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Khajuraho Temples: A Catalogue of Desire

Khajuraho Group of Monuments better known as Khajuraho Temples consists of 20 temples; Hindu temples and Jain Temples. Off course their erotic ornamentation has played a significant role in making Khajuraho an important tourist site, but there are more to these magnificent temples than those sculptures carved on the exteriors of the structures.

Precision in the carvings and legendary tale of these temples are captivating. UNESCO has listed Khajuraho Group of Monuments as a World Heritage Site. Get to know more about Khajuraho group of temples as you read forth.

View of Kandariya Mahadev Temple in Khajuraho
View of Kandariya Mahadev Temple in Khajuraho

What is the history of Khajuraho Temples

The temples are sculpted in the Nagara Style of architecture and date back to 950 AD, during the reign of Chandela dynasty. According to the records, by the 12th century Khajuraho had about 80 temples, out of which only 20 have survived. The temples roughly cover an area of 6 km sq. Out of these 20, Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is considered the best of all. Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is the largest and grandest of all, and is believed to have been built by King Ganda. The temple of Vishnu (aka Temple of Lakshmana) was built by Yasovarman and his successor indulged in the making of the temple of Parsvanatha, Visvanatha and Vaidyanatha. Read further and know more about Khajuraho.

Where is Khajuraho Temple Located

Khajuraho Group of Temples have been divided into three groups as per their locations: Eastern Group, Western Group and Southern Group. Khajuraho is located in Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh, India. 

What is the Entry Fee to visit Khajuraho Temples

Price of the tickets varies between INR 20 (daily) and 600 (seasonal). Ticket worth Rs 600 is meant for the people who plan to attend all the events all throughout the week. While in the INR 20 ticket, you can attend one or two performances in one day. There are separate charges for the camera (RS 100), on per day basis.

Sound and Light Show

Khajuraho Light and Sound Show is conducted the tourism department. As dusk starts to set in, the gardens of western group of Khajuraho Temples start to glimmer with different shades of light. This show reflects the lifestyle during the Chandela Dynasty, informing about the construction, significance and history of these temple (In English and Hindi). The stories are narrated in the voice of Amitabh Bachchan.  Timings of the show are- English: 6:30 Pm to 7:25 Pm, Hindi: 7:40 Pm, to 8:35 Pm.

The Khajuraho Group of Monuments

The Khajuraho Group of Temples has Hindu as well as Jain Temple. All of them are built similarly, and it is said that the temples intended to create a harmony between these two religions. You can find most eminent temples in the western zones like Varaha, Lakshmana, Matangeshwara, Mahadeva, Kandariya, Chopra Tank, Chitragupta, Prvati, Vishwanath and Nandi.

While in the eastern and southern groups, don’t forget to visit Ghantai, Adinath, Parshvanath, Shantinath, Chaturbhuj and Dulhadeo. The temple of Vishnu (aka Temple of Lakshmana) was built by Yasovarman and his successor indulged in the making of the temple of Parsvanatha, Visvanatha and Vaidyanath. Listed down are the best temples of the group, and you must not miss them.

1. Eastern Group of Temple

These are divided in two parts- Jain Temple and Hindu Temples. Some of the best temples in eastern side are Hanuman Temple, Vamana Temple, Parsvanath Temple, Adinath Temple, Ghantai Temple and Brahma Temple.

2. Southern Group of Temples

Dulha Deo Temple and Chaturbhuja Temple are the two very important temples. Dulha Deo is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was built somewhere around 1100 AD and 1150 AD.

3. Western Group of Temples

This group is mainly comprised of Hindu Temples like Kandariya Mahadeo, Chaunsat Yogini Temple, Chitragupta Temple, Varaha Temple, Lakshmana Temple, Vishwanath Temple and Matangeshwara Temple.

Archeological Museum

The museum was established in 1967 and exhibits a collection of archeological findings and artifacts. This is an open-air museum and is located near the Matangeshwar Temple of the western group of temples.

