Maharajas' Express Blog

Khajuraho – the Medieval World of Symbolism and Spirituality

Khajuraho temples in Madhya Pradesh represent the mystique and irresistible allure associated with India. Embark on a journey to Khajuraho with Maharajas’ Express, and explore the multiple facets of Indian architecture and the ways of life in times immemorial.


Khajuraho is one of the most famous tourist destinations in India. It is famous for its medieval period erotic sculptures engraved on numerous temple walls that are situated in the area. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site, comprising of a large cluster of Hindu and Jain temples. Originally the place had about 85 Hindu temples, but now only 20 of them are remaining.

These fabulously carved sandstone temples were built by Chandela Kings from the period of 10th to 12th century. They were built during the golden period of Chandela rulers and it is believed that every king in his lifetime has built at least one temple. So, these temples have come up due to a tradition of temple building that has been followed by every ruler of the Chandela dynasty.

The Khajuraho temples are immensely popular around the world mainly because of sculptures depicting tantric sensual activities engraved on the walls. Eroticism is the subject for about 10% of these sculptures and the rest depict divine figures, everyday life, celestial beings and interestingly, women plucking thorns from their feet. This is because the place is known for Khajur (dates) being grown here, therefore, the landscape is filled with thorns.

The temples are grouped according to the location – Western, Eastern and Southern, the most visited and famous being the Western group of temples. Some of the famous temples here are Matangeshwara temple, Lakshmana temple, and Kandriya Mahadev temple. Other beautiful temples in the Western group complex are dedicated to Chitragupta, Jagadambi, Lakshmi, Varaha, Parvati and Nandi.

Khajuraho was the religious capital of Chandellas, as their political capital was in Mahoba, which is approximately 60 km away from Khajuraho. The entire complex was enclosed with a wall and about 8 gates were used for entry and exit. Every gate was surrounded by date/palm trees and for that reason, the place is also known as ‘Khajura-vahika’, which means date-bearing.

See also: Khajuraho – Maharajas’ Express Tour

After the fall of Chandella dynasty in AD 1150, the temples suffered destruction at the hands of Muslim invaders and the local people left town hoping that this will bring lesser attention towards the temples and the structures will remain unhurt. So, the temples covered by forests remained a mystery till they were re-discovered by a British engineer T.S. Burt, in the 18th century.

A unique way of experiencing this world of passion and expressions carved in stone, where emotions are expressed through art and architecture, is with the luxury train Maharajas’ Express. Among its five interesting itineraries, one journey– The Indian Panorama, takes you to explore the architectural marvels of Khajuraho. You can enjoy the culture and spirituality of India along with world class luxuries offered by the train. So, embark on an unforgettable escapade to Khajuraho, with the world’s leading luxury train Maharajas’ Express.