photo by Lev Yakupov

Khajuraho is a small town located in the Bundelkhand region (Chhatarpur District) of Madhya Pradesh and is famous for groups of Hindu and Jain temples. These temples are a UNESCO World Heritage Site for their beautiful and erotic rock carvings.

Khajuraho has the Vindhya range of mountains as its beautiful backdrop. This makes Khajuraho a more fascinating destination to visit.


Khajuraho's art is a manifestation of the essence of the philosophy of Indian aesthetics. The erotic sculptures of Khajuraho depicting Kama Sutra are unique in the world. These sculptures representing the Indo-Aryan architecture, congeal in stone a lyrical paean to love and passion and reflect the Chandela dynasty's passion and immense appreciation for the forbidden art, paradoxically, in the land of Kama Sutra. They cannot be passed off as just erotic sculptures, the temples have some of the most revered Gods of Hinduism.


The temples of Khajuraho were built between 950 to 1050 A.D. during the Chandela dynasty of Central India (These rulers claimed descent from the moon, hence the name Chand-ela). After the decline of the Chandela dynasty in 13th century, the temples were left under the cover of dense date palm trees for many years, which gave the city of Khajuraho its name, Khajur in Hindi means a date. In the ancient times it was known as Vatsa.

In 1838, a British army engineer, Captain T.S. Burt rediscovered them. By that time only 22 of the original 85 temples had survived.


Khajuraho's climate is quite extreme, with wide variation in day and night temperatures along with minimal rainfall. Summers are hot at 45°C and winters pleasant at 27°C. Rainfall of 114 cms annually. As summer is too hot, winter is a good time to visit. A good time to visit is March, when the annual Dance Festival takes place. So the best time to visit Khajuraho is from September to March.

Getting there

By plane

Khajuraho Airport (IATA : HJR) Tel:+91 7686 740-415 is located 5 km from the city, and is served by Air India (fomerly Indian Airlines) offering flights from Delhi, Varanasi and Mumbai, Jet Airways offering flights from Delhi and Varanasi and Kingfisher offering flights from Varanasi. If one is not prepared for a 5 hr bumpy ride from Jhansi to Khajuraho, then the plane is the best mode.

By train

A train station was finally opened in Khajuraho in 2008, linking it to Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh) (175km) on the Delhi-Chennai/Bangalore/ Trivandrum mainline. NOTE: You can not buy train tickets at the Khajuraho train station! You must go to the BUS station, about 1km walk out of town, to buy train tickets (much cheaper than buying tickets through your hotel). UP Sampark Kranti Express (Train number 2448) runs from Delhi H. Nizamuddin to Khajuraho 3 times a week (Tuesday, Friday and Sunday). It departs from H. Nizamuddin at 21.35 hrs and reaches Khajuraho next day morning at 07.50 hrs.

The other options to reach Khajuraho is through Jhansi. It takes around 6 hours to reach Jhansi from Delhi by train, and another 3-4 hours (plus connecting time) to go to Khajuraho. Get the Dakshin Express from Delhi (22:50 hrs) and reach Jhansi by 05:00 hrs, connecting to the Jhansi-Khajuraho Link Passenger(Train No:229A) which now runs along with Jhansi-Allahabad Passenger(Train No:229) starts from Jhansi at 7:20AM and reaches Khajuraho at 12:10PM. Another option is the Bhopal Shatabdi train from delhi (6.00) to Jhansi.Train from Khajuraho to Jhansi departs from Khajuraho at 12:25PM and will reach Jansi by 5.30PM. Both the trains have stoppage at Orchha.

An alternative station is Satna (Madhya Pradesh) (117km) on the Allahabad-Mumbai main line. Another option is Mahoba station on the Varanasi- Jhansi Route.Alight at Mahoba and catch the 11:00AM Passenger(Train No:229A) to Khajuraho.

By taxi/bus

Satna and Jhansi both are connected to Khajuraho by regular bus service. It takes around 3 hours to reach Khajuraho from Satna or Jhansi by taxi, and 5-6 hours by bus. There are daily bus services with Satna, Jhansi, Harpalpur, Chhatarpur, Mahoba, Sagar,Jabalpur, Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Panna, Agra, Allahabad and Varanasi. From Jhansi railway station catch a rickshaw to Jhansi bus station which is 5Kms away. It is very difficult to get a bus to Khajuraho from Jhansi after 5PM. So try to reach Jhansi by afternoon if you want to catch a bus to Khajuraho from Jhansi.
Khajuraho to Bandhavgarh (225km, 5hrs), Satna (117km, 4hrs), Harpalpur (94km), Jhansi (172km )and Mahoba (61km). Khajuraho is located 600km (11hrs journey) south-east of Delhi. There are bus services from Agra (12 hrs), Gwalior (9hrs) and Jhansi.

