Khajuraho is famous for its great temple complex, which features some of the finest temple art and sculpture in the world.
The city was named for the swaying date palm trees that surround it. Intricately carved buildings dating back as far as the 10th century rise out of the canopy. These famous Chandela temples were abandoned to the jungle during the Muslim era and rediscovered in 1840 by British tiger-hunters. With 25 out of the original 85 temples on view, Khajuraho is now a world heritage site.
The sandstone temples are a wonderful blend of advanced architecture and refined sculpture. Split into three groups, they are renowned for the artistic carvings that describe the warrior clan’s spirited style in battle and love. The exceptional stonework displays Kamasutra carvings, gods and goddesses, real and mythological creatures. Long horizontal panels tell entire narratives filled with scenes of celebration, battles and hunting. It is said that the movement and energy of the skillfully carved figures make them seem to leap from the stone.
A series of shikharas spires tower over the complex, growing successively higher. They are believed to be a visual echo of the high Himalayan peaks, the mythical abode of Lord Shiva.
Apart from the temples, Khajuraho is also famous for its love of dance. A 7-day Khajuraho Dance Festival is held annually to highlight the richness of classical Indian dance and music.
The exquisitely carved entrance of Kandariya Mahadev Temple | A sculpture of a woman removing a thorn from her foot at Parsvanath Temple | The intricately carved Vishnu at Chaturbhuj Temple | Watching a dance show with the beautifully lit temples behind
Most of the temples are aligned east to west, with east-facing entrances