Khajuraho tour / Khajuraho tourism / Khajuraho travel / Khajuraho attractions

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Today's Khajuraho is a small village in the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh in Central India. This used to be the capital of the Chandela kings and the temples found here were built between 950 and 1050 AD under the later Chandela kings. The temples of Khajuraho are brilliant examples of medieval Indian architecture and as such, Khajuraho is a very popular tourist destination in India.

It is believed that Khajuraho originally had 85 temples. But only about 22 have survived the ravages of time and they are strewn amidst lakes and fields in the area. The existing Khajuraho temples are divided into three groups - western, eastern, and southern. The western group is most famous, and it is designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. These temples are enclosed within a beautifully laid-out park. Most beautiful amongst these temples within the western group are the Lakshmana and Vishwanath temples in the front, and the Kandariya Mahadeva, Jagadambi, and Chitragupta temples at the rear.

The sculptors of Khajuraho have decorated the walls of the temples with carved figures of men and women of the day doing their daily routines, such as musicians playing music, women putting on make-up, etc. That includes depiction of Mithuna or human couples engaged in sexual acts. Though only about 10% of the carvings on the temple walls show erotica, this is what make the temples of Khajuraho so talked about thing. This certainly raises inquisitiveness in the minds of the tourists and, of course, there are several explanations offered for this kind of depiction. Of these explanations, which you can read on any literature on Khajuraho, I personally like the following: The union of Purush and Prakriti, man and nature, is the source of all life and creation, and these temples celebrate this belief.

The following is a quotation from the web site on Khajuraho of the Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India. Under the sub-heading Themes of passion and sensuality, it says:

"It is the amorous couples of Khajuraho, appearing mostly on the panels of the sandhara temples, that have drawn maximum attention. Their gestures and expressions pulsate with life and exhibit great passion, sensitivity, joy and warmth.

Traditionally, love or kama, symbols of life and creation, had religious sanction as one of the aims of pursuits of life, along with dharma or piety and artha or economic pursuit. The full attainment of all three leads to moksha or salvation. Depictions of mithuna or loving human couples were seen as auspicious signs of fertility that would ward off evil and bestow great merit on the builder when used in architecture."

If you plan to visit Khajuraho, try to time your visit during the Khajuraho Dance Festival. The Khajuraho Dance Festival is a weeklong event that takes place every year during February and March. (Timing may vary. Please check the Khajuraho event calender in the Internet or ask your travel agent). Eminent classical dancers of India perform in this open-air extravagenza which take place right in front of the ancient temples. You are sure to come back with a memory that will last for ever.

The following two stamp images represent tourism in Khajuraho (Each image is clickable):

Medieval Sculpture, Khajuraho
Medieval Sculpture,
Khajuraho
Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, Khajuraho. Khajuraho temples are well known for their erotic sculptures.
Kandariya Mahadeva Temple,
Khajuraho

The following are some links related to tourism in Khajuraho:

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