Taxis are recommended because the condition of buses and roads are not good, and the ride is gruelling.

Traveling around

A good way to get around and see the temples as well the village life in Kharujaho is by bicycle, which you can easily rent in the bike shops near the main temple complex, or bicycle rickshaw. They charge Rs.20 per day.

Beware of the fake school teachers, principals and students who are too much interested in your dollars as donation, which hardly goes to the school itself.

There are many car rental companies available.


In every temple, there is the depiction of royalty, armies, wrestling, kinship, war, courtship, marriage, lovemaking, music and dancing, spiritual teachings, union, meditation, bliss, gods, goddesses, plants, animals and an abundance of all human forms.

Western Group of Temples

There is a entry fee of Rs. 10/- (for Indians) and USD $ 5 (for foreigners) to enter the Western Group of temples. All the temples are open from sunrise to sunset. These are the richest and largest of all temple groups

  • Lakhmana Temple - The oldest and finest of the western group of temples, named after the ruler that built the temple. The A horizontal beam over the entrance of this beautiful Vaishnavite temple shows the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva with Lakshmi, Vishnus consort.

  • Kandariya Mahadeo Temple - This temple is decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art.

  • Devi Jagdamba Temple - Dedicated to the Goddess(devi), this is smaller and much more delicately proportioned temple and is home to some of the finest sculptures of Khajuraho.The garbha griha has a huge image of the Devi of the Universe (Jagdambi), though it appears to have started as a Vishnu temple. It has the usual three bands of sculptures, but the third and most uppermost of these houses some of the most erotic sculptures.

  • Chaunsat Yogini - The only granite temple in the Khajuraho group

  • Chitragupta Temple - is dedicated to the Sun God (Surya), it faces eastward to the rising sun

  • Matanageswara Temple - A temple dedicated to Shiva, a huge 8ft Lingam adorns the temple.

Eastern Group of Temples

  • Parsvanath Temple - Largest among the group, with exquisite carvings in detail. The sculptures on the northern outer wall are the highlights of this temple. The image was installed in 1860.

  • Ghantai Temple - This Jain temple has a frieze which depicts the 16 dreams of Mahavira's mother, and a jain goddess on a winged Garuda.

  • Adinath Temple - Dedicated to Jain saint, adinath, the temple is lavishly embellished with sculpted figures, including yakshis.

  • Hanuman Temple

  • Brahma Temple - considered to be one of the oldest temples of Khajuraho made entirely in granite and sandstone, is dedicated to Vishnu.

  • Vamana Temple - is the dwarf form of Lord Vishnu, located in a secluded place and is known for its simple architecture.

  • Javari Temple

Southern Group of Temples

  • Dulhadev Temple - The last temple of Khajuraho, lies to the south of Ghantai temple. The temple enshrines a Shivalingam. The apsara and ornamented figures are the temple's most striking features.

  • Beejamandal Temple - It is a ruined temple, and is near the Chattarbhuj Temple

  • Chattarbhuj Temple Or The Jatkari Temple - Built in 1100 A.D., is well-known for its architecture, and is also the only temple to be devoid of any erotic sculpture. 3 km away from the Eastern Group. Facing West, have to take 10 steps to reach the sanctum. The massive 9 feet intricately carved Vishnu idol in Chaturbhuja (four-armed).

Light and Sound Show at Western group of temples - After visiting the temple complex is over, the sound and light show, narrated by the Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachhan, is held every evening. Entry ticket Rs. 90/- for Indians and Rs. 300/- for foreigners.

  • Khajuraho Dance Festival



Madhya Pradesh cuisine. The area offers a good opportunity to try some local MP delicacies. The region is famous for its deserts, which are mainly sweet though there is also a spicy variety called namkeen. Popular deserts are cashew burfi, jalebi, lavang lata, kusli, khurma, moong dal ka halwa (a pudding made from green lentils), sabudana ki khichadi and shikanji.


  • The Green view Restaurant. A very colorful and nice restaurant, red and green colour. The cook is one of the best in town, he will prepare you the most tastefully meal as the waiter will serve it with a smile. Most welcome to have breakfast,lunch and/or dinner. In front of the western groups of temples.

  • Paradise Restaurant. A small, but cozy restaurant offering delicious, and inexpensive meals. It is also very clean establishment with helpful and friendly staff. Try the breakfast specialty of mango pancakes''.