Festivals in Khajuraho

Khajuraho Dance Festival

Khajuraho Dance Festival

The festival is organized by Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad. It is a weeklong festival that falls in the month of February. People gather in this spectacular venue, in an open air auditorium and behold the performances of various Indian classic dance forms like Kathakali, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Bharatnatyam and others.  Usually the gathering takes place in Chandragupta Temple, Surya Temple or Vishwanatha Temple.

How to reach Khajurao

By Air

Khajuraho has its own airport called Khajuraho Airport. It is connected to Delhi, Agra and Varanasi, with the services of Jet Airways, Air India and SpiceJet.

By Train

Nearest railway station from Khajuraho is Mahoba, at a distance of about 77 Km. Mahoba railway station is a broad-gauged railway station connected to different cities of the country. You can further opt to take a train for Khajuraho or hire a taxi.

By Road

Khajuraho is an important city wherein there is ease of transportation. From bus services to private cabs, you have many options for commuting in and around Khajuraho.

Best time to visit Khajuraho

Khajuraho in summer - From April till July

Summers are recommended to be avoided, as the weather gets really hot and uncomfortable. May and June are the hottest months of the season and the temperature may rise up to 47 degrees Celsius.
Khajuraho in Monsoon - From July till September

Monsoon season brings life to Khajuraho. This is a brilliant tune to visit Khajuraho, as it gets refreshing and pleasant during this season. 

Khajuraho in winter - From October till March

Winter is the best time to visit Khajuraho. In the coldest months December and January, temperature dips to 4 degrees Celsius. Visit Khajuraho in February and don’t forget to be a part of Khajuraho Dance Festival.
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First Winter Chardham Yatra Starts From Mukhba

First Winter Chardham Yatra Starts From Mukhba Village
The winter Char Dham Yatra has officially been commenced from 16th November from Mukhba. Mukhba is a village located 25 kilometer ahead of Gangotri. Congress MLA Vijay Pal Singh left for the yatra as administration, temple officials and Army assisted him. 

"For now, the winter Chardham yatra has begun in Mukhba but soon it will begin in Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath." He said. According to the MLA, arrangements are being made to offer comfort and ease to the pilgrims

The state government pleaded the temple committees to temporarily place the deities somewhere else in the winters. This proposal was approved after the temple officials held a meeting with Chief Minister Harish Rawat on 14th October. 

The deities have hence been relocated from Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri to lower regions. Earlier the routes to the original seats of the deities used to get blocked because of the snow. Now, it would be easier for the pilgrims. 

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Mount Abu: The Lone Hill Town of Rajasthan

Nestled in the Arabuda Mountain Range in Aravalis and the only exception in otherwise arid and hot Rajasthan, Mount Abu is one of the most popular places to visit in Rajasthan in summer as well as winter. This verdant paradise dotted with plenty of natural and manmade attractions appeals not just to the local crowd but visitors from overseas in equal numbers.

During summers as well as winters, Mount Abu is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in North India. The 80 odd Dilwara Jain Temples makes this hill town in Rajasthan a major Jain pilgrimage destination too. For wildlife enthusiast, 289 square kilometers stretch of Mount Abu wildlife sanctuary is a place to explore and discover the rich flora and fauna of the area.

Attractions in Mount Abu

Nakki Lake

Nakki Lake in Mount Abu, Rajasthan
View of Nakki Lake in Moun Abu
Nakki Lake is surrounded with green valleys, restaurants, hotels and bustling local markets. This lake is Mount Abu’s highlight and is thronged with visitors looking for boating, photography and picnicking. Also known as “Love Lake” of Mount Abu, Nakki Lake is inspired by the love story of Sage Rasia Balam and Kunvanri Kanya. In recent years, government spent good amount of money to restore it and make it better. Its divinity has however never been overlooked and Nakki Lake is venerated as a sacred lake.

