First off I want to say that Bradley and I only actually spent 1 full day here. Khajuraho has such a lot to offer though it would have been nice to have an extra day.
This is a small town littered with Hindu Temples and surrounded by flat green land. It couldn’t have been more of a stark contrast to the cities we have just come from. Beyond the farmland and river lay a series of ridges that forms the Vindhya Mountains – the second largest mountain range in India! All this natural landscape provides a home to loads of bird life meaning fellow twitchers would love it here!
The temples are divided into groups. The main group is called the Western group and you must pay entry (600 rupees for foreigners) to access them. It was the most beautiful place. No touts or guides bothering us, it was clean and well maintained, loads of butterflies and birds and these spectacular temples. We took our shoes off, felt the heat of the sun on our feet and wandered around (twice) super relaxed and happy.
The actual temples are astonishing because of the sheer detail on them. They do take your breath away a little. Inside the caves you notice a ‘cavey ‘ smell which is most likely due to the many bats which are roosting on the ceiling! Definitely take a moment to watch for birds as you stroll through the temples. We saw everything from Hornbills and Parrots, to Bee Eaters and Sunbirds – teeming with life!
Once you’ve finished there are the Eastern Group of temples which you’re free to walk to without a ticket. To be honest, we were a little templed out as they are much the same as each other. I’d say the main one to see is the Javari temple purely because it’s famous for its Karma Sutra inspired carvings! You’re more than likely to be followed by local ‘guides’ too whilst checking out these temples which can be quite irritating so we didn’t go to them all.
A short auto drive from Khajuraho lies one of the ridges that forms the Vindhya mountains, referred to by the locals as Teeth Mountain. It takes 15 minutes to drive there and is then a short climb up to the top of the ridge. You’re then blessed with 360 degrees of stunning views.
We attempted to catch sunset up there but the clouds put a stop to that. Nonetheless the misty, moody evening set in and it was a peaceful moment sat looking across this rural part of India.
Things to Note:
- I’m not sure if this was just us being poor at bartering, but Khajuraho seemed more expensive than we were used too. Just as we had got the hang of how much to pay for auto rides, we were thrown off. Autos are really expensive here (comparatively). Food also racks up since there aren’t many options to choose from and where we went was definitely on the pricey side!
- Everyone is out to get money from you and they will find out where you’re staying, hang around outside with their mates and then pounce on you when you leave. We were warned about this so were careful but it still happened. If people are trying to be your friend and ‘practice their english’, trust me, all they see when they look at you is a new pair of trainers. This is really annoying because I really don’t think the word no is part of Indian vocabulary. Being pestered is part of being a tourist here and it’s crap. That’s why escaping to an enclosed area like the Western temples is such a relief!
- There are also other things to do here such as take the 45 minute auto drive out to the Raneh waterfall. This is an impressive waterfall if you have the time (which we didn’t) and gives you another close-by thing to do.
For your trip to Khajuraho put aside 1-2 days, but no more, as it’s really only very small. Some Indians say this is the most beautiful place in India and India is a very beautiful country so that is saying something.