Khajuraho is named after the khajur (date) trees that lined its gateway. The unique and intriguing heritage site has long held the world’s fascination. We explore seven things to do and look at the temples of Khajuraho that will make your trip an experience to remember.
1. The Holy Trinity
Khajuraho is a UNESCO world heritage site located in Madhya Pradesh, India. The site draws millions of visitors from across the world who are fascinated by the temples’ erotic and intricate carvings. Unbeknownst to most people, there are actually three temple complexes in Khajuraho – the Western, the Southern and the Eastern. The main complex is the Western complex where temples dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Laxmana stand stoic and proud. Less than 2 kilometers away are the other two sections, where one can also see many temples dedicated to Jain teerthankaras.
2. Let there be Light and Sound
Narrated by Amitabh Bachchan, a one hour long light and sound show tells the remarkable story of the 1000-year old heritage site. The show is held on the premises of the main complex and combines the temples’ legendary tales with their illustrious history. The show also illustrates the deeper meaning of the depictions seen on the temples and helps convey the larger message of the temple’s creator.
3. Take away
In Khajuraho there plenty of shops that sell clothes, artifacts, souvenirs and much more. While there are plenty of the traditional t-shirts and bags you shouldn’t leave without buying a few cheeky mementos to take home. Look out for bottle openers, statues and key chains with motifs that have been inspired by the temple’s erotic side. The mementos are inexpensive and make fun gifts for friends and family.
4. Feast with royalty
Right across from the main complex are many cafes and restaurants offering cuisines from all across the world. If you want to enjoy the true flavor of the region, then another option is dining at a homestay where you will be served delicious homemade dishes, which are often made using secret family recipes.
5. Made to order
Popular beer brands are easily available in most places in Khajuraho but if you wish to have a locally brewed delicacy, then the Mahua will be perfect for you. The delicious and potent drink is almost exclusively made in the area of Nagod, near Khajuraho, and is a great way to experience the regional flavour. Mahua isn’t bottled or mass produced but given prior notice the homestays in Nagod would be happy to arrange it for you.
6. Orange sunset from the Blue Sky
Directly opposite the main complex is the Blue Sky Restaurant and their charming tree house is a wonderful place to watch the sun as it sets behind the temples of Khajuraho. There is a charge for in the tree house as opposed to the other parts of the restaurant but it’s certainly worth the extra Rs. 50 per person.
7. Be treated like royalty and like family
Unlike a few of the uninspiring hotels of Khajuraho, a truly unforgettable experience is to stay in one of the homestays nearby. The ideal options are the Alipura Palace in Alipur and Rajmandir in Nagod. Both homestays are less than two hours away from Khajuraho and share a royal history. While the Alipura Palace is up to 300 years old and exudes mesmerising old world charm, the Rajmandir in Nagod is a charming fusion of Indian heritage and modern conveniences. Both the homestays and their families are immensely warm and welcoming. A stay with them will be the perfect complement to a day at the historical Khajuraho temples.
- Khajuraho has its own airport connecting it to most Indian metros.
- Tripods are not allowed inside the site without prior, written permission. Although, small lockers are available inside for use it is wiser to leave them in the car or the room.
- Ideal time to visit Khajuraho is between late October and March.
- Tickets to the light and sound show are available for Rs. 90. The show is held twice a night. At 6:30 pm in English and at 7:40 in Hindi. Timings are subject to change.
- Khajuraho is approximately 125 kilometers from Nagod as well as Alipura.
- Private and reliable cabs can be readily organized by the homestay owners at reasonable prices.
- Credit cards are not accepted in most places and ATMs are seen rather infrequently.
Have your own tips for things to do or about the temples of Khajuraho? Add a comment to share them with us.
Find out about the homestay experience and don't forget to check out our ideas on things to do in India or browse our India homestays.