Khajuraho Tourist Places To Visit. There is a travel seeker in every person. All you need to do is discover him. No two people are the same. They have different dreams and aspirations. The lifestyle and background of the people will also be different. If you pick two individuals of the same socio-economic background, they will also show differences in traits. The same goes for the love of travelling. Some like adventurous places while others like to get lost in the mysteries of the ancient cities. Some have the fantasy of basking in the sun near the beaches while others like to hike in the forests and mountains. Yet there are others who like the idea of exploring the religious places, to get in touch of the spiritual side. So you see, no two people have the same likings in respect to traveling.
About the city
People who like art will visit the places, which will be able to satisfy their hunger for art and architecture. If you are a fan of ancient history, then the historical cities will be your idea choice. If you to relax in the lap of nature, then places with scenic and natural beauty will appeal to your senses. In case you have a flare for all three of the aspects, then visiting the ancient, mysterious, and beautiful place named Khajuraho will suit your needs to the “T”.
As the legends go, the name of the mystery shrouded city was not Khajuraho in the ancient times. The then name of the city was Vasts. It was at the zenith of economic and cultural development. According to historical accounts, the area was ruled by the rules of the Chandela kingdom. They had respect for various kinds of art and culture. The area prospered in the fields of art as culture as well.
The Chandela kings were known for their love towards architecture and this was the reason as to why they invested so much time and money in the construction of temples in the area. The kingdom thrived from and the world famous temples were built from 950 AD to 1050 AD. With time, the Chandela kingdome weakened and once it was wiped out, the maintenance of the temples were also overlooked. Lack of care caused the area to be overgrown with the date trees, which were commonly known as “Khajur” trees.
After the ruins of these works of art were rediscovered, the over growths were cleared and the area was renamed as “Khajuraho” that has been attracting the eyes of archeologists, scientists and historians till now.
Geography and climate of the city
The setting of the place is lapped in the layers of natural beauty. The city of Khajuraho is located in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is situated in the foothills of the Vindhya Ranges. The area is covered with lush green forests and this adds to the natural beauty of the place. Due to these reasons, the number of people visiting the place is high.
Apart from this, the climate of the place is also suitable. As the city is located in the heart of the country and is placed in the interiors, the area experiences a continental climate. The characteristics of this climate are hot and dry summers and very cold winters. The range of the annual temperature is also high. The area receives average precipitation in the monsoon months. It is better to visit the area during the winters as the day time temperatures are soothing and you will not become tired of walking. It will assist you in taking a closer look at all the hidden gems that the area has to offer.
Economy of the area
Though lots of industries have been started in the area, the bulk of the revenue is generated by the tourism industry. Thus, the state and the central government have been taking proactive measures to look after the needs of the tourists. Many hotels have been established, which will offer the national as well as the international tourists with the state of the art experience. So, if you are still unsure about planning the visit then a look at the top tourist attractions will help in changing your mind for good.
List of Top Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh) Tourist Places To Visit
As it has already been mentioned, Khajuraho is one of the ancient areas on the planet. The place has a lot to offer but you must look closely to unravel the mysteries. The following are some of the most visited area, which are popular among the tourists due to their charm and beauty:
- Khajuraho Temples
When in Khajuraho, the first place that you must go to is none other than the Khajuraho Temples. Due to the significance of these temples, the entire complex has been declared as one of the top World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The temples at Khajuraho were constructed around 200 years ago and it is interesting and shocking to see that these have been able to withstand the litmus test of time. The main reason why tourists flock to the area is the carving on the rock walls, which highlight the different pleasure of human life. The erotic statues are associated with the physical intimacy between man and woman. Some of the sculptures are associated with erotic fantasies, which involve animals.
The entire temple complex has been segregated in three wings – Western, Southern, and Eastern wings. While travelling in the Western segment, you will be able to see fine carvings on the walls of the temples. These shrines were dedicated to Hindu deities. This wing houses biggest and most attractive temples. The concentration of the temples is the highest here. Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Chaunsat Yogini, Devi Jagadambe Temple, and Chitragupta Temple are some of the popular shrines in the wing.
When roaming in the Eastern area, you will come across some of the amazingly planned and decorated Jain shrines. The area was inhabited by a huge community of the Jains during the ancient times and so, their religion has been prominently represented. The main Jain shrine is the Parswanath. When you wander in this wing, you will see that the walls of the shrines have been depicted with various religious events. The carvings will command your attention and you will learn about the skill of the artists.
