Khajuraho Travel Guide
Khajuraho Travel Guide: If India gave the world “kamasutra”, she also illustrated it with breathtakingly explicit sculptures at Khajuraho. The finest expression of the erotic art – a lesson in desire fulfillment, here, larger than male and female figures canoodle in the open in every possible pose –and some impossible ones. And all these within temples. Yet, each is a sublime art – a temporal union of the divine Shiva and Shakti that gave birth to this cosmos.
Be prepared to be confronted with sublimation of basest desires. See all the repressed instincts fleshed out in intimate details on full view. The in- the- face depiction of sexuality is still never base. For, the founders believed that the gratification of desires can lead to liberation. It can be a learning experience for uplifting sexual feelings to a divine level.
Places to visit in Khajuraho
Eastern Group of Temples :Adinath Temple
The Jain saint’s temple is splendidly adorned with sculpted figures and contains three Hindu temples of Brahma, the Vamana and the Javari. The lavishly carved gateway leads to marvelous exterior sculptures. The roof has been built with a Padmashila (lotus like stone and the sculptures are vivid and life like.
The largest Jain temple has exquisite sculptures on the northern outer wall dealing with everyday activity.
The colossal statue of Hanuman. “the monkey God” (8 ft high) stands out amidst the temple in ruins. A very ancient inscription of Maharaja Harsh is of archaeological value.
It is simply designed with a granite stone body sandstone shikhare. In the sanctum is now enshrined a four faced image of Brahma; hence it is called the Brahma temple. It is one of the earliest structures and does not reveal any structure apart from a sanctum and an entrance porch.
Western Group of Temples : Chitragupta Temple
Situated on the right of Brihat stupa the temple built during the reign of the Gupta kings (4th century) combines a garbha griha with a pavilion or mandap.
The largest temple soars 31 m high and is dedicated to Shiva with a lingam in the sanctum sanctorum. The exquisitely carved main shrine features, in exquisite detail, gods, goddesses, celestial maidens and lovers. The entrance arch, ceilings and pillars of the interiors stand out.
Dedicated to Kali, it is the only granite temple and the earliest one. Only 35 of the original 65 shrines survive.
The lintel on the entrance of this breathtaking temple has the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva with Lakshmi, Vishnu’s incarnations, Narasimha and Varaha presiding over.
Southern Group:Dulah Deo Temple
This finest temple is a fully developed temple with the ardhamanadap, the mandapa, the maha mandapa, the antarala and the garbha griha the ceiling of the maha mandap is a series of diminishing circles of overlapping stones. There is an image of Shiva on the lintel on the entrance and enshrines a shivlingam. The outer walls of the temple are decorated with three bands of sculptures that are dazzlingly rich .The vidyadhar wizards are carved flying singly and in pairs carrying weapons and garlands, brandish swords, play on musical instruments, carry dance in their hands, flight in their legs, and sentiment of detachment on their faces. Extra ordinary erotic couples (mathunas) also populate the place.
Unique Shopping in Khajuraho
You can buy sell souvenirs and handicrafts made by the local artisans at numerous shops. Pick up keepsake souvenirs from the smaller stalls outside. The weekly bazaar at Rajinagar (5 km) offers bargains for goods and brassware.
Eating out in Khajuraho
Restaurants like Hotel Chandela, Hotel Jass Oberoi, Hotel Khajuraho Ashok and Hotel Jhankar serve Indian and Continential cuisine. Indian cuisine is available at: Madras Cofee House, Raja Cafe and Punjab Restaurant all of which are opposite the Western Group of Temples.
How to Reach Khajuraho
Khajuraho is 595 km (370 miles) south-east of Delhi and can be visited by air, rail or road. There is a direct link with Delhi, Agra, Varanasi and Kathmandu. Jhansi is a convenient railhead for those traveling from northern cities. Khajuraho is connected by regular and direct bus services with all nearby cities.
Do’s and Don’t’s
Khajuraho is a small town so crime statistics; but take some elementary precautions.
- Stick to the well-lit and busy section of the town and be extremely alert in the dark
- Keep your money and travel documents close to your body (perhaps in a pouch slung around your neck, tucked out of sight under your shirt), Keep several photocopies of your passport, insurance, travellers’ cheques etc. scattered through your luggage,
- Do not use a waist pouch; it may as well be a transparent plastic bag: it’s that fragile and that obvious!
- Do not put all your money in one place, Many women travellers wear the long tunic and loose pyjama dress of Indian women called the salwar-kameez and find that it substantially dissuades unwanted male attention.
- If you are travelling alone, do not advertise it.
- If you lose your passport lodge a First Information Report at the local police station and contact your embassy.