Khajuraho or Khajurao remained an obscure little town in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh until in the year 1838 when a British engineering captain, T. S. Burt rediscovered these beautiful Hindu and Jain temples. The quaint town is set against the Vindhya mountain ranges, which makes the presence of history even more majestic.
Khajuraho is probably the only group of temples in India that stands unique, and displays proudly and descriptively, the more intricate human passions, with sculptures that are either unusually sensual or sexually explicit. A one of its kind, nowhere in the world can anyone find erotic sculptures depicting passion and romance on temple walls. The sculptures depict kamasutra, and figures of some highly revered Hindu and Jain gods. Themes of love making, music and dance, gods and goddesses, kings and armies, courtship, marriage-life are explored in all their glorious forms. Khajuraho is widely known for its sculptural and architectural splendor and is rightly given the prestigious status of world heritage site by the UNESCO.
The temples were built by Chandela kings, but with the decline of Chandela dynasty, the temples lay in ruins, neglected. Of the 85 originally built temples, only 22 remain now. A fortress of khajoor (date) trees around the complex confirm the anonymity of the temples. Thus the name Khajuraho originated. The temples have been grouped into western, eastern and southern clusters.
While the exteriors walls of these temples are often swathed in sculptures of tantric sexual postures, passion and love making, the walls of the main shrines are totally devoid of these kinds of sculptures. It denotes the purity one attains at the end of his/her desires.
Khajuraho is a standing example of the talent of artisans and craftsmen of the period. Their immense knowledge and highly developed sense of art and their undying love for it has created magnificent artworks. It also reads testimony to a rich and unique pattern in art and architecture, which clearly describes the artistic minds of its patrons, the rulers of Chandela dynasty.
Khajuraho’s wonder doesn’t cease with its sculptural splendor but, the cultural shows that happen every year is a spectacular event that should not be missed. One among the top tourist hotspots of Central India, Khajuraho renders you excellent shopping opportunities, ranging from little trinkets to beautifully carved mementos which you can grab for reasonable prices.
Khajuraho’s mystical charm that is almost magical with its illustrious history is sure to be embedded in your hearts forever. An annual celebration by the name of Khajuraho Dance Festival lures classical dancers, musicians and art lovers to this UNESCO site.