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Western Group of Temples, Khajuraho
After a hot shower and tucked ourselves with a variety of dishes from breakfast buffet menu, we were all set to explore Khajuraho. The western group of temple is just 10min walk from the hotel and we decided to walk down. The western group of temple is the main attraction at Khajuraho and I strongly recommend to hire a guide. The temples were built in the early 10th century during the Chandela dynasty, neglected and few were destroyed by the muslim dynasty and later was discovered by a Britisher who revived the left over temples. Apparently there were 85 temples of which only 25 are remaining. We start with the Varaha temple, a Varaha with innumerable number of miniature sculptures sculpted on it. Facing right opposite it is the Lakshmana temple. A very elaborate temple depicting everyday life of people at Khajuraho. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The most elaborate and largest temple with finest sculptures is the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The other temples in the western group of temples include Chaunsat Yogini, Chitragupta, Devi Jagadamba, Vishwanath temple.
To understand the sculptures found at these temples, read – Decoding the Sculptures of Khajuraho
At least half a day is required to explore the western group of temples alone. Viewing sunset behind these monuments is also a thing. The day I watched, it was not great colors. Nevertheless it was a beautiful sunset. I was already draining out my camera battery as I had clicked so many pics from the western group of temples. All now I could think of was getting into the Jacuzzi in the hotel room and relax. But we proceeded further to the eastern and southern group of temples. That is where the Jain temples are.
Eastern Group of Temples, Khajuraho
There are three Jain temples; Shantinath, Parshwanath and Adinath temple all within the same campus. However the main temple was white washed and so was like any other building. These temples are also from Chandela dynasty time meaning the Jains were pretty prevalent then and lived on the east side of the town. The Shantinath Jain temple has an impressive statue of nearly 15ft height. There are inscriptions dating back to centuries old. However what I did not understand was that the outer walls of the temple and even the entrance to sanctum sanctorum had sculptures of yakshas, yakshis, Hindu mythological figures and erotica. I was expecting life of Jainism or their history on wall and that seemed less.
Southern Group of Temples, Khajuraho
The southern group of temples were Dulhadev Temple, Beejamandal Temple (almost ruined) and the Chattarbhuj Temple. The impressive one is the Chattarbhuj Temple Or The Jatkari Temple. This is the only temple in Khajuraho which does not have any erotic sculptures. The temple is west facing and has a beautifully done tall Vishnu statue with His legs crossed like dancing. The beauty of this temple is that every day when the sun sets, the rays fall on the idol, moves from the crown to face and the rays slowly goes down to the feet as the sun disappears. This is the place to watch sunset and wonder at the architecture marvel however all out tourist crowd run to the main temples for the iconic pics and that included me..
How to Reach Khajuraho
Khajuraho is best accessible through train and flight. The airport is the closest to the town. If you have your own vehicle nothing is as good as that. The railway station was around 10km from the town and surprisingly it was very big and clean, looks like newly constructed. The inter city buses are a problem through out Madhya Pradesh. You can board the mini vans and go to Chatarpur and from there you can further connect to Jhansi or Satna. It has a lot of hoping to do.
Khajuraho has lot of cafes as most of the tourist in flow is from abroad. The in house restaurant of Syna hotel has a variety of menu options and the food was very tasty. We also dined at Raja’s cafe right opposite Western group of temples for continental food and it was super yummy. In general things to try are milk and Jelabi, Poha, Chats.
Happy Traveling 🙂
How to reach Syna Heritage Hotel, Khajuraho
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