Situated in the heart of Central India, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is a fascinating village with a quaint rural ambience and a rich cultural heritage. The fascinating temples of Khajuraho, India's unique gift of love to the world.
An Airport has been built in this small village. Tourists with fat pockets but less time can fly Delhi-Agra-Khajuraho-Delhi in a day! There are a lot of hotels in the area to stay. A few are run by foreginers. The shops in Khujaraho sell a lot of handicrafts and some of them are really good and reasonably priced.
History of Temples:
Khajuraho temples were constructed between 950 and 1050 A.D. during the reign of Chandel Empire. Khajuraho derives its name from the Khajur tree (the date palm tree) which can be found in abundance in the area. These temples are considered the "high point" of Indian architectural genius in the Medieval period.
Originally there were 85 temples, of which only 22 still exist. The amazingly short span of 100 years, from 950 AD - 1050 AD, saw the completion of all the temples, in an inspired burst of creativity. With the wane of the Chandela empire, these magnificent temples lay neglected, and vulnerable to the ravages of Nature. It was only in this century, that they were rediscovered, restored and granted the recognition that they justly deserve. The murals depict the life and times of the Chandelas, and celebrate the erotic state of being. They not only testify to the mastery of the craftsman, but also to the extraordinary breadth of vision of the Chandela Rajputs under whose reign, these temples were constructed. Their style of architecture was also rather peculiar to their times. Each structure stands on a high masonry platform with a distinct upward direction to their build, further enhanced by several vertical projections to simulate the effect of an overall lightness. The three main compartments are the entrance (ardhamandapa), assembly hall (mandapa), and the actual sanctum (garbha griha). The temples are grouped into three geographical divisions : western, eastern and southern.
Main attraction of Khajuraho:
The Western Group of temples includes the Kandriya Mahadev Temple, Lakshman Temple and Vishwanath Temple. Among the Western Group of Temples the most impressive one is the Kandriya Mahadev Temple. This temple represents the pinnacle of North Indian temples art and architecture. It is just superb and remarkable for its grand dimensions, its complex yet perfectly harmonious composition and its exquisite sculptural embellishment. The temple is covered by almost 800 sculptures which depicts gods and goddesses, beasts and warriors, sensuous maidens, dancers, musicians as well the erotic scenes for which Khajuraho temples are famous. The Lakshman Temples and Vishwanath Temples are also quite similar to the Kandriya Mahadev Temple in sculptures, composition and embellishment. These temples have the similar themes but along with that they have their individual features also.
Inside the Lakshman Temple the superb ceiling of the entrance porch is very beautiful. There is also a female bracket figure inside which deserves a special notice. There is a pair of street singers on the south façade which leaves long lasting impression on the visitors with their expressions of intense absorption. This section is located at the centre of site of the Khajuraho temple
The second group is the Eastern Group of temples which has three Jain temples which include the Adinath, Parsvanath and Ghantai temples and three Brahmin temples which are Vamana, Javari and Brahma temples. The Jain Parsvanath Temple is the most remarkable temple with its intricately carved ceiling pendants in its entrance porch.
The last group is called the Southern Group of Temples which includes The Duladeo and the Chaturbhuja temples which are two distantly located edifices. The Chaturbhuj Temple has a superb four armed image of Shiva in the inner sanctum.