Khajuraho is undoubtedly one of India`s most spectacular archaeological sites. Khajuraho is located in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh. It is home to the country`s most magnificent groups of temples built during the medieval age. Situated on the banks of the Khudar Nala, which is a tributary of the river Ken, Khajuraho is amidst an exotic setting of mystifying waterfalls and spectacular hills of the Vindhya range, fondly called by the locals as Datla and Lavania Pahads. Khajuraho is situated 49 km east of Chhatarpur, 44 km north-west of Panna, 65 km south of Mahoba and 175 km south-east of Jhansi in India.
Kahajrahu, during the period between 900AD and 1200AD, then known as Kharjuravahaka, flourished under the Chandellas. It was a prominent temple town, extending over an area of 13 square kilometres.
Khajuraho leaves a lasting first impression on the visitors; With huge mind-blowing temples, where not an inch is left uncovered with sculptures, one is welcomed into the chivalric world of the middle ages, a world of warriors, musicians, dancers, animals, the celestial maidens (apsaras), all carved beautifully on stone. These apart, the architecture of each Khajuraho temple is a monumental sculpture in itself.Traditionally, it is believed that there were eighty-five temples in Khajuraho; However today only twenty five khajuraho temples remain, and are being preserved. These khajuraho temples are surrounded by the most exotic locations, as they stand amidst the banks of tranquil lakes, and lush green fields and gardens. Most of the temples are not used for worship any more, only two of them are used for worship today.
A visit to Khajuraho poses endless questions, and answers to most of them still continue to remain a mystery. Answers to questions such as, why so many Khajuraho temples? Who built them? What gods do they enshrine? What are the erotic sculptures and sensuous female figures doing in places of worship continue to remain behind the veil of mystery.
The site has been traced to prehistoric times, as artifacts from the Middle and late Stone Age and Neolithic ages have been unearthed here. However, the township of Khajuraho is mentioned only from 900 AD onwards, when the construction of the Khajuraho temples were begun by the Chandellas.
Khajuraho is surrounded by historic heritage sites; remains from then fourth century BC, belonging to the Maurya empire have been found at Datla, which is near Khajuraho. Bharhut and Sanchi are regions near Khajuraho, where Buddhism flourished during the second century BC. During the fifth and the sixth centuries AD, the Guptas and the Vakatakas constructed a number of temples, with a wide variety of sculptures at Devgadh, Bhumara, Nachna, Khoh, Eran, and other nearby sites. Even during the ninth century AD, under the Pratiharas, several temples were constructed, including the Jarai Mata temple at Barwasagar, which is near Jhansi, the Sun temple at Mankhera near Tikamgadh, and the temples at Mau-Suhania and Kainri in Chhatarpur district.The Pratihara style seems to have percolated into Khajuraho too, which is evident from the recently excavated sculptures from there.