Achalgarh Fort

Achalgarh Fort in Mount Abu, Rajasthan
Achalgarh Fort in Mount Abu, Rajasthan
Rajasthan, located on the western part of India is world famous for its stunnig forts & palaces which are also inscribed as UNESCO world heritage sites. Achalgarh Fort is known for the Achaleshwar Mahadeva and Jain Temples, in and outside it. The Achaleshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and also has a brass of Nandi. And the Jain Temples were built in 1513. The Achalgarh fort was built even before 16th century and stands dilapidated, but still allures its visitors with its unique and mysterious ambience. This fort was commissioned by the rulers of Paramara Dynasty and was later renovated by Maharana Kumbha.

Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary

Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary

Located in one of the India’s oldest Hill Ranges (Aravali Ranges), this wildlife sanctuary is stretched until Gurushikhar, the highest peak of the state. This is one of the few flourishing and green areas of arid Rajasthan and must be visited if you fancy a trek amidst the woods having numerous plant species. Here, you can find sambhar, mongoose, Indian hare, wolves, jungle cats, langur, hedgehog, wild boar, bear, sloth bear and others.

Sunset point

View of Sunset Point in Mount Abu
Located on the south-west side of Nakki Lake, Sunset Point, as its name suggests offer a wonderful sight of the sun setting down beyond horizon. The Sunset Point is close to food stalls and markets, making a perfect place to spend enough time. Also, sandalwood idols, carved marble statues, wooden toys surround the area. Children can enjoy pony rides and adults can stop for a while and hail the view.

Dilwara Jain Temples

Dilwara Temples is accentuated because of the fine carvings it is filled with. These five marble marvels date back to 11th and 13th century and were built by Vastupal Tejpal. Dilwara Temples have ornamented inscriptions in its pillars, ceilings, entranceways; everywhere. Apart from its architecture, the temples are believed to be one of the holiest shrines in Buddhism. The best part of the temples is its Pooja, which is enlightening and soothing.

Shopping in Mount Abu

It is impossible to think of heading home without stuffing your luggage with Rajasthani paintings, artifacts, clothes and everything else. Mount Abu offer wide variety in genuine Rajasthani stuff. Here, you can get the best Kota saris, bangles, linen with sanganeri prints, Jaipuri quilts, stone crafts, leather articles etc. Some of the best shops of Mount Abu are Rajasthali, Piccadily Plaza, Chacha Museum, Kashmir Cottage Emporium, M/s Bansilal Bhurmal, Fair Price Rajasthan Emporium and Khadi Bhandar.

Festival in Mount Abu

Exotic location and vibrant culture makes the celebration of Summer Festival an unforgettable experience. This festival falls in the month of May and is started off by a ceremonial procession. This procession commences from RTDC Hotel Shikhar and is set to sparkle by fireworks, and Guajarati and Rajasthani cultural folk performances. Tug-of-war, Panihari Matka Race, Horse Race, CRPF Band Show, Skater’s Show, Skating Race and deepdaan are the major highlights of this festival.

[ Read More about Fair & Festival in Rajasthan ]

Best Time to Visit in Mount Abu

Mount Abu is a hill station in the state of Rajasthan, its green valleys and sapphire lake make it a highly inviting place. Any time is the best time to visit Mount Abu. The winters are chilling and pleasurable. In monsoon, Mount Abu receives highest rainfall in whole Rajasthan. But still, there are moderate to average amount of rain showers that take place here. And summers can come out to be a savior in Mount Abu, far away from scorching heat of the deserts.

How to Reach in Mount Abu

Mount Abu is easily accessible through all the major modes of transport. Nearest airport from Mount Abu is in Udaipur; connecting to Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur.

Nearest railway station is Abu Road. This railway station is at a distance of 22 kilometers from Mount Abu and is connected to trains running to and from Mumbai, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and others.  Mount Abu can also be reached via state and privately owned buses.

