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Khajuraho

Travel Guide Asia India Madhya Pradesh Khajuraho

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Introduction

Khajuraho (Hindi: खजुराहो) is a small town in the state of Madhya Pradesh of around 3,000 people. It is famous for the Hindu and Jain temples which are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the beautiful erotic rock carvings of sculptures depicting Kama Sutra often referred to as the Temples of Love. The temples were built between 950 and 1050 CE and they represent the Indo-Aryan architecture. The people of Khajuarho still use some of the main temples to worship in.

It is rumoured that there were once 85 temples believed to have been built between the 9th and possibly 12th centuries, but only 20 have survived, but remain in a good condition. As dense forest surrounded these temples it allegedly shielded them from the invading Muslim armies. A character called T. S. Burt who was British engineer claimed to re-discover the temples in the mid-19th century and was said to find the sculptures offensive. Of course, the local villagers and tribals have regularly these temples ever since they were constructed and did not need them to be re-discovered so this is a matter for debate! Also open to debate are a number of explanations and theories have been forthcoming over the years, for the presence of these quite graphic and erotic sculptures. There are no official records to reveal or prove the actual purpose of these temples and the sex/love scenes depicted, so it still remains an enigma and the theories may continue as excavation will also continue in this region.

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Sights and Activities

There are many temples to be explored, divided in 3 different temple complexes. Some of the temples are as old as a thousand years or more.

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Events and Festivals

The Khajuraho Dance Festival spread over a week is held each year in February/March against the spectacular backdrop of the magnificently lit and decorated temples. The festival, quite popular amongst the foreign tourists, is usually held in an open air auditorium close to the Chitragupta and Vishwanatha temples. This cultural festival highlights the richness of the various Indian classical dance styles such as Bharathanatyam, Odissi, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Kathakali and some of the best classical dancers of the country leave the audience spellbound with their spirited and disciplined performance. Recently modern Indian dance has also been included in the schedule of events. Along with the breathtaking dance performances, a number of craftsmen also display their crafts to the visitors. There is an open market where local articles are put on sale. Khajuraho Festival is organized to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of medieval temples of the city and preserving it for the future generations.

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Getting There

If you are starting a trip in Delhi and have a few days to spare it is worth heading to Agra and Orchha en route to Khajuraho and then you can head onto Varanasi afterwards and beyond, or just pick up a flight back from Varanasi to Delhi. Or you can fly from Delhi or take the overnight train to Khajuraho.

By Plane

Khajuraho Airport (HJR), located 5 kilometres away, is served by Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines. There are connections to Delhi, Varanasi with the first two airlines and with Kingfisher to those places plus Mumbai and Chennai.

By Train

Indian Railways is the operator of train services in India. The construction work of the Mahoba - Khajuraho work has been completed and recently Indian Railways has introduced direct trains from Delhi to Khajuraho. This has come as a major relief for the tourists as it provides a comfortable and hassle free access to Khajuraho. This is an overnight service and runs six times a week from Delhi (except Wednesdays). For further details check the Indian Railways website.
Alternatively, Jhansi and Satna have connections as well, as they are on the Delhi - Mumbai and Mumbai - Allahabad train links respectively.

By Bus

Bus service is available from Jhansi (5 hours) and Gwalior and both of these towns can be reached from Delhi or Agra by trains. There’s a bus to Agra (10 hours) and, on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, a night bus to Varanasi (14 hours). Three buses run to Satna (3½ hours) and there are regular services to Mahoba (four hours) and to Madla for Panna National Park (one hour). More buses can be caught at Bamitha, 11 kilometres away where buses between Gwalior, Jhansi and Satna shuttle through all day.

By Boat

There is no boat service to Khajuraho.

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Getting Around

By Bike

A great option is renting a bike. Almost all the hotels provide bicycles at a very low cost.

