Khajuraho, known for it's erotic temples, is the star attraction of the province of Madhya Pradesh. As usual getting there (or away) is half the fun however. On the way I stopped at Orcha and Gwalior. I always find a trip to India more interesting going in stages by day train, visualizing the trip and the landscape then flying, going by night bus or night train.
I visited the yearly dance festival when I was In Khajurao. A nice festival but unfortunately, although understandably, the dances are not performed in the actual temples but on a stage with a somewhat artificial background.
The medieval Hindu and Jain temples in Khajuraho are the largest group of their kind. They are famous for their erotic sculptures that, although only present in a few of the temples, are unique for Indian temples. When the temples were built between 950 and 1150 the Tantric tradition was accepted as a part of live. Needless to say the Muslim Mughal influences changed that.
The Khajuraho Group of Monuments is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and also considered to be one of the "seven wonders" of India. The temples are divided in three groups: western, eastern and southern. The western group is a compact group, which is gated. It contains the most famous temples and erotic art and is also closest to the small town. The temples are made of sandstone. Mortar was not used, the stones were put together with mortise and tenon joints and held in place by gravity. The megaliths that make up the columns and architraves weigh up to 20 tons.
There is a yearly dance festival held in on a stage with one of the temples as backdrop. Performed are various classical Indian dances. Unfortunately you have to shoot from quite a distance if you are not registered as press or VIP.
The city of Khajurao is quite small, but relaxed once the numerous boys who ‘just want to talk with you’ know there are no monetary gains to be scored. You can hire bicycles to visit outer-lying temples or to just look around the countryside.