Khajuraho is a beautiful temple township in Central India! The mighty Chandela dynasty, a robust clan of the warrior Rajputs, ruled Central India between A.D. 900 and 1100. The Chandela kings made their religious capital at remote Khajuraho, where they built 85 temples, almost all of them featuring exquisite sculptures of life depicted in all its forms, including the erotics. Khajuraho symbolizes the peak of temple architectural and sculptural marvel of India. 25 surviving of the 85 temples originally created speaks the language understood universally ……the language of art and beauty……..unsurpassed, awe-inspiring, inhumanly…….and yet so human…….sublime & sensuous – just as much as it is spiritual. Today these UNESCO World Heritage Site monuments are famous the world over and are almost as intimately associated with India as the Taj. These temples are distributed geographically into 3 groups – the western, the eastern & the southern.
Western Group of temples
- Kandariya Mahadeo - The 31m high temple is the largest and most typical Khajuraho temple with exquisite carvings and intricate and detailed craftsmanship in stone depicting divine deities, celestial maidens, eternal lovers, gods and goddesses. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and enshrines the 'linga'.
- Chaunsath Yogini - The temple is the earliest temple of the group that has survived. It belongs to 900 AD and is dedicated Goddess Kali. It has the distinction of being the only granite temple here.
- Chitragupta Temple - This temple is dedicated to the Sun God (Surya Dev). It faces towards east or the rising sun and the imposing image of the image of the deity in the inner sanctum is as high as five feet and is shown driving a horse-drawn chariot. It is in front of this temple and the Vishwanatha temple that most of the dance performances take place during the Khajuraho Dance Festival.
- Vishwanatha Temple - This temple has impressive entrances with magnificent stone guarding its northern steps and royal masonry elephants taking care of the southern steps. The three-headed image of Lord Brahma in the temple is no less captivating.
- Lakshmana Temple - A pretty Vaishnava temple flaunts a lintel over its entrance depicting the divine trinity of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva along with Goddess Lakshmi, the wife of Lord Vishnu.
- Matangeshwara Temple - Situated outside the premises of Western group of temples, this Lord Shiva's temple is known for the daunting eight-feet high lingam (male organ representing the natural process of reproduction and the continuity of human life form) that it enshrines. A SON-ET-LUMIERE show is presented everyday at the Western Group. Today these UNESCO World Heritage Site monuments are famous the world over and are almost as intimately associated with India as the Taj. These temples are distributed geographically into 3 groups – the western, the eastern & the southern. Western Group of temples
Southern Group of temples
- Duladeo Temple - This Shiva temple is known for flaunting the striking images of the celestial maidens or apsaras and richly ornamented figures.
- Chaturbhuja Temple - It is the huge imposing intricately carved image of Lord Vishnu in the temple's sanctum, which is the chief attraction of this temple
Eastern Group of temples
- Parsvanatha Temple - The largest Jain temple of the Eastern group, Parsvanath temple has intricate stone carvings, especially, the sculptures on the northern outer wall of the temple are certainly praiseworthy. It enshrines a throne facing the bull emblem that represents the first tirthankara, Adinatha.
- Ghantai Temple - This Jain temple has remarkable frescos depicting the 16 dreams of the mother of Lord Mahavira at the time of his birth and a Jain goddess mounted on a winged Garuda.
- Adinatha Temple - This temple is richly ornamented with delicate and pretty sculptures including those of yakshis. It is dedicated to the first Jain tirthankara (saint), Adinath. The three Hindu temples of the group are the BRAHMA TEMPLE enshrining a four-faced linga; the VAMANA TEMPLEwith divine carvings of sensuous celestial maidens in various poses adorning its outer walls and the JAVARI TEMPLE with a opulently carved doorway and ostentatious sculptures on its exteriors.
Raneh Falls, on the Ken River, is around 20 km from the historic town of Khajuraho. It is renowned for rock formations. A 5 km long, 100 ft deep canyon of crystalline granite in varying shades of color ranging from pink and red to grey is the main attraction. A series of seasonal waterfalls surrounded by pristine forests makes it an ideal spot for nature lovers.
Panna National Park
It is a tropical dry deciduous forest spread in 543 Sq.Km. in northern Madhya Pradesh. It is about 34 Kms from Arya Hammeer Garhi. It has the distinction of being the 5th Project Tiger Reserve of India. Apart from tigers, it is home to several other animals and more than 250 bird species making it a bird lover’s paradise. Its varying topography and natural landscape makes it one of the most beautiful parks. River Ken flows over 72 Kms through this park. A few lakes, waterfalls, ancient cave paintings, cave temples, a few abondened villages – all these further adds to the charm of the park. The predominant variety of fauna is teak, saal, bamboo, etc.