There are only three shrines in the Southern part of the complex. Duladeo Temple, Beejamandal Temple and Chaturbhuj Temple have captivated the attention of the archeologists and the historians for many years. The shrines named Chaturbhuj is devoid of any erotic carvings.
The main purpose of the construction of the temples is full of mysteries. According to historians, these carvings were carved out on the rock walls to enlighten the students, during the ancient times. The main idea behind this was to assist the students in keeping their lustful desires in check. Another theory suggests that the erotic carvings were to arouse the deep seated fantasies in people. If people were aroused by looking at the carvings then it meant that they were still not ready for “Banaprastha”, the third stage of life.
- Lakshmana Temple
If you visit the Khajuraho shrine complex then you will come across Lakshmana temple. This has been recognized as the second largest shrine in the compound. It is estimated that the shrine was erected during 930 AD and 950 AD. The main deity of the temple is Vishnu. The temple is popular among the tourists due to the presence of various statues of the Hindu deities and erotic carvings. There are many animal statues carved on the shrine walls and inner corridors. The tourists are allowed to take pictures of the temples from the outside. Once you see the fine detailing on the temple walls, you will not feel like taking your eyes off them.
- Panna National Park
There are many preserved forest in the state and the main one in this area is the Panna National Park. As this is a protected area, all kinds of hunting is prohibited here. In the earlier days, illegal poachers used to raid the area and kill innocent animals. But the government has taken strict measures to curb the situation. The animals are not able to enjoy the serenity of the forest. You can book a safari ride in the reserve and experience some quality time with the wild beasts.
The River Ken flows amidst the park and this enhances the beauty of the area by many folds. Here, you will be able to spot many wild animals, ranging from deer, tigers, lions, elephants and so on. You will also be able to see rhinoceros near the water body. This place is also frequently visited by the bird watchers. You will be able to spot various kinds of birds, perched on the branches of the trees. Apart from the animal life, the forests are a good source of medicinal plants and herbs. This is the best place for those who are looking for an adventurous trip in the forest covered areas.
- Ajaigarh Fort
One of the best works of architecture of the artists and sculptures of the Chandela Kingdome, apart from the magnificent temples, then you need to check out the Ajaigarh Fort. Located atop the mountain of Vindhya, the fort complex will provide you with one of the most exciting and majestic view of River Ken. The fort was a stronghold of the kings of the bygone era and so, it had been constructed among the high mountains. The estimated elevation of the castle is 206 meters above the mean sea level. If you place your ears against the walls, you will be able to listen to the tales that each brick has to tell.
- Raneh Falls
If you are attracted by water bodies and have the desire to bask in front of a waterfall then there is no better option that getting to the Raneh Falls. The majestic stream of water, flowing by cutting the hard surface of the rocky hills will give you an exquisite feeling. The location of the water fall is easily accessible as it is only at a distance of 20 kms from the site of Khajoraho. The area is surrounded by thick woods and this adds to the natural beauty of the setting.
If you want to relax in the lap of nature and witness the real beauty of the waterfalls then you must visit the place. The beauty of the falls gets multiplied during the rainy seasons. As the water level of the streams rise, the Rock Mountains become covered with waterfalls of different sizes. The formation of these rocky hills and the forest will give you the finest opportunity for photography sessions. Most tourists try to reach the place to witness the charm of the sun rising and setting amidst the mountains.
- Archaeological Museum
There are no extra points for guessing that Khajuraho is an important site from the archeological point of view. Thus, it is only befitting that there must a museum that will be able to showcase all the artifacts, which have been unearthed in the dig sites for all these years. If you interested to know about the past or see the artifacts then you need to visit the Khajuraho Archaeological Museum. This is the final resting place for all the items, which have been discovered by the experts.
Apart from the mundane objects, which were used in the ancient days, you will also be able to see various ancient manuscripts. There are also a number of stone tables, which are engraved with the stories of the past. After deciphering the texts on these manuscripts and rock tables, the scientists have been able to gather a lot of information about the lifestyle and the prosperity of the then kingdoms.
Presently, all the article in the museum have been properly coded and catalogued. The maintenance of the museum rests on the shoulders of the state government. These objects are studied by scholars as there is a lot more that needs to be discovered about the monuments and the ancient kingdoms. The children must visit the place as they will be able to know about the rich cultural heritage of the country.
Also, you will be able to lay your eyes over 2000 statues. The best part of these statues is that they are decorated with amazing carvings. These were the characteristic pattern of the bygone era. The work, associated with preservation and maintenance of the ruins and the statues is also looked after by the experts of the museum.