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Drink

Always drink the bottled water or purify your own. Liquor shops are available, most of the hotels serve booze.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
The Jewel of The JungleOpposite Madla Gate, Panna Tiger Reserve,Guesthouse-
Hotel GreenwoodKhajurahoHotel-
Hotel ZenJain Temple Road,HOTEL84
Hotel HarmonyJain Temple RoadHOTEL89
EuroStar InnAirport Road KhajurahoHOTEL-
Hotel LakesideOpposite Shivsagar LakeHotel-
Hotel Surya KhajurahoJain Temple Road Near Westurn Group Of Temple KhajurahoHotel84
Marble PalaceOpposite to gole market Across main roadHOTEL-
Shri Krishna Jungle ResortBy-Pass Road Near Hotel RadissonHOTEL85
Hotel Krishna CottageOpp Shiv Sagar lakeHOTEL-
Hotel Isabel PalaceAirport RoadHOTEL87

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Keep Connected

Internet

There's good coverage over most of India for Internet cafes. However, following the recent terror attacks in Mumbai and some other cities, all internet cafes have been instructed by the authorities to maintain a register and note down the identification details of all persons using internet. Sify iWay is a reliable and cheap cafe with over 1,600 cafes over India. iWay also allows you to open a pre-paid account that you can use all over India. Whenever you have Internet access probably the best and cheapest way to call family and friends at home is software that allows users to make voice calls over the Internet such as Skype.

Wifi hotspots in India are, for most part, limited. The major airports and stations do offer paid wifi at around RS.60-100 an hour. Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai are the only cities with decent wifi coverage. At Mumbai airport, you get to use WiFi internet free, for an hour or so.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country code for India is 91. To dial outside the country from India, prefix the country code with 00.

The general emergency number is 100 (emergency response police & fire), while for ambulance you should dial 102 or 112, though some regions have 108 for this emergency. 108 is used in in the Indian states of Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Goa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha,Assam, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. 108 can be called for medical, crime, fire, or any other emergency from any phone.

Local phone numbers can be anywhere from 5-8 digits long. But when the area code is included, all landline phone numbers in India are 10 digits long. Cellphone numbers usually start with '9', '8', or '7'. Toll-free numbers start with 1-800.

If staying longterm it is probably wise to think about investing in a mobile phone. You'll possibly need to provide a photocopy of your passport and itinerary, so come prepared. Make sure you arrange it upon arrival in a big city, as it can sometimes be difficult to organise with language barriers and such in more regional areas. You can buy a cheap nokia for about RS.1,200 with a pre-paid plan. Airtel is a good carrier to think about as they have great coverage, and constant offers for cheaper calling. To recharge, most shop vendors with phone carrier signs can do it via their own phone. You give them your mobile number, they put it in their phone and you'll both get messages as to whether or not the recharge has been successful. Also, if possible, buy the phone in the state where you do the most travelling as the charges are higher in the states where you did not originally buy the phone.

Over the entire country there are plenty of public phones, even in the middle of the countryside. Although most of the time these phones are not very well maintained and have horrible connections. Therefore remember when using one of these public phones one must be extremely patient.
For international calls from payphones, you'll have to visit a reputable internet cafe with a phone-booth. Mobile phones are usually a better and cheaper option.

Post

India Post is the national postal service of India, and on their website you find details about prices to send postcards, letters and parcels, both domestically and internationally. For most postcards to send internationally, it is better to visit the post office before writing on the card as you may need quite a few stamps. Parcels must be taken to a tailor, he will then sew it up in white linen. Make sure he seals it with red wax, otherwise the post office may refuse to send it or try to get you to pay them to do it. Sewing up a parcel should only cost RS.50 to 200. In general, post offices are open from 10:00am to 1:00pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm in most bigger towns and cities, though there are regional variations and some might keep longer hours or be open during (part of) the weekend as well. Ask around.

If you want to send bigger packages/parcels, it might be better, faster and sometimes even cheaper, to contact a private company like DHL, TNT or UPS.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 24.8418138
  • Longitude: 79.9248669

Contributors

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This is version 25. Last edited at 8:23 on Jun 6, 14 by Utrecht. 8 articles link to this page.

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