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Khajuraho - city of moon god OR Land of the Moon God

STATE - MADHYA PRADESH

DISTANCE - 337 KM From Bhopal, 365 KM From Gwalior, 46 KM From Panna

CONNECTION

By Air : The airport is 5 kms from the city centre and is well connected by domestic flights to and from Agra, Varanasi and Kathmandu.

By Train : Mahoba, Satna and Jhansi are the nearest railway stations. All of these are well connected by most of the major cities of India.

By Road : Khajuraho is connected by regular bus services with Mahoba, Harpalpur, Satna, Jhansi, Gwalior, Agra, Jabalpur and Bhopal. Khajuraho is 590 kms from Delhi via Gwalior and Jhansi.

ABOUT KHAJURAHO

The history of khajuraho begins right through the Mughal invasion and the early British forays into India, Khajuraho temples in India remained unknown. Rediscovered in this century, they are excellent reminders of India's glorious past.

To some, Khajuraho Temples are the most graphic, erotic and sensuous sculptures of India, the world have ever known. But Khajuraho has not received the attention to its diverse and significant contribution to the religious art of India – there are literally hundreds of delicate images on the interior and exterior walls of the shrines.

Architecturally these temples are unique. While each temple in Khajuraho has a distinct plan and design, several features are common to all. They are all built on high platforms, several metres off the ground, either in granite or a combination of light sandstone and granite. Each of these temples has an entrance hall or mandapa, and a sanctum sanctorum or garbha griha. The roofs of these various sections have a distinct form. The porch and hall have pyramidal roofs made of several horizontal layers. The inner sanctum's roof is a conical tower - a colossal pile of stone (often 30m high) made of an arrangement of miniature towers called shikharas.

PLACES OF INTERESTS IN KHAJURAHO

Temples : The temples are a superb example of Chandela art and architecture, depicting scenes of gods and goddesses, valiant warriors, animals and people, often engaged in acts of love. There is a specific portrayal of sensuality and erotica, which far from appearing vulgar, enhances the beauty and purity of the temple art forms. From the exterior, the temples are a series of towers, each higher than the other, culminating in a soaring shikhara. The inner sanctum sanctorum, is almost as elaborately carved, as the exterior. At the time of being built since there was no mortar, these blocks have merely been fitted together. The common material used was granite or sandstone and the horizontal band of sculptures, were an integral part of the design, which was used to balance the vertical elements for design symmetry.

Panna National Park : Sprawling over an area of 543 sq. km, the sanctuary is situated, adjacent to the Ken River and is teeming with a wide variety of flora and fauna. The park has 22 tigers; however, as they are not tracked, it is almost impossible to spot one. The other wildlife, includes deer, leopards, langur and sambar. It is worth noting, that the Panna National Park, remains closed from June to October. The Raneh Falls and the Majhgawan Diamond Mines, are close by and are well worth a visit.

AjaIigarh and kalijar forts : The solitary Ajaigarh Fort, 80 km from Khajuraho, built by the Chandela rulers, was an effort to protect the local folk, during attacks or sieges. The Kalinjar Fort, 25 km northwards, much older in origin was built during the Gupta period.

Archaeological Museum : At a short distance from the Western Group, this museum is packed with statues and figurines, which have been restored from the ruins of the temples. Particularly noteworthy, is the Ganesh sculpture in the entrance gallery.

Benisagar Dam : A great spot for fun, 11 km from Khajuraho, the dam is a god place to swim and go boating. The surrounding landscaped gardens,offer shade and green areas to rest and relax in

Dhubela : On the road from Khajuraho to Jhansi, at a distance of 64 km, there is an old fort, which unfortunately is falling into ruin and a museum with ancient Shaki cult sculptures and a cache of weapons, clothes and personal memorabilia of the Bundela rulers.

Gangau : A mini wildlife sanctuary, situated on the banks of the Ken River, 38 km from the city. The park has a small population of cheetal, sambhar, langurs etc and is well worth a visit.

Jain museum : A recent addition to enhance the viewers experience when visiting the Jain Temples, the museum exhibits 24 tirthankaras.