- Beni Sagar Dam
If you want to spend some quality time in the lap of nature and experience the calm and tranquil ambience then visiting the Beni Sagar Dam is the ideal place. The dam is constructed over a space of 7.7 sq. km and it has been fulfilling the needs of water in the surrounding areas. The area is frequently visited by school students as it is regarded as a popular excursion site. They get to know about the mechanisms of the turbines. If you want to feel the same, then book a trip as soon as possible.
If you are visiting the place on holidays, you will find that the area is full of families. Yes! The natural beauty and calm ambience of the area attracts the picnic goers as well. During the monsoon months, the turbines are opened and the water gushes out of the log gates. During these times, you will be able to witness two opposite types of beauty of nature. On side, the calm waters prevail that evoke a sense of peacefulness. While on the other side, you will see the raw force of flowing water.
- Jain Museum
The popular tourist attraction, Jain Museum opened its doors for the common people in 1987. If you are looking for magnificent pieces of Jain inspired art works then this is the place that you need to visit. Here, you will be able to lay your eyes on a huge collection of artworks, objects and statues, which have been decorated by the skilled artists of the ancient times. The reason behind dedicating a whole museum to the specific community is that in the bygone era, the area was inhabited by people following this religion. Even in the present times, the percentage of people, following Jainism is high in the particular area. The government felt the need to represent this community in a better manner. If you are willing to take a look at the way of life of the ancient Jains then this is the place that you should come to.
- Dance Festival
Living up to the rich cultural heritage of the past, the people here still possess a flare for cultural events. The state government holds a dance festival every year to promote the tourism of the area. This also helps in highlighting the cultural background of the area and dance performances from all corners of the county. The annual festival is organized in February or in March. The duration of the festival is of one week. Here, eminent and budding talents showcase their dance moves. The main aspect of the festival is that you will be able to enjoy all traditional Indian dance forms. Bharat Natyam, Kucchipudi,Manipuri, Oddissi, Mohiniattam, Kathak, and Kathakali are popular forms which are performed here. If you are visiting Khajuraho during the event then don’t miss some of the performances. They will give you a peek into the rich cultures from all parts of the country.
- Kandariya Mahadev Shrine
The Kandariya Mahadev Temple is located in the Khajuraho. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Lord Shiva. The shire is situated amidst the other temples in the Western part of the complex. All the temples in this area are dedicated to one or the other Hindu god. The Kandariya Mahadev shrine is the largest of all the discovered temples till date. The temple was erected under the orders of king Vidyadhara.
There is a marked difference between the interiors and exteriors of the temple. While the interiors of this shrine are full of simple carvings, the exterior will provide you a clear idea about the ways in which the people used to lead their lives. There are about 900 sculptures on the outer walls of this shrine. These are massively popular among the students of art. The skills of the people, who lived in those times, must be applauded. The panels of the shires are also very beautifully decorated. The figurines of dikpalas, apsaras, and surasundaries are the main attraction. The inner chamber of the shrine has a tall Shivalinga.
- Lakshmana Temple
The Lakshmana Temple is also located in the Western part of the Khajoraho temple complex. This Hindu shire has been dedicated to Lord Vishnu. There is a statue of the Vaikuntha-Vishnu in the inner chamber of the temple. The external wall of the shrine houses almost 600 sculptures. These statues depict the gods from Hindu mythologies. The lower part of the platform, on which the temple stands, is known as the adhishthana. Another interesting feature of this shire is that there are four more shrines at every corner.
- Vamana Temple
When you take a walk in the Eastern side of the complex, you will come face to face with the Vamana Temple. This shrine has also been erected under the orders of the kings of Chandela dynasty. Staying true to the pattern of architecture, the exterior part of the shrine is also full of amazing figures, carved out of stone. Though the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, people used to worship the statue of the chubby and dwarfed reincarnation of the God. There is a huge mandap in front and all the religious activities were performed there.
The details marked on the walls will take you back 200 years. The first feeling that you will get when you take a look at these carvings is that of wonder. It is really hard to believe that the skilled artists were able to make these huge structures with simple tools.
- Brahma Temple
Brahma Temple was constructed in the 900 AD. Among all the shrines in the complex of Khajuraho, this temple has been dated to be the oldest structure. The shrine is situated along the side of the Khajur Lake. This lake is also known as the Khajuraho Sagar. According to the Hindu mythologies, Lord Brahma has four heads, facing each of the four sides. The inner chamber in the temple has a linga with four sides. Though after studies, the historians were of opinion that the temple was dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It had been wrongly termed as the Brahma shrine. The shrine was constructed out of granite and sandstones. This has imparted the shrine an amazing color and texture.
