It was late evening when we entered the arch of Khajuraho. Khajuraho as such is a small town and if not for the group of monuments, there might not be even proper roads. Life revolves around the temples of Khajuraho and there was no less for stay options to chose from. Our pick was the Syna Heritage Hotel for the mere reason of its proximity to the group of monuments Khajuraho. However, we were not aware that there was more in store than just the walkable distance. The grand gates of the Syna Heritage Hotel opened up and the hotel was glowing in the light. The moment we entered in what caught my eyes were the carefully picked vintage artefacts including vintage cars. We were promptly shown our way to the Royal Suite. True to its name, the royal suite has a living room with attached washroom, a bedroom, a dressing room and a bathroom with Jacuzzi. An old door converted into a table, artfully painted room dividers, a handmade vintage elephant made of silver, a cupboard inherited from years; the feel of being in a town known for its cultural heritage was sinking in. We were waiting for morning to start exploring Khajuraho.
[caption id="attachment_1359" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Syna Heritage Hotel Khajuraho[/caption]
Western Group of Temples, Khajuraho
After a hot shower and tucked ourselves with a variety of dishes from breakfast buffet menu, we were all set to explore Khajuraho. The western group of temples is just a 10min walk from the hotel and we decided to walk down. The western group of temple is the main attraction at Khajuraho and I strongly recommend to hire a guide. The temples were built in the early 10th century during the Chandela dynasty, neglected and few were destroyed by the muslim dynasty and later was discovered by a Britisher who revived the left over temples. Apparently, there were 85 temples of which only 25 are remaining. We start with the Varaha temple, a Varaha with an innumerable number of miniature sculptures sculpted on it. Facing right opposite it is the Lakshmana temple. A very elaborate temple depicting the everyday life of people at Khajuraho. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The most elaborate and largest temple with the finest sculptures is the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The other temples in the western group of temples include Chaunsat Yogini, Chitragupta, Devi Jagadamba, Vishwanath temple.
To understand the sculptures found at these temples, read - Decoding the Sculptures of Khajuraho
[caption id="attachment_1354" align="aligncenter" width="450"]
Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, Khajuraho[/caption]
At least half a day is required to explore the western group of temples alone. Viewing sunset behind these monuments is also a thing. The day I watched, it was not great colors. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful sunset. I was already draining out my camera battery as I had clicked so many pics from the western group of temples. All now I could think of was getting into the Jacuzzi in the hotel room and relax. But we proceeded further to the eastern and southern group of temples. That is where the Jain temples are.
Eastern Group of Temples, Khajuraho
There are three Jain temples; Shantinath, Parshwanath and Adinath temple all within the same campus. However, the main temple was white washed and so was like any other building. These temples are also from Chandela dynasty time meaning the Jains were pretty prevalent then and lived on the east side of the town. The Shantinath Jain temple has an impressive statue of nearly 15ft height. There are inscriptions dating back to centuries old. However what I did not understand was that the outer walls of the temple and even the entrance to sanctum sanctorum had sculptures of yakshas, yakshis, Hindu mythological figures and erotica. I was expecting the life of Jainism or their history on wall and that seemed less.
[caption id="attachment_1353" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Jain Temples, Eastern group of temples, Khajuraho[/caption]
Southern Group of Temples, Khajuraho
The southern group of temples were Dulhadev Temple, Beejamandal Temple (almost ruined) and the Chattarbhuj Temple. The impressive one is the Chattarbhuj Temple Or The Jatkari Temple. This is the only temple in Khajuraho which does not have any erotic sculptures. The temple is west facing and has a beautifully done tall Vishnu statue with His legs crossed like dancing. The beauty of this temple is that every day when the sun sets, the rays fall on the idol, moves from the crown to face and the rays slowly goes down to the feet as the sun disappears. This is the place to watch the sunset and wonder at the architecture marvel however all out tourist crowd run to the main temples for the iconic pics and that included me..
[caption id="attachment_1351" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Chatarbhuja Temple, Southern Group of Temples, Khajuraho[/caption]
Returning to Syna Heritage Hotel, my room was cleaned, fresh towels were laid and the bath robes were ready, I went straight to the jacuzzi and relaxed myself after all the walking in the day. Syna has three kinds of rooms, deluxe, Super deluxe and Royal Suite. All the rooms are spacious but my pick will definitely be super deluxe or royal suite. They also have one room called Honeymoon suite which has a jacuzzi, a vintage cot, beautifully crafted tables and chairs and of course, erotica themed paintings and statues.
[caption id="attachment_1356" align="aligncenter" width="704"]
Royal Suite, Syna Heritage Hotel, Khajuraho[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1352" align="aligncenter" width="699"]
Honeymoon Suite, Syna Heritage Hotel[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1358" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
Super Deluxe Room, Syna Heritage hotel[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1360" align="aligncenter" width="701"]
By the swimming pool[/caption]
How to Reach Khajuraho
Khajuraho is best accessible through train and flight. The airport is the closest to the town. If you have your own vehicle nothing is as good as that. The railway station was around 10km from the town and surprisingly it was very big and clean, looks like newly constructed. The intercity buses are a problem throughout Madhya Pradesh. You can board the minivans and go to Chatarpur and from there you can further connect to Jhansi or Satna. It has a lot of hoping to do.
Khajuraho has a lot of cafes as most of the tourist in flow is from abroad. The in house restaurant of Syna hotel has a variety of menu options and the food was very tasty. We also dined at Raja's cafe right opposite Western group of temples for continental food and it was super yummy. In general, things to try are milk and Jelabi, Poha, Chats.
Note: I was hosted in Khajuraho by Syna Heritage hotels. However, the views about the hotel are based on my experience.
Happy Traveling :)
How to reach Syna Heritage Hotel, Khajuraho
Pin it to your Board:
[caption id="attachment_1403" align="aligncenter" width="372"]
Pin it - Khajuraho[/caption]