho
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Khajuraho

Khajuraho[1] is a small town located in the Bundelkhand region (Chhatarpur Distric) 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.

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 also have some of the most revered Gods of Hinduism. Khajuraho has the Vindhya range as a beautiful backdrop.

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 dense date palm trees cover 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, among 85 temples only 22 had survived.

Climate

Khajuraho's climate is quite extreme, with high volatility in day and night temperatures along with minimal rainfall. Summers are a hot at 45°C and winters pleasant at 27°C. Rainfall of 114 cms annually. With summer too hot to be advised, winter is a good time to visit. Also March, when the annual Dance Festival takes place. So the best time to visit Khajuraho is from September to March.

Get in

By plane

Khajuraho Airport (HJR) Tel:+91 7686 740-415 is located 5kms from the city, and is served by Indian Airlines [2] and Jet Airways [3] offering flights from Agra, Varanasi and Kathmandu. If one is not prepared for a 5 hr bumpy ride from Jhani to Khajuraho, then plane is the best mode.

By train

Indian Railways[4], state owned railways, has connectivity from all over India. Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh) (225km) and Satna (Madhya Pradesh) (117km) are the convenient railheads to Khajuraho. Satna is on Allahabad-Mumbai main line while Jhansi is on the Delhi-Bangalore mainline. It takes around 6 hours to reach Jhansi from Delhi by train. The nearest rail junction is Harpalpur (94 km) and Mahoba (63 km).

By taxi/bus

Satna and Jhansi both are connected to Khajuraho by regular bus survice. It takes around 3 hours to reach Khajuraho from Satna or Jhansi by taxi, and 5-6 hours by bus. Generally taxis are recommended because the condition of buses is not good. There are daily bus services with Satna, Jhansi, Harpalpur, Chhatarpur, Mahoba, Sagar,Jabalpur, Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Panna, Agra, Allahabad and Varanasi.
Khajuraho To Satna (117km, 4hrs), Harpalpur (94km), Jhansi (172km )and Mahoba (61km). Khajuraho is located 600km (11hrs journey) south West of Delhi. There are bus services from Agra (12 hrs), Gwalior (9hrs) and Jhansi.

Get around

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

Be aware of the school 'teachers', 'principals' and 'students' which now are too much interested in your donation which hardly goes to the school itself.

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.

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 of human forms.

One of the Temples

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. 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.

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.
  • 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 saint, adinath, ple 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
  • 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 sculture. 3 Kms away from the Eastern Group. Facing West, have to take 10 steps to reach the sanctum. The huge 9 feet intricately carved Vishnu idolin 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. 50/- for Indians and Rs. 200/- for foreigners.

  • Khajuraho Dance Festiva

Do

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( Bhamita Road and the mall inside Hotel Clarks).[5]
  • 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

What

Madhya Pradesh cuisine. The area offers a good opportunity to try some local MP delicacies. In particular, the region is famous for its deserts, 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.

Where

  • 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 - Off Main Square, the western group of temples -Popular restaurant, try a filling breakfast for Rs.70.
  • Madras Cofee 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.

Drink

As the temparature is usually high, it's advisable to be well hydrated.

Sleep

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[6]

Budget

  • Hotel Best Western Greenwood
  • Hotel Greenwood Opposite Airport Tel: (+91)-(07686)-274 505
  • Hotel Surya Jain Temple Road Tel: (+91)-(07686) 274 145 , 274 572 fax (+91)-(07686)-274 538 E-Mail: hotel_surya2001@yahoo.co.in [7]
  • Hotel Zen Jain Temples Road, Tel: (+91)-(07686)-274 228
  • Hotel Bharat Lodge - owned by the popular Paradise Restaurant management.
  • Hotel Yogi Lodge - The cheapest and best, very clean, Good breakfast, everything made-to-order, Address: opposite to the Western group of Temples Tel: (+91)- (07686)-274 158, 244 158
    Email: yogi_sharma@yahoo.com Price Rs.80-250
  • Hotel Gem Palace Jain Temple Road Tel: (+91)-(07686)-244 100
  • Hotel Surya Jain Temple Road Tel: (+91)-(07686) 244 145
  • Hotel Jain Jain Temples Road Tel: (+91)-(07686) 242 352
  • Hotel Sunset View Tel: (+91)-(07686) 244 077
  • Hotel Casa Di William Tel: (+91)-(07686) 244244

Mid Range

  • Hotel Khajuraho Ashok Ph: (+91)-(07686)-274 024
  • Kairali Ayurvedic Health Spa Opposite Khajuraho Airport, Tel: (+91)-(07686)-272 219 / 274 757
  • Ken River Lodge Village: Madla, Near Panna National Park Tel: (+91)-(07732) 275 235 Price: Around $55
  • Holiday Inn,Khajuraho Tel: (+91)-(07686)-272 301, Price: Around $45
  • Hotel Taj Chandela, Chhatarpur, Khajuraho 471 606 Tel: (+91)-(07686) 272 355-64 Fax: (+91)-(07686) 272 365-66 Email:chandela.khajuraho@tajhotels.com, Price: Around $60
  • Hotel Jass Oberoi Pass Road, Tel: (+91)-(07686)-2723 44, 2Km from airport, Price: Around $65

Splurge

  • The Grand Temple View,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 Clarks Khajuraho Tel: (+91)-(07686)-274 038, fax (+91)-(07686)- 274 257 1 Km from airport, Price: Around $100
  • Hotel Radisson, By Pass Road, Khajuraho, Tel: (+91)-(07686)-272 777 Email: reservations@radissonkhajuraho.com, Price: Around $70
  • Usha Bundela, Usha Bundela Temple Road Tel: (07686) 272 386/87, Fax: (+91)+(07686) 272 385 E-mail: reservations@ushalexushotels.com Price: Around $90

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 add "2"in front of it and try.

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 Rs.25 per hour. The western group of temples has one of the highest density of internet cafes. Don't expect a broadband speed.

Post Office

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

Stay Safe

Emergency Numbers

  • Police: Tel: (+91)-(07686)-274 032
  • Ambulance:
  • Fire:

Cope

Try not to give any money to children or beggers who swarm you at all the major tourist spots, this will only encourage them to make it their livlihood. 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 best rates at the airport or the hotels.

  • State Bank of India (open until 6 pm on Friday and 4 pm 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

  • Panna National Park (25km) - Madla Gate - It's a 543 Sq. Km Tiger reserve on the banks of the Ken river. You can take an elephant ride into the tiger reserve, but the real fun is when you go out in a jeep on the tiger-hunt. One can easily spend a day or two at this park. Tel: (+91)-(07732)-252 135
  • Nachna -40kms from Panna was a famous city of the Nagvakataka and Gupta empire.
  • Orchha
  • Raneh Falls (19km)
  • 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 kms 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 (34km)
  • Majhgavan Diamond Mines (56km) - India's only working diamond mines.
  • Benisagar Dam (10km)
  • Ranguan Dam (25km)
  • Gangau Dam and Sanctuary (34Km)


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