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Khajuraho is famous for its exquisitely carved temples in stones with the erotic sculptures in the divine art form. Millions of tourists from world over flock to envisage this impeccable Hindu art form of 950 A.D - 1050 A.D.
Khajuraho, the ancient city of India is trapped in the mythical folklores. The beautiful artwork of these temples is the second most traveled tourist destination after Taj Mahal of Agra. The mature and candid artwork sculptures of sexual and erotic postures have gained the attention of the art lovers around the globe. The temple town of Khajuraho declared a world heritage site by UNESCO.
The Khajuraho temples are the matchless temple architecture of India. The Chandela Rajput kings of Central India patronized 85 artistic temples, near the village of Khajuraho 1000 years back from 950 AD - 1050 AD. At present only 22 temples have survived out of original 85 temples. These magnificent, sensual, erotic and divine temples are paean to life and the ultimate union of mankind with the supreme power. These temples represent the expression of a highly matured civilization of ancient India. Khajuraho is a small village but it was a large city of the Chandelas; medieval Rajput kings who ruled over Central India thousand years ago.
As per the popular legend “ Hemvati, a dutiful daughter of royal priest who sacrificed her dignity for her father. Once the royal priest miscalculated and declared the dark night as the full moon night in the court of the king. Hemvati, his widowed daughter sensed possibility of stigma on her father's reputation if his declaration goes wrong before the king hence she prayed to the Moon God to uphold the word of his father. However, she had to pay a heavy price for her wish being granted when the Moon God who was smitten by her beauty ravished her in return for his favour. When Hemvati’s father came to know about this. He was so ashamed and grief-stricken that he cursed himself and turned into a stone. However, Hemvati got pregnant with the tryst and gave birth to a virtuous son by the name of sage Chandrateya later known as Chandraverman who founded the Chandela dynasty.
Temples of Khajuraho
Temples of Khajuraho are the prime tourist attraction. It took around 100- 200 years to complete these elaborately carved Khajuraho temples. The uninhibited and graceful erotic sculptures of Khajuraho temples are known for their unique architectural balance. These exquisite temples are divided into three groups, the Eastern group, the Southern group and the Western group. The temples of western group are the largest and easily accessible. The engravings on these temples are highly sensual and erotic that depicts in graceful forms intimate scenes of entire range of human emotions.
The Eastern Group of Temples: The Eastern Group consists of seven temples (four Jain and three Hindu). These are five isolated sub-group of temples situated in Khajuraho. The Parsvanath, Adinath, Shantinath, and Ghantai temples belong to the Jains while the Vamana, Javari and Brahma are Hindu temples.
The Southern Group of Temples: The Southern Group, about 5 km from Khajuraho, contains the Chaturbhuj and Duladeo temples.
The Western Group of Temples: The Western Group has 14 temples. The Chaunsath Yogini, Lalguan Mahadev, Parvati, Varaha, Matangesvara, Lakshmana, Vishvanath and Nandi, Chitragupta, Devi Jagdamba and Kandariya Mahadeo temples. It is one of the largest temple groups of Khajuraho. It includes the renowned monuments built during the reign of the Chandela rulers.
How to Reach
By Air: Khajuraho has daily domestic flights to and from Agra, Varanasi and Kathmandu.
By Train: The nearest railway stations to Khajuraho are Mahoba, Satna and Jhansi. All of these are well connected to the major cities of India.
By Road: Khajuraho has good roads to and from the major cities of India including Panna, Mahoba, Satna, Jabalpur, Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore, Agra and Jhansi.
Shopping Attractions: The two distinctive groups of temples of Khajuraho have dozens of souvenir stalls, hotels and restaurants at their entrances from where one can buy mementos and gifts.