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GeographyAround 385 miles southeast Delhi, Khajuraho is a city in Chhatarpur district in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The name Khajuraho comes from the Hindi word 'Khajur', meaning date palm. The city of Khajuraho is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India
The temples of Khajuraho are one of India's major attractions — close behind the Taj and up there with Varanasi, Jaipur and Delhi. The temples, of course, are superb examples of Indo-Aryan architecture but it's the decorations with which the temples are so liberally embellished that has made Khajuraho so famous .
HistoryThe theme of Khajuraho Temples is the celebration of woman and her myriad moods and facets. In the temple architecture of India, Khajuraho temples stand tall and unique. There were in total 85 temples that were built in the span of 100 years, from 950 AD to 1050 AD. Unfortunately only 22 temples have survived the ravages of time.
The temples of Khajuraho are divided into three geographical groups: Western, Eastern and Southern. The Western group is certainly the best known, as it houses the Kandariya Mahadev, which is 31 km high and yet perfectly symmetrical. The main shrine has an exquisitely carved entrance arch with a multitude of themes, however the four temples that stand at the corners of the main shrine are now in ruins. The ceilings are beautifully made and the pillars supporting them have been carved showing deities of Hindus pantheon and group of lovers. Then the western group also houses the Chaunsat Yogini, the only granite temple in the Khajuraho group. Dedicated to Kali, it is also unique in being quadrangular in plan.
Khajuraho AttractionThe Khajuraho Group of Temples : Rediscoverd only in the 20th century, the Khajuraho temples are fantastic examples of ancient Indian architecture. The temples, built between 950 and 1050 AD, represent the Jain and the Brahminical faiths. Originally there were over 80 temples of which only 22 exist today and the whole complex is spread over an area of 21 sq km. The Khajuraho group of monuments have the privilege to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The earliest of the Khajuraho temples were made of coarse granite. The western group of temples are built in pink and yellow sandstone. The sandstone were brought in from Panna.
Lakshmana Temple : The large Lakshmana Temple is dedicated to Vishnu although in design it is similar to the Kandariya Mahadev and Vishvanath temples. It is one of the earliest of the western enclosure temples, dating from around 930 to 950 AD, but also one of the best preserved since it has not only the full five part floor plan but also still retains its four subsidiary shrines
Parsvanath Temple : The largest of the Jain temples in the walled enclosure is also one of the finest temples at Khajuraho. Although it does not approach the western enclosure temples in size, or attempt to compete in the sexual activity stakes, it is notable for the exceptional skill and precision of its construction and for the beauty of its sculptures.
Western Group : The Western Group of Temples is the most elaborately carved of the three. The temples here are mentioned here in brief. The Lakshmi and Varaha Temple is dedicated to Lakshmi and the Varaha (boar) avtaar of Vishnu. The Lakshmana Temple, intricate in its workmanship; the Kandariya Mahadev, largest and architecturally the most perfect, where the interior has 872 spectacularly carved statues; the Mahadeva Temple is the smallest; the Devi Jagadamba Temple was first dedicated to Vishnu, then Parvati and finally to Kali. The Chitragupta Temple is dedicated to the Sun God, Surya, while the Vishwanath Temple is dedicated to Shiva and his faithful vehicle, Nandi the bull. The Matangesvara Temple, the only temple in this group, where worship continues, dedicated to Shiva and the Chausath Yogini Temple, presently in ruins and believed to be the oldest temple in Khajuraho.
Eastern Group : This group, other than housing the other temples also contains the Jain Temples. Of the attractions, there is the Parasvanath Temple, the largest and finest Jain temple in the city. Comparatively the Adinath Temple is smaller in size with its sculptures forming a tri-band formation, similar to Hindu temples. The Shantinath Temple is again comparatively modern and was built a century ago with raw materials from older temples. The Ghantai Temple is now mostly in ruins with only the graceful carvings of the bell and chain motifs remaining. The Javari Temple dates back to AD 1075-1100 and is dedicated to Vishnu. The Vamana Temple is slightly older than the Javari Temple, standing alone in the middle of a field. And there is the Brahma and Hanuman Temple, the name confusing since the temple is actually dedicated to Vishnu.
Southern Group : The two temples here are the Duladeo Temple, 1 km away from the Jain enclosure. Not very impressive, this temple does not seem to have received the attention the others did. The other, the Chaturbhuja Temple is south of the river and is quite dilapidated. It houses an image of Vishnu.
Khajuraho ClimateKhajuraho has an extreme type of climate. There is drastic variance in day and night temperatures. Temperature during the summers touches a high of 45 degrees centigrade while in winter it goes to down to a pleasant of 27 degrees. Winter months are the best time to visit the place. March is also an ideal time as the famous Khajuraho Dance Festival is held during this month.
How To Reach KhajurahoFlight : Regular flights from Khajuraho Airport link Khajuraho to Delhi, Agra and Varanasi.
Train : Harpalpur(94 km) and Mahoba(61 km) are the nearest railheads. Jhansi, 172 km from Khajuraho is a convenient railhead for those travelling from Delhi and Chennai. .
Road : Khajuraho is well connected by road to Satna, Harpalpur, Mahoba and Jhansi.
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