Khajuraho is unarguably one of the most popular spots in Madhya Pradesh. It is famous for its Hindu and Jain ancient temples that comprise of some of the finest art in the world. Built between the 10th-11th century by the Chandela Dynasty, the carvings on these temples depict various everyday activities like meditation, spiritual teachings, kinship, wrestling, royalty and most significantly, erotic art. The temples consist of stunning displays of fine sculptures and exceptional architectural skill, making them fall under the UNESCO World Heritage Site in India.
The temples are categorised into three groups, based on their geographical location: Eastern, Western and Southern. The sculptures here are beautiful, intricate and exotic, and once you enter the Khajuraho temples you will experience constant awe and wonder. Over the centuries, and especially after the Chandela Dynasty began to wane, these magnificent structures lay neglected. Even worse, they were under constant threat of subsequent invaders and rulers between the 13th – 18th centuries when most temples were plundered, looted and destroyed. However, today only 20 of the original 85 have stood the ravages of time. The temples that were spared were due to their remote location and the overgrowth of vegetation and forests had kept them hidden for centuries. It was only in the 1850s that these were rediscovered, restored and preserved.
There is an interesting story as to how and why the temples came to be known as ‘Khajuraho’. The Chandela rulers, who constructed the temples, got the eight gates flanked by date and palm trees. These gates were used for entry and exit and over time, the temple started being called “Khajura-Vahika” courtesy the name of the trees. It slowly got morphed into Khajuraho over time and is known today by that name across the world.
Khajuraho Civil Aerodrome is located about 2km from the town centre and is well connected to cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Varanasi and Indore. Taxis are available from the airport to reach the city centre.