Kandariya Mahadev Temple is the largest temple belonging to the western group of shrines in Khajuraho. It was the first temple that was constructed on a general platform. The shrine was built around 1025–1050 by the Chandela rulers. The temple was constructed for the worship of Lord Shiva.
A Shivlinga exists at the centre of the Garbha Griha. The temple has been designed on the five-part architectural style comprising of the Garbha Griha, Ardhamandapa, Pradakshina and Mahamandapa. The temple has a tower with a height of more than 100 ft.
The main section of the temple is decorated with numerous images that depict a rich style of carving and designing. This temple is the only one to possess two exclusively designed interior toranas with delicate designs. The sculptures carved on the walls of the temple can be classified into three categories of gods, goddesses and sensual groups.
Chitragupta Temple is a very old shrine dedicated to the Sun God or Surya Deva. The temple was constructed in the 11th century. One of the main attractions of the temple is the splendid idol of Surya Deva standing on a chariot driven by seven beautiful horses. The walls of the temple have intricate carvings on them.
Among other attractions of the temple the prime ones are full-fledged figures of Surasundaris in stone carvings, the eleven-headed form of Lord Vishnu and couples depicting sensual love. The temple has a huge three-storeyed stepped tank, which is a major attraction among the visitors of this temple.
Even the exterior walls of this beautiful temple are decorated with stone carvings of Gods, females and several other things. The doorway of the temple is decorated with small figures of Surya Deva. Visitors coming to the temple are often left mesmerized by the beauty of the whole structure.
Chaturbhuj Temple comes under the Southern group of Khajuraho temples. It was built in 1100 AD. The temple faces the west side and is situated on a square platform having a staircase of ten steps. The temple has an elaborate entrance with a carved doorway depicting the sculptures of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, the powerful trio of the Hindu religion.
The main attraction of the temple is a carved image of Lord Vishnu having 4 arms and a huge height of 9 ft. The temple also houses other sculptures depicting various forms of Hindu gods like the Narasingha avatar of Vishnu and the Ardhanarishvara avatar of Shiva.
The temple has a sanctum, a shikara, an ardhamandapa and mahamandapa. Several stone carvings of mythical characters decorate the temple. The amazing architecture of the temple presents an interesting sight for the tourists visiting the site.
The Archaeological Museum of Khajuraho was initially known as Jardine Museum. It was renamed the Archaeological Museum of Khajuraho in 1952 after the Archaeological Survey of India took it over. It was constructed by Mr. W.A. Jardine in 1910.
The museum is very important as it is a display centre for several architectural and sculptural ruins collected from the temples of Khajuraho. The museum is located near the Matangeshwar Temple. The museum is an open-air structure where the Khajuraho sculptures are displayed.
The present museum was built in 1967. It has five large galleries. The main hall displays ancient sculptures belonging to the Brahmanical, Buddhist and Jaina faiths. The museum has a rich collection of more than 2000 sculptures.
Among the most important sculptures is a figure depicting Buddha in a seated position. Another prized possession of the temple is a four-headed Vishnu, also known as Vaikuntha. It is a must-visit attraction in Khajuraho.
Lakshmana Temple is a temple made in honour of Lord Vishnu. It is a splendid structure designed in stone. It is one of the most ancient temples belonging to the western group. It was built in 930–950 AD. This is one of those temples that have stood the test of time and preserved its architecture.
The temple houses more than 600 images of Hindu deities. There are beautiful images of several things like elephants and horses on the platform of the temple. The temple has four small shrines at the four corners. Each shrine has a bordered fence carving.
The skilled and beautiful craftsmanship of the workers is thoroughly visible in the various images present in the temple. The temple also has figures of full-fledged women standing in different postures and wearing ornaments. Such decorative figures of women exist in the western side of the temple.
Devi Jagdamba Temple is a famous shrine of Khajuraho. The Garba Griha of the temple is dedicated to the goddess of the Universe, Devi Jagdamba. The walls of the temple are carved skillfully to create beautiful images. It is believed that this temple was originally dedicated to Lord Vishnu and later to Goddess Parvati and then to Goddess Kali.
The temple is a splendid representation of three-part design. The design has similarity with the Chitragupta Temple. An important feature of the temple is that the temple stands on a sanctum which has no space for walking.
Visitors coming to the temple feel awed by the various skillful carvings on the walls. Every stone used in the carvings tells a tale to the visitors. Such a rich heritage of architectural design and depiction is rarely seen elsewhere. Khajuraho tourism cannot be complete without paying a visit to this beautiful temple.
Viswanath Temple is dedicated to the Hindu deity, Lord Shiva. A mesmerizing marble Shivalinga is worshipped as the main deity. This temple, built by Dhanga Deva, belongs to the western group of temples. The temple was built in the structure of Panchayatan temple, in which four additional shrines at four corners surround the main shrine standing in the middle.
The temple depicts more than 600 rock images. The temple also has an impressive sculpture of Lord Brahma enshrined inside the temple. The sculpture looks grand with images of lions on the northern steps and elephants on the southern steps guarding the figure.
The beauty of the temple lies in the depiction of the exquisite figures of women on the rock walls. The magnificent carvings on the external walls of the temple add charm to its structural beauty. There is a massive 6 ft sculpture of the Nandi bull sitting on a large platform.
State Museum of Tribal and Folk Art is a famous attraction of Khajuraho tourism. It is located inside the Chandela Cultural Complex of Khajuraho. The museum is not a very large one, but it is very rich in its collections. The museum depicts the Indian way of life, its traditions and cultures and the blend of this native culture with the foreign culture through the means of trade and other sources.
