The city of Khajuraho, in the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh, is one of the most popular and recognized landmarks of India. It is believed that the ancient name of Khajuraho was Kharjuravahaka (‘Khajur’ meaning date palms). The Khajuraho temples, spread in the area of 20 sq km, makes this place is a popular weekend destination in the region. The temples, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are famous for its Hindu and Jain temples. These monuments are one of the finest examples of Indian art and sculpting, where thousands of artists craved minute sculptures depicting the day to day life of the people.
There were in total more than 80 temples within the compound, but currently, only 20 temples have remained. Many historians consider these monuments to be a fine example of Indo-Aryan architecture. Located near the Vindhya mountain range, the Hindu temples are dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, and Ganesha. The Jain temples are dedicated to the Jain Tirthankara, spiritual leader of the religion. Made from sandstone, one can find minutely carved erotic sculpture as well as different aspects of the domestic lifestyle of the people living in the area during those times. According to the geographical location, the Khajuraho Temple complexes are divided into three sections – Eastern, Western and Southern. The best time to visit Khajuraho is from October to March when the weather is most comfortable.
Apart from the famous temples of Khajuraho, the area is famous for its Panna National Park and Ajaigarh Fort. The Raneh Falls are another popular destination of the place. The Arhanta Yoga Ashram, teaching Hata Yoga, is a well-known fitness center. Here visitors, surrounded by the aesthetic beauty of nature, can stay and focus on their spiritual and personal development.
Historical records point out that these temples were constructed during the Chandela Dynasty. The inscription on the temples suggests, most of them were constructed during the period of 970 and 1030 B.C.E. During, 13th-century Qutb-ud-din Aibak of Delhi Sultanate defeated the Chandela Dynasty, and took over the region. From the 13th till the 18th century, several smaller dynasties and principalities ruled over the area. Due to the remoteness of the region, these temples were slowly forgotten from human memory. In 1830, it was rediscovered by T.S. Burt during an expedition.
After India’s independence, Khajuraho became the part of the newly formed state of Madhya Pradesh.