Pandav Falls : From the city, 32 km on the mighty Ken River are the Pandav Falls. The rays of the sun filtering through the misty spray turn the sunlight into incandescent rainbow colours -- truly a sight to behold. The area is picturesque and is a great picnic spot.

Rewa : Once the home of the magnificent white tiger that is now extinct due to indiscriminate hunting and poaching. The Rewa Palace is definitely worth a visit.

Shilpgram : A 10-acre complex showcasing traditional handicrafts from various parts of India. The ethnic offerings are both for viewing and sale. Within the complex there is an amphitheater, where cultural programs are staged.

RELIGIOUS PLACES IN KHAJURAHO

Easter group of temples : It can be further divided into two groups-one being an enclosure housing the Jain Temples and the second being a cluster of four temples. Though all the temples are worth a visit, the main attractions are the Parasvanath Temple, the Adinath temple.

Souther group of temples : This temple complex has only two temples to offer. The Duladeo Temple, a km away from the Jain enclosure, almost seems to be built, as an afterthought. The sculptures appear cold and do not communicate the emotion evident in the other temples.

Western group of temples : The Western Group of Temples, are the most elaborately carved, from the three groups. Set within an enclosure amidst manicured lawns, the temples in this group, include the Lakshmi and Varaha Temple, the Lakshmana Temple, and the Kandariya Mahadev temple.

Chaturbhuja Temple : This is the farthest temple. situated about 3 kms south of khajuraho and 600m southwest ot the Jatkari village . One of them is a shiva temple enshring a marble Lingham, The other one large 2.7m high image of chatturbhuja (vishnu ) in the sanction with an expression of transcendental calm and bliss on its face.

Duladeo Temple : The Duladeo temple. also called kunwarnath is situated south of the Ghanai temple and is not able for being the latest temple of khajuraho. Dedecated to Shiva Built in 100- 1150 , the Apsara and Ornamented figures of teh temples most striking features.

Shantinath Temple : There is a marvelous sculpture of a Yaksha couple on the right as one enters the complex. It can be dated to the early tenth century, but it has been placed at this site only within the last 80 years. This temple was constructed about a hundred years ago with the help of the remains of certain old and ruined jain temples.

Parsvanatha : The parsvanaths. originally dedicated to the fort Tirthenkara is one of the finest monuments of khajuraho and the largest among the local Jain temples. This temple built in 950 -970 A.D . During the early part of the Dhanga's region , The panchyatan temple, in Nagara style, parsvanath is about 20 meters along and 11 meters in width , Within a throne faces the ball emblum of the first tirthanka, adinathi, The Parsuanath image was installed in 1860 A .D.

Ghantai Temple : This Jain temple has a frieze which depicts the 16 dreams of Mahavira's mother and a Jain goddess on a winged Garuda, built in the 10th century. The temple, locally called Ghantai on account of the chain -and - bell ( ghanta ), It is situated to the south of the Khajuraho.

Javari Temple : This temple dedicated to vishnu , is situated about 200 meters to the South of the Vamana temple built in 1075 - 1100 A.D. This temple, however , shows two significate architectural features, First its Jangha. Secondly the gods on the lower row of its jangha replaced in niches accompauied by torana - arches.

Vamana Temple : This temple dedicated to the vamana form of Vishnu, Is situated above 200metres to the Brahma temple . Built in 1050 - 1075 A.D. The main niches of the sanction contain in the lower row Vaishnava images of Varha Narasimha and Vamana. The absence of the Danielle - type of head - dicates that the the temle .

Brahma Temple : This temple with a simple plan and design and with the sikhara made of sandstone and the body of granite, occupies a fine position on the bank of the khajuraho - sagar or Ninora-Tal. It is miscalled Brahma on account of a four - faced linga now enshrined in the sanctums, but must have originally been dedicated to bishnu as shown by his figure carved centrally on the linted of the sanctum - doorway.

Hanuman Temple : A colossal statue of Hanuman, the member god is housed in a midern shrine situated about halfway between the western group of temples and the khajuraho village, It is interesting mainly on its pedestal dating back to the maharaja, Harsha in 922 A.D . This is odest structure.

