Khajuraho - A World Heritage Site

Sumanyu Goyal | 11-Feb-2017

Madhya Pradesh as the name suggests is a state that is situated in the centre of India. Its capital is Bhopal which is also the centre point of India. Madhya Pradesh has an exotic beauty that will immediately make you fall in love with it. It is a home of numerous bio-reserves, national parks, tiger reserves, old forts, temples and other natural and man-made attractions. One of the most frequented places in the state is Khajuraho.

If you are an art lover who likes to admire sculptures, architecture etc. along with a religious angle then Khajuraho is where you should be. And you'll be stunned as well as delighted to know that it is also among one of the World Heritage sites in the UNESCO list. For people who like outdoor historic places, for them, this is a site to be. Come to Khajuraho and have the best vacation of your life.

Khajuraho- A World Heritage Site

Historic importance

Khajuraho is a small town located near Vindhya mountain ranges. Here you'll find many temples all of which have breathtaking sculptures and rock carvings that will blow your mind. You'll be mesmerised the moment you'll set your eyes on them. Originally around 85 temples were constructed here but now only 22 remain. The temples were constructed by Chandela dynasty rulers between 950 AD and 1050 AD. Although, the temples remained incomplete and were under construction for years because of the fall of the dynasty. For many years the small city remained in oblivion wherein no one ventured. Khajuraho's historical name is Vatsa which was eventually changed. The extravagant city contains beautiful Hindu and Jain temples.

Khajuraho- A World Heritage Site

Khajuraho Temples

The city of Khajuraho has religious significance to both Hindus and Jains religions. It is said that Gods used to descend here and spend time in the beautiful Vindhya mountains. Out of the temples that remain standing, 6 are of Lord Shiva, 8 are of Lord Vishnu, one of Lord Ganesh and Sun God each and 3 are of Jain Tirthankars. The others cannot be assigned to any God because of their incompletion. The name of the famous temples is Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Lakshman Temple, Devi Jagdamba Temple, Parsvanath Temple, Chaturbhuj Temple, Varsha Temple, Vishwanath Temple, Nandi Temple, Adinath Temple, Dulhadev Temple, Chitragupta Temple and many others.

Khajuraho- A World Heritage Site

The rock carvings, sculptures as well as the position of the temples is symbolic. The temples are particularly famous for their erotic rock carvings. Hindu society was always considered a conservative one but the Khajuraho temples gave an altogether different perspective on the value of man, woman and their relationship in the society. The bold erotic sculptures show the position of women in the society and also depict how free it was. It is also believed that the carvings were a method of providing knowledge to children, adults etc. who had sworn their lives to celibacy. Some historians also believe that since sex was not a freely discussed topic, the temples at Khajuraho provided all the necessary information.

Khajuraho- A World Heritage Site

The erotic sculptures show a variety of sex positions but that constitutes only 10% of the total carvings. The other 90% of the artwork comprises of a day to day activities that should be performed by men and women.

Khajuraho Dance Festival

Every year in the last week of February a dance festival is hosted by Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad for one week wherein all the temples in the Chhatarpur district are magnificently lit. The dance festival is attended by thousands of artists who perform a variety of traditional dance styles, like Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Manipuri, Kuchipuri etc. There are no entry fees for the festival. The dances are held in an open-air auditorium opposite Chitragupta Temple and Vishwanath Temple. It is also the best time to visit Khajuraho because the weather is delightful and favourable for an outdoor expedition.

Archaeological Museum

Apart from numerous temples Khajuraho also has a couple of museums, viz. Archaeological Museum, Jain Museum and State Museum of Tribal and Folk Art. The Archaeological Museum was built by WA Jardine in the year 1910 and it houses sculptures and demolished parts of temples. Presently it has more than 2000 sculptures which are preserved by State Authorities.

Raneh Falls

The waterfalls are located around 20 km from Khajuraho. One can get an exquisite view of waterfalls and multi-coloured granite rocks that glow differently during various times of a day. For nature lovers who like to spend quality time with nature can sit here for hours and enjoy the beautiful landscape. Raneh Falls must be visited during the rainy season for best experience.

Khajuraho- A World Heritage Site

Ajaigarh Fort

Ajaigarh Fort was built by the Chandela dynasty who also began the construction of Khajuraho temples. The fort is located on Vidhya mountain ranges at 206 metres altitude. Like the temples, the Fort also has a marvellous architecture that is way ahead of its time. It clearly depicts that it was created by expert and creative artisans. From the Fort, you can get an awesome view of the Ken river.

Khajuraho- A World Heritage Site

Beni Sagar Dam

Beni Sagar Dam is an ideal spot for picnics and outdoor activities. Out here you can also take part in water activities like boating, kayaking, swimming etc. The extensive dam is built over Khuddar River and it stretches across 7.7 square km. The dam offers a mind-blowing view of sunrise and sunset. The best time to visit Beni Sagar Dam is during the rainy season when the landscape is at its best.

Panna National Park

Panna National Park has located approximately 64 km from Khajuraho. It is a famous Tiger Reserve and houses a variety of animals. It is a national park cum bio-reserve that is famous for sight-seeing and wildlife safaris. You can view the national park by renting a Jeep or taking boat rides and elephant safaris. River Ken adds to the picturesque landscape and completes it. Visit Panna National Park and have the best time of your life.

Khajuraho- A World Heritage Site

Khajuraho is a famous tourist spot where you'll get all the necessary amenities. There are numerous hotels where you can stay luxuriously. You'll also get tour guides, public transport, rental services etc. that will make your stay memorable. Book your tickets to Khajuraho today and experience the supremacy of Hindu culture.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The writers are solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.
About the Author
Sumanyu Goyal
Sumanyu Goyal is an aspiring Chartered Accountant who likes to read. He a jack of all trades but masters of none. He has been writing for 6 years now and has extensive knowledge in fields of finance, corporate law, taxation, fitness, travelling etc.