- Chitragupta Temple
As opposed to popular beliefs, the Chitragupta Temple is actually dedicated to Surya, the Sun god. The shrine is placed towards the southern side; at a distance of around 183 meters form the tank has been named Chopra. The plan of the shrine encompasses an entrance porch, maha-mandapa, a sanctum and vestibule. In the inner chamber of the temple, you will be able to lay eyes on the Surya idol. The deity is seen riding a big chariot. The cart of the god is being pulled by seven horses. There are three related figures, imprinted on the beam of the entrance.
The octagonal roof of the central maha-mandapa has most striking features. On each wall, you will see attractive statues of sura-sundaris and pairs in sensual poses. Imageries of Vishnu with seven heads, adorn each wall of the sanctuary. You will be able to see many tourists, clicking the snaps of these temples.
- Dulhadev Temple
Dulhadeo or Dulhadev shrine is located alongside Khurau Nala and this is why most of the tourists consider its setting to be better than the other temples. The Hindu god Shiva is worshiped in the shrine and it is also called the Kunwar Math. An interesting thing that the archeologist have deduced is the shrine was last to be constructed in Souther part of this temple complex. Guests can realize beautiful figures of Lord Shiva and, Goddess Parvati, on all walls of the temple. The Shiva Linga is fitted inside the sanctuary. Spectacular statues of apsaras have been carved on the ceilings of the temple. These complex carvings highlight the talent and artistry predominant during Chandela rule.
- Javari Temple
Another addition to the huge complex is the Javari Temple. The temple is different from the other that you will get to see in the compound. Historians are of belief that the temple was constructed to honor the landlord of the particular area. The reason behind this is the walls of the shrine have no carvings of any of the Hindu or Jain gods and neither do they depict any scenes from the ancient mythologies. This is a must visit place and many tourist, school and art students flock here to study the architecture.
The temple is combatively smaller than the other constructions. Keeping true to the ancient pattern of art and architecture, you will see that the walls are covered with various leaf and flower symbols. The temple is segmented into many parts and this is what gives it a different look and appeal. The area is dotted with many trees and you will get some nice snaps of the temple, with the greenery and water body is the background.
- Nandi Temple
The Nandi Temple is located within another shrine. The name of the shrine is Viswanath Temple. As the name suggests, this temple also falls in the category of Hindu shrines. The Nandi temple is dedicated to the bull companion of Lord Shiva. As expected, the size of the temple is smaller than the others. According to the popular Hindu mythology Shiva Purana, the bull Nandi is the vahana or mount of Lord Shiva. It has also been written that Nandi is the head of security or acts as the gatekeeper of Kailash, the adobe of Shiva-Parvati.
The sanctuary is in shape of a square that is open in all directions. The roof of the temple is sitting on a total of 12 pillars. The structure of the Nandi bull, seated in the shrine, is very big. It has a length of 2.2 meters and has a height of 1.8 meters. Both in the human realm and in the heavenly realm, the bull is doing its responsibility of protecting the master of the universe. Even though the size of the shrine is smaller than the others, the walls on the inside as well as the outside are beautifully decorated. These are an epitome of the talented craftsmen of the bygone era.
- Chausath Yogini Temple
If you are thinking that all the shrines in the Khajuraho temple complex are dedicated to the prominent Hindu male gods then you are correct to a certain extent. The ancient and traditional society has always been dominated by the males. The ancient devotees also put more stress on the male gods. But, there are some temples, which have been dedicated to the female goddesses. For instance, the Chausath Yogini Temple is mainly dedicated to all the 64 incarnation of the main goddess Shakti.
This temple is not that impressive in respect to art works and architectural decorations. The temple has an open compound and all the 64 smaller shrines are placed all around the open space. Each smaller shrine has been constructed for one of the incarnations of Goddess Shakti. The separate shrines are made as separate cells, which are small in size. Apart from these, the cells have triangular roofs, which resemble the roof of a hut. Due to the attack of natural elements and time, only about three of the paintings of the deities have lasted. This place will give you a tranquil feeling that will last for a long time.
All these places will give you a rough idea about the places, which have the capability of capturing the attention of tourists from all walks of life and of all age groups. If you want to know about the folklores, prevalent in the area then you can also visit the museum that is entirely dedicated to this section. The more you read about these places that more you will learn about the rich past and how it affected the present. Thus, this is the right time to pack up and start your journey.
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