Where to Stay in Mount Abu

Mount Abu is a popular tourist destination; and having said this, it becomes pretty obvious that you have easy access to all your needs here. Talking about accommodation, you can go for budget or luxury hotels. I suggest that you consider; Hotel Welcome Heritage Connaught House (Heritage Hotel) , Palace Hotel (Heritage Hotel) Udaigarh Hotel (Heitage Resort), Hotel maganji’s (3 star), Hotel Hiltone (3 star), Hotel ChaCha Inn (2 star) and Hotel Vinayak (1 star).

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Saint Francis Xavier Exposition, Goa

The beach state of Goa is known for its high-spirited lively culture. It attracts an amazing number of tourists from all around the world, every year. Goa is also known for its Portuguese Churches, which are one its prime attraction as well. The residents of Goa are not only famed for their party spirit but also for having sincere belief in their religion. There is a chance for you to experiences and feel the spiritual air of Goa.

Basalica of Bom Jesus, Goa

The Decennial Exposition of St. Francis Xavier, Goa

The exposition of the relics of Saint Francis Xavier has been announced to be put in exposition for veneration. This major pilgrimage event takes place once in a decade and it now is taking place from November 22nd 2014 to January 4th 2015; as announced by Archbishop of Goa, India. About 3 million pilgrims from around the world are going to attend this tour and Pope’s ambassador too is expected to be one of the attendants.

Who Was Saint Francis Xavier

Saint Francis Xavier was born in Spain in the year 1506. Xavier is amongst the greatest missionaries since St. Paul. He was a Roman Catholic and co-founder of The Society of Jesus. The saint took vows for poverty and chastity and travelled across Asia for the same. His works were highly appreciated in India. During his tour he also went to Japan, Indonesia and many other places.

The Saint, in the span of 10 years, baptized more than three lakh people; and was named as “Apostle of the Indies” and “Apostle of Japan”. He further aimed at preaching missionary lessons across China, but died before he could.

Saint Francis died on December 3rd 1552 in the Sancian Island, China. His body was laid to rest in Malaysia and was then moved to Portuguese Colony of Goa, India. Saint Xavier’s right hand was removed and was sent to Rome to preserve it as a relic there. Today, the remains are placed in a silver casket in old Goa. It will be taken down in a solemn procession to Se Cathedral in November 22nd 2014.
St Francis Xavier Exposition
Exposition of St Francis Xavier in Goa

How to Reach

The exposition will be taking place in Se Cathedral in Old Goa. Goa is accessible through Air, Train and Road. The details are provided below:
By Air
The nearest International Airport is in Dabolim, at the distance of about 24 Kilometers. You can hire a taxi from the airport to reach Se Cathedral.
By Train
Nearest Railhead from Se Cathedral is Vasco Da Gama Railway Station (27 Km). You can also opt for Madgaon Railway Station, which is about 32 kilometers from the venue. Get a taxi to reach Se Cathedral from the Railway Station.
By Road
Major National Highways that pass through Goa are NH17 and NH4A. There are frequent bus services by state and privately owned companies that commute to and from neighboring areas.

Getting around the Venue

Goa has a wide range of choice in the mode of transportation. Apart from frequent bus services, you can go for auto-rikshaws, but it might get hard to find them at times. Easiest way to travel within the state is by hiring a taxi or renting car/bike/scooter.
You can find taxi services in the streets or in the hotel you are staying in. Renting services too are easy to find. You have to only show your identity card, handover the advance and explore the state.

Nearby Attractions

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church
The church was built in 1540 and is placed a few meters above the city. This striking white holy edifice displays fine work of carving and ornamentation of the bygone era.
There are many five-star casinos cruising over Mandovi River near Panjim. These casinos are enjoyable, even if you do not want to splurge or take risks.
Whether you are looking for peace or loud parties, Goa has beaches of all sorts. Some of the best beaches of Goa are Baga Beach, Candolim Beach, Anjuna Beach, Dona Puala Beach and Calangute Beach
Right from the choice in street markets to high-end international brands; you can shop without hindrance while you are in Goa. Some of the main markets of the state are Anjuna Flea Market, Panjim Market, Saturday Night Market, Tito’s Lane Market and Calangute Market.

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