  • Blue Sky restaurant. A rooftop dining area offering views over the Western group of temples - excellent Indian cuisine.

  • Siddhartha Hotel Restaurant, Located across from the Western group of temples.

  • La Dolce Vita, Jain Temples Road, Town center. An Italian-theme restaurant, rooftop dining and good, hearty breakfasts.

  • La Terraza Off Main Square, the western group of temples

  • Mediterranean Restaurant - a Greek delicacy café, Rooftop café serving western food and snacks.

  • Apsara Radisson Jass - Eclectic Cuisine Tel: (+91)-(07686)-272 344

  • Raja Cafe - Off Main Square, the western group of temples -Popular restaurant, try a filling breakfast for Rs.70.

  • Madras Coffee House Off Main Square, located across from Western group of temples. A restaurant specializing in Southern Indian cuisine

  • Punjab Restaurant. located across from the Western group of temples.


Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board Hotels

  • Hotel Jhankar Ph: (+91)-(07686) 274 063, 274 194 E-mail: Price Range: Rs.1190

  • Hotel Payal Ph: (+91)-(07686) 274 064, 274 076 E-mail: Price Range: Rs.690-1190

  • Hotel Rahil Ph: (07686) 274 062 E-mail:, Dormitory Beds Rs.90, Single Room Rs.490


  • Hotel Best Western Greenwood

  • Hotel Greenwood Opposite Airport Tel: (+91)-(07686)-274 505

  • Hotel Surya Jain Temple Road Tel: (+91)-(07686) 274 145 , 274 572 fax (+91)-(07686)-274 538 E-Mail:

  • Hotel Zen Jain Temples Road, Tel: (+91)-(07686)-274 228

  • Hotel Bharat Lodge - owned by the popular Paradise Restaurant management.

  • Hotel Yogi Lodge - The cheapest and best, very clean, Good breakfast, everything made-to-order, Address: opposite to the Western group of Temples Tel: (+91)- (07686)-274 158, 244 158
    Email: Price Rs.80-250

  • Hotel Gem Palace Jain Temple Road Tel: (+91)-(07686)-274100 Email: Price Rs.200-475

  • Hotel Surya Jain Temple Road Tel: (+91)-(07686) 244 145

  • Hotel Jain Jain Temples Road Tel: (+91)-(07686) 242 352

  • Hotel Sunset View Tel: (+91)-(07686) 244 077

  • Hotel Casa Di William Tel: (+91)-(07686) 244244

  • GTV Resort, Bandhavgarh (Golbro Tiger View Resort), Near Petrol Pump, Tala, BANDHAVGARH, Distt. UMARIA (M.P.) INDIA Pin Code - 484 661 Phone: +91 7627 265314 Fax +91 7662 251251 Cell: +91 9424973602 E-mail: Web Site-

Mid Range

  • Hotel Khajuraho Ashok Ph: (+91)-(07686)-274 024

  • Kairali Ayurvedic Health Spa Opposite Khajuraho Airport, Tel: (+91)-(07686)-272 219 / 274 757

  • Ken River Lodge Village: Madla, Near Panna National Park Tel: (+91)-(07732) 275 200 Price: Around $165 The Ken River Lodge remains closed from May to Oct. May be a good information.

  • Holiday Inn ,Khajuraho Tel: (+91)-(07686)-272 301, Price: Around $75

  • Hotel Taj Chandela , Chhatarpur, Khajuraho 471 606 Tel: (+91)-(07686) 272 355-64 Fax: (+91)-(07686) 272 365-66, Price: Around $60

  • Hotel Jass Oberoi Pass Road, Tel: (+91)-(07686)-2723 44, 2Km from airport, Price: Around $95


  • GTV Resort, Bandhavgarh Near Petrol Pump, Tala, Bandhavgarh National Park, Tel: (+91)-(7627) 265 314, (M).+91 9424 973 602, 225 Km from Khajuraho Airport Price: Around $50 The Bandhavgarh National Park remains closed from July to Sept.

  • The Grand Temple View ,opp. Circuit House, Khajuraho - 471606. Tel: (+91) (07686)- 272 111, (+91) -(07686) 272 333 Fax:(+91)- (07686) 272 123, Price: Around $160

  • Hotel Clarks Khajuraho Tel: (+91)-(07686)-274 038, fax (+91)-(07686)- 274 257 1 Km from airport, Price: Around $100

  • Hotel Radisson , By Pass Road, Khajuraho, Tel: (+91)-(07686)-272 777 Email:, Price: Around $70

  • Usha Bundela , Usha Bundela Temple Road Tel: (07686) 272 386/87, Fax: (+91)+(07686) 272 385 E-mail: Price: Around $90

  • Lalit Temple View Khajuraho, (+91)-(07686) 272 111, 272 333 E-mail:, . 48 rooms, spa, pool, large landscape gardens. Member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.


