Khajruaho is a small town in central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is famous all over the world as the place with temples which have erotic art on their walls. Apart from the historical temples, there are numerous other attractions of interest to travellers which most people don’t know about. The town is situated right next to Panna wild life sanctuary and is great destination for bird watchers and nature lovers. It is one of the few places which can be visited even during monsoon season in India as the beauty and greenery of the place is enhanced quite a lot by the rainy weather. One can reach Khajuraho by train, road or air. Road ride can be a bit bumpy, so most tourists prefer train or air.
According to archaeologists, Khajuraho temples were built between 850 and 1050 AD. There are 3 major temple complexes in Khajuraho, East, East and South. The western temple complex is the biggest and a light and sound show explaining history of the region is held there every evening. Some of the most important temples in this complex are Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Chaunsath Yogini Temple, Devi Jagdamba temple among a few others. Tourists can also avail of an audio guide facility here which allows them to explore the place at their own place. The Eastern complex houses a few Jain temples and these draw a large number of Jain devotees from all over India. Among these, Parsavnath , Adinath and Brahma temples are major attractions. The Southern complex is the smallest one. Dulhadev and Chatturbhu Temples are worth visiting. Chatturbhuj temple is famous for it’s remarkable idol of Lord Vishnu.
Almost all of these temples except a select few have some kind of erotic art inscribed on their walls. Additionally, the inscriptions detail the daily lives and activities of people and celestial beings. Apart from these, there are a number of temples and ruins scattered all over the town, most of which are under excavation and restoration. A number of temples were destroyed by muslim invaders. The ones that survived did so because of their remoteness.
Other Tourist Attractions
Apart from temples, there are a number of attractions nearby which are not as well known, but still worth a look. The closest among them is Panna National Park which is home a large number of animals, birds and plants species including tigers, wolves, leopards, buzzards, flycatchers and numerous others. There are a few jungle lodges which provide an authentic jungle experience. One of most visited attractions here is Pandav Falls. During monsoon season, the base of waterfall floods and forms a heart shaped reservoir. There are a few rock caves nearby which get flooded and cut off from access. According to local legends, Pandavs from Mahabharat stayed in these caves for a short while during their vanvaas (exile in jungle).
Kalinjar Fort situated at a distance of about 100 km is another historical but lesser known attraction. It is built on a strategically situated hillock in Banda district of Uttar Pradesh. There are a number of legendary temples, palaces and numerous other religious and historical attractions which are worth a look. The most famous among them is the the Neelkanth temple and it’s caves which get filled with water during rainy season. Due to it’s size, it can take a full day to explore the place in full detail.
Another worth visiting attraction is the massive Raneh waterfall. These waterfall swell to more than 3 times their original size during monsoons and are must visit in monsoon season.
Have you been to Khajuraho or places nearby ? How was your experience ? Let us know.