The temples of Khajuraho are unique to the state of Madhya Pradesh, representing a tribute to life, love and joy; they have a provocative and mischievous invite to all those who venture through the dense jungles to rediscover the glory of a bygone era.
The Khajuraho temples were built in 100 years in a truly inspiring burst of creativity. Today, only 22 of the originally built 85 temples have withstood the test of time, wind, rain, and neglect, to tell the tales of human zeal and passion. As the legend dictates, the creators of Khajuraho descended directly from the Moon; native folklore and myths disclose the story of the beautiful daughter of a Brahmin priest, Hemwati, who was seduced by the Moon-God while she was having a bath in the forest one evening. A child was born of this union, Chandravarman, who was the founder of the Chandela dynasty. Hemvati brought up her son in the deep forest away from the world who shunned this unwedded mother and her child. But, the boy grew up to be a powerful king and dreamt of his mother urging him to build temples to pay homage to the Gods and to reveal the truth behind the physical desires and human passions, inherent in every man and woman.
All the temples, hidden safely in an intense green patch of forest, disclose the many different wants and needs inherent in a human being, and if you go exploring with an open mind you just might be educated on some desires you didn't even know you had in you!
Main Tourist Attractions:
The largest and most typical of all Khajuraho temples, it stands 31m high, and was built in dedication to the Lord Shiva. Consisting of 4 shrines, the main shrine has an exquisitely carved arch at the entrance with delicately but intricately carved figures of Gods and Goddesses, and lovers captured in breathtaking detail. The outer walls of the shrine have carvings depicting deities of the Hindu pantheon, groups of lovers and a pageant of sensuousness.
The only granite temple, dedicated to Kali, it is the oldest temple to have survived over the centuries, dating back to 900AD.
Dedicated to the Sun God, Surya, the image of the deity, 5-feet high, driving a royal procession of elephants, depicts the lavish lifestyle of the Chandela kings. A variety of sensuous attitudes: languid, provocative and mischevious inviting, depict Khajuraho's erotica, that tested the devotees who came to worship the Gods in these temples.
Other temples worth exploring are the Vishwanath Temple; the Nandi temple; the Lakshmana Temple; The Varaha Temple; the Matangeswara Temple, which has the Archaeological Museum close by in proximity, housing a collection of statues and friezes collected from the ruins of the by-gone era; the Jain Parswanath Temple, is exquisite in detail in its depiction of chores of daily life: a woman pensively reading a letter, or a beautiful young girl removing a thorn from her foot; The Brahma Temple; the Vamana and the Javari Temples.
If the Temples of Khajuraho have a theme it is perhaps that of the Woman; a celebration of her body, her moods and inherent sexuality. But, if you think you have seen all you can, try some of the many excursions available from the city. The Panna National Park, just 32 km from the Temples, houses a number of rare bird species, the tiger and leopard, and the wolf. On the way to the Park, you can stop at the Pandav Falls or have a quiet picnic at the Ranguan Lake. But, if you're in the mood to just sit back and relax, literally, the Kairali Ayurvedic Centre, has recently opened a Relaxation and Health Club in Khajuraho. Spread across 5 acres of landscaped surroundings, you can try a number of different massages to kneed life back into you while you ponder over and derive inspiration from your exotic surroundings, and unleash the hidden desires you may have been masked all this time!