Top 5 Places to See in Khajuraho will still be a treat to your eyes with all its rock carvings and intricate designs. This is a destination where you can walk to unravel the mysteries of the bygone days, live in the cities of simple folk who speak less yet say a lot, and a place where you can be one with nature. Located in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India, with the backdrop of the Vindhya Mountain range Khajuraho is the perfect destination for people who love historical tales, appreciate art, and the serenity of nature. The mains sights here are the marvelous temples of the Hindus and Jain and describing the beauty of the rock carvings is no easy a feat.
As far as history goes these temples were constructed by the kings of the Chandela dynasty between the years 950 AD and 1050 AD. But after the fall of the ruler the temples were left unattended for several years until later to be found within a dense forest of palm trees, hence the town which was earlier known as Vasta, came to named Khajuraho. ‘Khajur’ is the word for date palm in Hindi. Sadly, out of 85 temples there are only 22 that survived the test of time. So, here are main attractions to see in Khajuraho, India:
Kandariya Mahadev Temple
At a distance of 1 km from Khajuraho Bus Stand, the Kandariya Mahadev Temple is the most ornate Hindu temple in the medieval temple group found at Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, India. It is the largest and most beautiful temple in the Western Group of temples at Khajuraho.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Kandariya Mahadev Temples was built by Vidyadhara, a powerful Chandela king. Its construction is dated to the period from 1025 and 1050 AD. Vidyadhara, also known as Bida, was a powerful ruler who fought Mahmud of Ghazni in 1019 AD. This battle was not conclusive and Mahmud had to return to Ghazni. Mahmud again waged war against Vidyadhara in 1022. He attacked the fort of Kalinjar but the siege of the fort was unsuccessful. Vidyadhara celebrated his success over Mahmud by building the Kandariya Mahadev Temple. The Archaeological Survey of India protects and maintains the temple, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site at Khajuraho.
At a distance of 1 km from Khajuraho Bus Stand, Lakshmana Temple is one of the most well preserved temples in Khajuraho. This temple is considered to be one of the oldest existing temples in the Western Group and also one of the must visit places in Khajuraho.
Lakshmana Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple was built before 954 CE by Yashovarman, the seventh ruler of Chandela dynasty. It is believed that it took 20 years to build the temple. It is one of the first magnificent structures established in Khajuraho and also one of the three largest temples set in the Western Wing of the Khajuraho complex.
The temple is a Sandhara temple of the Panchayatana variety. The entire temple complex stands on a high platform and consists of all the elements of Hindu temple architecture. It has an entrance porch, mandapa, maha-mandapa, antarala, and garbhagriha. The platform of the temple
Dulhadev / Duladeo Temple
At a distance of 1 km from Jain Group of Temples and 2 km from Khajuraho Bus Stand, Dulhadev or Duladeo Temple is one of the most beautiful shrines of the Southern Group of Khajuraho Temples. Situated on the north bank of Khudar River, Duladeo Temple is the last built temple in Khajuraho and also one among the famous Khajuraho Temples.
Also known as Kunwar Math, Dulhadev Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. As per the evidences Duladeo Temple was built by King Madanvarman of the Chandela dynasty in 1130 AD. Duladeo Temple is not as ornate as the Khajuraho temples that were built earlier.
It is a nirandhara temple and faces east. The temple consists of a sanctum without ambulatory, vestibule, maha mandapa and an entrance porch. The main hall or maha mandapa of the temple is huge and is in the shape of an octagon. The ceilings of the temple are decorated with stone carvings of the Apsaras and other ornamented sculptures.
Chausath Yogini Temple
At a distance of 1 km from Kandariya Mahadev Temple and 1.5 km from Khajuraho Bus Stand, Chausath Yogini Temple is another ruined Hindu temple belonging to the Western Group of Temples in Khajuraho. The temple has been classified as a Monument of National Importance by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Chausath Yogini Temple is believed to be the oldest surviving temples in Khajuraho, the erstwhile town of Chandelas, dating back to 900 AD. The name of the temple is derived from the Hindi word ‘Chausath’, which means 64. Legends state that the temple once had 64 yoginis in its 64 cells, who attended goddess Kali. Further, it is also believed that goddess Kali sheltered herself in the 65th cell. Only 35 shrines are survived now out of original 65 shrines.
The Chausath-Yogini Temple is the earliest building at Khajuraho and is situated on a low granite outcrop to the south-west of the Siva Sagar tank. Made using coarse granite
At a distance of 33 km from Panna and 65 km from Khajuraho, Ajaygarh Fort is an ancient fort situated at Ajaygarh in Panna district of Madhya Pradesh. Ajaygarh Fort is listed among the top attractions of the region.
Built at a height of 688 meters, Ajaigarh or Ajaygarh Fort stands on a flat-topped projection of Vindhya ranges. It was the capital of the Chandelas in their declining years. The fort is bordered by beautiful Vindhya Hills and provides absolutely stunning views of the Ken River. This grand fort is noted for its rich historical past and architectural beauty, which speaks volumes about the Chandela dynasty.
There is plenty to explore in the fort, which makes it a treat for history lovers. Ajaigarh Fort originally had five gates, but now only two gates are survived. There are two temples and two rock-cut tanks present inside the fort. These tanks have been named as Ganga and Yamuna. Close to it is a ruined Chandela temple, dedicated to Raja Parmardi deva.