How to Get There
By Air: A daily Boeing 737 service links Khajuraho with Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, and Kathmandu.
By Rail: The nearest railheads are Jhansi (172 km), Satna (117 km) which are linked to Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai. From Jhansi and Satna one can take buses or taxis to Khajuraho.
By road: Khajuraho is connected by regular buses with Satna, Harpalpur, Jhansi and Mahoba.
Khajuraho, once the great Chandela capital, is today a village of about a few thousand people in the interiors of central India, in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh. Tradition records the existence of eighty five temples, of which only twenty five, strewn amidst lakes and fields, have survived. The temples at Khajuraho, brilliant examples of medieval Indian architecture, were built under later Chandela kings between AD 950 and AD 1050. Each ancient structure in India has a fascinating story to tell. But few match the temples of Khajuraho.
Khajuraho temples were constructed between 950 and 1050 A.D. during the reign of Chandel Empire. Khajuraho derives its name from the Khajur tree (the date palm tree) which can be found in abundance in the area. These temples are considered the "high point" of Indian architectural genius in the Medieval period.
Originally there were 85 temples, of which only 22 still exist. The amazingly short span of 100 years, from 950 AD - 1050 AD, saw the completion of all the temples, in an inspired burst of creativity. With the wane of the Chandela empire, these magnificent temples lay neglected, and vulnerable to the ravages of Nature. It was only in this century, that they were rediscovered, restored and granted the recognition that they justly deserve. The murals depict the life and times of the Chandelas, and celebrate the erotic state of being. They not only testify to the mastery of the craftsman, but also to the extraordinary breadth of vision of the Chandela Rajputs under whose reign, these temples were constructed. Their style of architecture was also rather peculiar to their times. Each structure stands on a high masonry platform with a distinct upward direction to their build, further enhanced by several vertical projections to simulate the effect of an overall lightness. The three main compartments are the entrance (ardhamandapa), assembly hall (mandapa), and the actual sanctum (garbha griha). The temples are grouped into three geographical divisions : western, eastern and southern.
If the temples of Khajuraho can be said to have a theme, it is woman. A celebration of woman and her myriad moods and facets- Writing letters, applying kohl to her eyes, brushing her hair, dancing with joyous abandon playing with her child. Woman - innocent, coquettish, smiling - infinitely seductive, infinitely beautiful. Depicted in a wealth of detail, sharply etched, sculpted with consummate artistry. The philosophy of the age dictated the enjoyment of the delights of arth (material wealth) and kama (sensual pleasures) while performing one's dharma (duty) as the accepted way of life for the grihastha (householder). Hence, the powerful combination of the visual and sensual pleasures combined with the duty attributed to the worship of the Dieties brings about a powerful transformation of the body and the soul. To include all of these aspects of life in one's early years makes it easier to renounce them without regret or attachment as one moves on to one's next stages of life toward moksha (liberation).