The Chopra Tank, Pratareswar Temple, Jagadambi Temple, Parvati Temple, Nandi Shrine, Vishwanatha Temple, Lakshmana Temple, Chitragupta Tample, Varaha Temple, Lalkhun - Mahadeva Temple, Kandariya - Mahadeva Temple.

WHEN TO GO KHAJURAHO

Khajuraho is a small village in central India. From the village one can see the outcrops of the vindhyan range. The best time to visit khajuraho is during the months of October to march when the average temperature is between 90° and 40° Fahrenheit.

WEATHER FORECAST

Summer : Khajuraho enjoys typical continental type of climatic conditions. The climate during the summer (April to June) is extremely hot and the sun bakes you mercilessly all throughout the day. The maximum temperature reaches an unbearable height of about 45oC. Nevertheless, there can be drastic fluctuations in day and night temperature levels. The heat gets mild and the mercury level falls to a minimum of 21oC with nightfall.

Winter : Winters generally last from November to February and typical continental climate is witnessed during these months. The days are comparatively warmer, with the maximum temperature reaching about 32oC. However, the nights can be quite cold and chilly, with the mercury level dipping to as low as 4oC. Winters are generally fog-free and dry. The winter months are also the best time to visit the place, as winter heralds the 7-day long, Dance Festival of Khajuraho.

Monsoon : Monsoons last for a period of three months. From July to September, the place experiences heavy monsoon showers. The average rainfall is recorded at about 45 inches. The humidity also gets very high, with the frequent spells of drizzle. Though the place blooms with a new vigor, the season is suitable for staying indoors. So, the best time to visit the place is right after the monsoon season or during the winters (october and March).

EVENTS AND FESTIVALS IN KHAJURAHO

Khajuraho, India offers visitors a rich array of events and festivals throughout the year that highlight its unique cultural identity and history. HotelTravel.com highlights the key events and festivals in Khajuraho from month to month, providing visitors with a huge choice of possible choice to play that once in a lifetime holiday around. Each one brings to life why Khajuraho is so representative of people from India.

Khajuraho Dance Festival : Khajuraho Festival, a weeklong dance festival, is organized every year in the month of February or March. Khajurao Dance Festival celebrates the cultural heritage of the temples of the region. The venue of the festival is the Vishwanatha temple and open-air auditorium in front of the Chitragupta temple. Both the temples are beautifully lit and stand glittering with the colorful lights.

Sivratri : celebrated across India, this festival is held in tribute of Lord Shiva and runs from the end of February through till March. Religious rites and the worshipping of Shiva dominate the festival’s activities.

Khajuraho Dance Festival : observed in February and running into March, this popular cultural event is held around the town’s ancient temples and is a celebration of Indian classical music and dance.

Ugadi : Khajuraho joins the rest of the country in celebrating the arrival of the new year according to the lunar calendar. Traditionally, house doorways are decorated with mango leaves and locals put their finest clothes on before joining family and friends for celebratory meals.

Buddha Purnima : Khajuraho’s Buddhist residents celebrate one of the most significant dates in the calendar as enthusiastically as those of the same faith across the country. Vesak Day, as it is otherwise known, celebrates the three most important aspects of the Buddha: his birth, his achieving of enlightenment and his death.

Guru Purnima : Buddhists in Khajuraho and across the country celebrate the birthday of Krishna-dwaipayana Vyasa. Gurus are worshipped by those below them; the latter believing that the former are in fact embodiments of the deity.

Ganesh Chaturthi : Hindu residents of Khajuraho join with others across the nation in celebrating the birthday of Lord Ganesh. The festival lasts for 10 days and can run on into September depending on the lunar calendar.

Diwali : another of the Hindu faith’s important festivals, Diwali (sometimes known as Deepavali) is referred to as the ‘Festival of Lights’ in English and is a 3-day event that can also take place in November depending on variations in the lunar calendar.

FOOD AND RESTURANTS IN KHAJURAHO

Poha (Rice Flakes Cooked with Spices), Roghan Josh (Lamb Curry), Saboodana ( Pearl Sago) Khichdi. Rogan Josh, Korma, Seekh Kebab, Achari Gosht and Shami kebab. 'Bhutte ki Kees' that is made of corn and milk and Chakki ki Shaak made from heated dough that is steamed and is used with curd.

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