May 102014
 

Khajuraho really impressed us and we suggest including a two night stay in your itinerary. The town is famous for its exquisitely carved and embellished temples and sculptures, which are a thousand years old. The temple complex has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site and is simply stunning.  Life, in every form and mood, has been captured here in stone, testifying to the craftsman’s artistry and the extraordinary breadth of vision of the Chandela Rajputs.  Of the 85 original temples, 22 still survive, constituting one of the world’s greatest artistic wonders.
The town of Khajuraho itself is small, rural and relaxed making a welcome break from the more frantic tourist destinations. Around 1 hour’s drive from Khajuraho is Panna National Park where we can organise a jeep safari and treehouse dinner at the wonderful Ken River Lodge.

  • Great view of the Western temple complex from this rooftop terrace

    Great view of the Western temple complex from this rooftop terrace

  • The Tree house at Ken River Lodge

    The Tree house at Ken River Lodge

  • Sunset on the Ken River, Panna National Park

    Sunset on the Ken River, Panna National Park

  • Western Temple Site

    Western Temple Site

  • Intricate Carvings

    Intricate Carvings

  • Kama Sutra Carvings

    Kama Sutra Carvings

  • Stone Figures

    Stone Figures

  • Western Temple Site

    Western Temple Site

  • Western Temple Site

    Western Temple Site

  • Erotic Carvings

    Erotic Carvings

  • Offerings for Goddess Durga

    Offerings for Goddess Durga

  • Temple Shrine

    Temple Shrine

Key Facts

Location: Khajuraho is located in the state of Madhya Pradesh, North Central India

Getting there:
Air: Khajuraho has a small, modern airport and can be reached by a short domestic flight from Delhi and Varanasi.
Train: Khajuraho has its own rail station. Apart from that, the other nearest stations are:
- Mahoba (64 km)
- Harpalpur (94 km)
- Jhansi (175 km)
- Satna (117 km)
Road: Distances from major destinations are:
- Agra (395 Km)
- Bhopal (340 Km)
- Bandhavgarh (270 Km)
- Varanasi (via Rewa 340 Km)

Landscape: Madhya Pradesh is not called the ‘Heart of India’ only because of its location in the centre of Northern India. It has been home to the cultural heritage of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam. Innumerable monuments, exquisitely carved temples, stupas, forts and palaces are dotted all over the State.
The natural beauty of the State is equally varied. Consisting largely of a plateau, the State has everything. Spectacular mountain ranges, meandering rivers and miles and miles of dense forests. In fact, a large part of the State is forested, offering a unique and exciting panorama of wildlife. In the National Parks of Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Pench and Panna you can spot the tiger, the bison and a wide variety of deer and antelope. But perhaps the best part about MP is its accessibility. Bordered by five States, it is equally close to major tourist destinations from the North, South, East and West. Whether you are in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai or Kolkata, you’re never very far from Madhya Pradesh .

Food: Rice and tandoori dishes like chapatti, Nan and kulcha are served here. Another favourite is Papad with chutney. These apart, non-vegetarian items known as karahi are the speciality of the area. Lamb or shrimp karahi consists of tender morsels of lamb or shrimps cooked in a heavenly sauce of ginger, garlic and tomatoes.

Festivals: Khajuraho festival of classical dance every year, usually from 25 February to 2 March. The best exponents perform in an open-air auditorium, usually in front of the Chitragupta Temple dedicated to Surya (the Sun God) and the Vishwanatha Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Local craftsmen display their crafts at an open market.

When to go: The weather in Khajuraho can get very hot and sunny in summer and is generally cool in winter.  The best time to visit is from October to March.

Things to see

Khajuraho Temples

Western Temple SiteThe Western group of temples are by far the most impressive to visit. They are conveniently located very close to most tourist hotels in a well maintained park area.  Intricate carvings from the 10th and 11th centuries cover every pillar from plinth to spire and depict battles, heavenly nymphs, banquets, musicians and, of course, erotic figures for which the temples at Khajuraho are famous. The spectacular Khajuraho Son-et-Lumiére Show evokes the life and times of the great Chandela kings and traces the fascinating story of the unique temples from the 10th to the 20th century.If time permits, there are further temples to visit at the Eastern and Southern sites.


Archaeological Museum

Archaeological MuseumBrowse this fascinating museum to see history and ancient art come alive right before your eyes. The story of India is depicted in grand style, and display pieces include wonderful historical items, including the Nritta Ganesha, a depiction of the Hindu god Ganesha.


State Museum of Tribal and Folk Arts

state-museum-of-tribal-and-folk-art-images-photos-511a299ce4b015f836876ff9_410x280_fitPart of the Chandela Cultural Complex, this interesting and informative museum displays over 500 pieces of Indian art, including terracotta, jewellery and masks.


Pandav Falls

pandav-fallsSaid to be inhabited by the exiled Pandava brothers from the Hindu epic Mahabharata, these picture-perfect waterfalls are particularly impressive after the summer monsoon rains in the months of October and November. They are located around 22 miles from Khajuraho and 8 miles from Panna.


Panna National Park

Spotted deer, Panna National Park, IndiaMake the easy day trip to this gorgeous national park for a boat tour, or jeep safari through dense forests of teak and Indian ebony in a place that tigers, Indian gazelle and sambar still call home.  We can also arrange lunch or dinner at the fabulous Tree House restaurant at Ken River Lodge. In 1994, Panna became India’s 22nd Tiger Reserve.  The complete park is open from 16th October to 30th June and is closed during the rainy season. The Hinuata range of the park is open throughout the year and besides wildlife it offers cascading waterfalls.

Places to Stay

Lalit Temple View, Khajuraho

Hotel Exterior & PoolOur pick of the bunch of places to stay in Khajuraho. The Lalit Temple View is a fine 5 star hotel with lovely rooms, gorgeous swimming pool and uninterrupted views of the Western Group of Khajuraho temples which are adjacent to the hotel.


Radisson Jass, Khajuraho

Swimming PoolA good, well appointed and comfortable hotel with well tendered gardens and good sized swimming pool. Rooms are particularly spacious but it is the warm and friendly service that really stood out for me. Close to the temple sites and a short transfer from the airport or train station at Khajuraho.


Taj Chandela, Khajuraho

Entrance to Taj Chandela, KhajurahoA haven of peace and tranquility, the Taj Chandela offers easy access to the world famous Khajuraho temples, museums and Panna National Park. Tucked snugly amidst 11 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, this hotel offers an array of modern comforts synonymous with the Taj group. We particularly liked the pool view rooms which have direct access to the pleasant central courtyard pool.


Ken River Lodge, Panna National Park 

Tree House RestauarantAn hour’s drive from Khajuraho is Panna National Park which is currently home to 15 tigers, panthers, sloth bears and a variety of other animals & birds. Tiger sightings are reasonable, particularly around March/April. Located five minutes from the park gates is Ken River Lodge, an oasis of calm tucked into the jungle on the banks of the River Ken. The Tree House restaurant is the focal point and is absolutely wonderful. The fabulous hosts Shyamendra and his wife Bhavan are guarnteed to make your stay a memorable one.