  • Iron, brass and stone sculptures depicting Kama Sutra poses are a specialty of Khajuraho and are available at the handicraft stores in the town.

  • Krishna Jewellery, On the way to yogi lodge atached to Om Internet and travel agency. Here you can find beautifull silver rings, earings, pendants, necklaces, statues of Buda, Ganesha and handmade wood statues made by hand by an local artist from Khajuraho and so many nice things more, great selection!! Most welcome to see.

  • Crafts Emporium govt. authorized shop,deals in gold and silver ornaments, sand stone statues, and various other local handicraft which is located at Hotel Gem Palace ,Jain Temple Road.

  • Market - A weekly bazaar is held at Rajinagar (5km from Khajuraho) on Tuesdays. The market is a good place to pick up silver and brass ware.


Hindi is spoken widely, English should not be a problem for the tourists. Dutch, French are also spoken by the guides and at the restaurants/hotels.


Emergency Numbers

  • Police: Tel: (+91)-(07686)-274 032 or 100 (from Any phone)

  • Ambulance: 102 (from Any phone)

  • Fire: 101 (from Any phone)


The dialing code for Khajuraho is 07686. When calling from overseas, dial +91 7686 XXXX XXXX. If you have a non-working phone number with only 5 digits then try using '2' as prefix.

Mobile Phones

  • BSNL-CellOne GSM 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz.(Tri-Band)

  • Airtel GSM 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz.(Tri-Band)

  • Idea GSM 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz.(Tri-Band)

  • Reliance Mobile CDMA

  • Tata Indicom CDMA


Internet is available at most of the tourist locations, with around Rs.25 per hour. The western group of temples has one of the highest density of internet cafes. Don't expect broadband speeds.

  • Om Internet and travel agency. On the way to Yogi Lodge. Market square, in front western group of temples. Broadband speed, helpful and english speaken owner and stuff

Post Office

India Post, Govt-run, office is located near the Bus Stand. Tel: (+91)-(07686)-274 022
Pincode/Post code is 471606


Try not to give any money to children or beggars who swarm at all the major tourist spots as this will only encourage them to make it their livelihood. They will try all the tricks of the trade to get money off you. Even a dollar or fifty cents given by the foreign tourists is big money here in MP.

Money Changers

Banks are better for changing foreign exchange. You won't get good rates at the airport or the hotels.

  • State Bank of India (open until 6PM on Friday and 4PM on Saturday), Opp. the Western group of temples.Tel: (+91)-(07686) - 272 373, 274 083

  • Canara Bank (also gives advances on Visa & MasterCard), Opp. the Western group of temples. (less crowded and close to SBI) Tel: (+91)-(07686) -274 071

  • Khajuraho Ashok. Tel: (+91)-(07686)-274 024

Things to carry

A torch light/flash light and a Map.

Get out

  • Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve - National Park famous for high density of tigers

  • Bandhavgarh National Park — Small park famous for its high density of tigers

  • Panna National Park — more tigers

  • Nachna -40 km from Panna was a famous city of the Nagvakataka and Gupta empire.

  • Orchha

  • Raneh Falls (19 km)

  • Ken Nature Trail - A 22 km , close to Raneh falls, is a jungle track, a natural beauty and imparts a knowledge of the surroundings.

  • Ajaygarh Fort - located 80 km away from Khajuraho, is at a height of 688 meters above sea level and once the capital of the Chandelas during their decline.

  • Kalinjar - A historical fort.

  • Pandav Falls (34 km)

  • Majhgavan Diamond Mines (56 km) - India's only working diamond mines.

  • Benisagar Dam (10 km)

  • Ranguan Dam (25 km)

  • Gangau Dam and Sanctuary (34 km)

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Lev Yakupov, Paul Mannix, ptwo, psykedelic,

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This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Inas, Ryan Holliday, Claus Hansen, jan, Varun, Peter Fitzgerald, Jani Patokallio, paandu raam, Jaidev, amit bhardwaj, Rajiv Kumar Agrawal, Nohit, Ajai Banerji, shrishail math, Ferdinand Harmsen, Michal, Randhir Reddy, Yogesh and Kaushik Mitra, Burmesedays, Morph, WindHorse and Peraltita

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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