The crown jewel of ancient Indian architecture, the Khajuraho temple complex is a testimony to the times when the craftsmanship Indian sculptors and architects was at its very best.
It’s bewildering and awe-inspiring to stand in the midst of thousands of erotic Hindu and Jain sculptures, knowing that all of them have been carved out of a monolithic mountain during the reign of the Chandela dynasty.
Modern scientists often stand befuddled when asked to explain how a group of artisans, in the 9th-10th century, could carve out the Khajuraho temple complex of a sandstone mountain, using nothing but hammers and chisels and without any mortar. The pillars are held in place by nothing but gravity and it’s astonishing to think about the scientific imagination of the ancient craftsmen of central India.
The UNESCO World Heritage site attracts travellers from around the world, including photographers, archaeologists, historians, artists and art enthusiasts. It takes some time to walk around the entire complex as it has 85 temples in total; however, only 22 of them have been restored and are open for tourists. Some of the most famous temples in Khajuraho are Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, Chausath Yogini Temple, Adinath Temple, and Lakshmana Temple etc.
It’s nearly impossible to visit all the Khajuraho sculptures but you should definitely check out the highlights that make Khajuraho one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world. Many of the sculptures are depictions of wrestling, royal figures, meditation postures, spiritual doctrines, and kinship. But most common inspiration behind the erotic sculptures is the book of Kama Sutra. The physical representation of the postures mentioned in the ancient Indian book of eroticism is abundant in the complex.
The famous Khajuraho Dance Festival is something you should not miss. Celebrated at the advent of spring, the festival hosts renowned artists, musicians and performers rich in the cultural tradition of India. Travellers enjoy witnessing different nuances of various classical dance styles from all around India.
No matter if you are on a short or long trip to India, you can easily include Khajuraho into your itinerary. Khajuraho has a domestic airport, which is connected to all major cities in India. There is a daily flight from Delhi to Khajuraho connecting Varanasi. You can also enjoy the scenic landscape of central India by taking a train to Khajuraho directly from Delhi, Varanasi or Udaipur or take a train to Jhansi railway station and take a cab from there.
Vue India has designed special tour packages that include Khajuraho into the Golden Triangle tour, alongside Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. A trip to Varanasi and Khajuraho also gives a holistic idea of the mythology and history of ancient India.