The museum has a rich and unique collection of tribal and folk art belonging to the nearby jungle tribes. Several artifacts of the tribal way of life are preserved in this museum. The place also provides a concise history of the traditions and customs of the tribal way of life.
The galleries of the museum have a rich collection of terracotta, wood crafts, metal crafts, folk paintings, etc. A visit to the museum is a must for anyone visiting Khajuraho.
Raneh Falls is situated in the Chhatarpur district, at a distance 43 km from Khajuraho town. It is a majestic waterfall on the Kern river. The Kern river forms a large cannon of 5 km in length and 30 m in depth. The canyon is created from pure crystalline granites that display various shades of colours ranging from pink to red and sometimes grey also.
A number of waterfalls of various sizes plunge into the canon. Some of them are present all year long while a few smaller ones dry up during the summer months and appear in their full force during the monsoon season.
Raneh Falls flows adjacent to the Panna National Park. The beauty of the place is majestic. The greenery of the forest and the gleaming water of the falls make for a picturesque view. People visiting Raneh Falls take back wonderful memories of a natural and exclusive view.
Lakshmi Temple is a small temple of Khajuraho dedicated to the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity, Lakshmi. This temple belongs to the western group of temples. It was built around 900–925 AD. Sculptures of moderate size and nature are used to decorate this shrine.
The idol is made of yellow sandstone. The glossy finish to the idol makes it look more polished and attractive. This temple is decorated with 674 figures of Gods and Goddesses. The intricate carving on the walls outside as well as on the inside of the temple show the skill of the talented craftsmen who achieved such splendour with the limited resources of that era.
Another remarkable feature of this temple is that it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. Visitors will be amazed to see the structural beauty of this amazing temple and the various intricate patterns formed on its walls.
Jain Museum is a complex dedicated to the preservation and display of Jain sculptures. It was opened for display in the year 1987. It is located within the premises of the Jain Temple. The circular building of the museum is also known as Sahu Shantiprasad Jain Kala Sangrahalaya among the locals.
The museum has a rich collection of Jain sculptures. There are more than a hundred Jain sculptures in the complex. The museum has a modern gallery in a circular shape. The gallery is filled with several statues like those of 24 tirthankars, yakshis and several other important figures belonging to the Jain culture and traditions.
The entrance to the museum is definitely a sight to behold. Visitors are welcomed into this wonderful complex by two decorated ‘Makara Toranas’ arranged on both sides of the staircase. The rich collections of the centre make a trip to this museum a delightful one. The museum remains closed on Sundays.
Matangeshwar Temple is a temple dedicated to the Hindu deity, Lord Shiva. The temple has a magnificent and huge 8 ft high Shivalingam. Large crowds gather in this temple during the yearly festival of Mahashivratri. This lingam has the distinction of being one of the largest lingams to be found in the northern part of the country.
The lingam is made of yellow sandstone. The sandstone has been polished to give the lingam an attractive lustre. This temple is an ancient temple and was among the first ones to be built at Khajuraho. Devotees consider this temple to be one of the holiest temples of Khajuraho. This temple is situated near the Lakshmana Temple but has no fence or enclosure to block its access.
Devotees regularly flock to this temple. This temple is comparatively plain in design as compared to others and yet is very popular.
Ajaigarh Fort is situated at a distance of about 3 km from Khajuraho. It is located on an isolated hill top belonging to the Vindhya ranges. The fort was constructed by the Chandela rulers to protect their subjects from attacks and sieges. Ajaigarh Fort provides a mesmerizing view of the Ken river that flows below the hilltop.
The fort has two grand ways of entrance: the Darwaza on the northern side and the Tarhaoni on the south-east side of the fort. The fort is rich in sculptures and houses several sculptures of Goddess Astha Shakti.
The fort has a famous lake called Ajay Pal ka Talao within its boundary. Visitors often feel charmed by the beauty of the lake. The fort also houses a Jain temple, which stands in a ruined condition today. But at one point of time it was a well-known temple.
Kalinjar Fort is a major attraction of Khajuraho tourism. The Kalinjar Fort, located on a hill top, is a treasure trove of various monuments and sculptures. Such items reveal various facets of history. The fort, constructed by the Chandelas, is a splendid example of the grand architectural style prevalent during the rule of the Chandela dynasty.
Several structures and temples are present within the premises of the fort. The huge fort has grand palaces and chhatris which showcase intricate designs and stone carvings. The Kalinjar fort is considered to be the abode of the Hindu God, Shiva.
The fort also has a marvellous temple of Neelkanth Mahadev within its premises. There are beautiful stone dug ponds and placid lakes inside the fort. Rare and exceptional stone idols of Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Lord Vishnu and Goddess Shakti are present inside the temples of the fort.
Adinath Temple is an important temple belonging to the Jain temples in Khajuraho. It is situated to the north of the Parsvanath temple. The temple was built by the rulers of the Chandel dynasty in the 11th century and was dedicated to the Jain saint Adinath.
The construction of the temple is based on the structure of sapta-ratha. The temple is decorated by a single towered shikara, which increases the beauty of the shrine. The walls of the temple have beautiful carvings depicting images and postures of court musicians.
The walls also depict a close view of the dance style of Nilanjana, a famed dancer in the court of Adinath. Several figures of various categories of women like Nayikas, Kaminis and Bhaminis are carved on the walls. Such exquisite carvings on the walls attract tourists even today to the splendid craftsmanship of the workers of that era.