15 Best Things to Do in Khajuraho

If thrill and knowledge are what you’re seeking, there are plenty of things to do in Khajuraho to quench your thirst. The name ‘Khajuraho’ is almost synonymous with ancient religions and history, as the land is lined with a vast array of temples and palaces.

Ditch the mindless chatter and blaring noises of your daily life, and head to Khajuraho for the excitement of a lavish ride back in time. Forming 3 groups of temples, Western, Eastern and Southern, it is a hub of cultures, traditions, and rich historical events, mostly dating back to the reign of the Chandela Dynasty.

Also, widely applauded for the remarkable architectural styles that the monuments and temples reflect, Khajuraho is a hotspot for tourists, both Indian and international. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Khajuraho hosts a plethora of historical monuments and natural wonders to visit, and there is no shortage of things to do in Khajuraho.

The magnificent Panna National Park, Raneh Falls, and Pandav Falls offer you the perfect respite from the concrete jungle that is the outside world, while temples of Kandariya Mahadev, Chitragupta, Brahma, and Ghantai truly ignite your curiosity concerning religion, culture, and history.

Here are 15 best things to do in Khajuraho:

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Take a Tour of Temples of Khajuraho

Best known for its rich historical charm, Khajuraho shades some of the best, most ancient temples in the world! Essentially a group of Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist temples, the Khajuraho Group of Monuments enjoy fame for stunning nagara-style architecture and erotic sculptures that grace the temples.

Origins of some temples dating as back as to the 9th and 10th centuries, they’ve seen the rise and fall of several kingdoms, including the Chandela dynasty. Visiting the temples is decidedly one of the most popular things to do in Khajuraho.

Highlights: Stunning nagara-style architecture and erotic sculptures. Explore temples of Ghantai, Matangeshwar, Vamana, Brahma, Jagdambi, Kandariya Mahadev, Adinath and countless others for an enriching religious tour.

Price: Most of the temples will not charge any entry fees for visitors.

Timings: Majority of these temples will be open for visitors from 06:00 am to 08:00 pm every day.

You can also check here, most ancient temples in Madhya Pradesh.


Attend the Sound and Light Show near Western Group of Temples

Undoubtedly among the most popular Khajuraho things to do in the evenings, the sound and light show held by the Western Group of Temples is a sight to behold. Illustrating various historical and religious facts and cultures of the ancient times, this paid event promises to satiate the burning curiosity of visitors like nothing else.

While the temples are beautiful by themselves, the sound and light show bathes them in a whole new light, quite literally.

Highlights: The show is organized in English and well as Hindi. Learn more about the temple art, carvings, and related fascinating stories that leave you in awe.

Timings: October to February- English Timings: 06:30 pm to 07:25 pm, Hindi Timings: 07:40 pm to 08:35 pm.

March to September- English Timings: 07:30 pm to 08:25 pm, Hindi Timings: 08:40 pm to 09:35 pm.

Location: Western Group of Temples, Sevagram, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh


Witness Wildlife and Nature at Panna National Park

Located in the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh, Panna National Park is the state’s 5th tiger reserve and country’s 22nd. A number of wildlife species call this national park their home, including Cheetah, Langur, Jackal, Chinkara, and Wild Boar. Birds like the Honey Buzzard, King Vulture, Indian Vulture, Hawk-Eagle and many more are also sheltered in its lush green drapes.

Carrying a backdrop of the Vindhya Hills, Panna National Park offers fun safari rides in park owned vehicles. You can also choose to stay in at the Jungle Cottages and Forest Rest Houses! Of all the things to do in Khajuraho, visiting Panna National Park should be your top goal!

Highlights: Spot exotic species of wildlife and birds. Live in beautiful jungle cottages in the park. Enjoy the tranquility and beauty of mother nature in her entirety.

Location: Panna National Park, NH 75, Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh

Safari Price: - INR 1000 per vehicle (for Indians)

                    - INR 2000 per vehicle (for Foreigners)

Safari Timings:

Summer: Morning: 5:30 am to 9:30 am

               Evening: 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm

Winter: Morning: 7:00 am to 10:30 am

             Evening: 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Want to know more? Check this amazing guide of Panna National Park.


Enjoy the Dance Festival in Khajuraho

When the harsh winter begins its journey towards the blissful season of spring, the town of Khajuraho witnesses the grandeur of the stunning Khajuraho Dance Festival. Generally held in the last weeks of February, the festival carries a mesmerizing backdrop of beautifully lit Khajuraho Temples.

Famous Indian classical dance forms like Kathak, Odissi, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, and Bharatanatyam form the heart of the festival, although lately, modern dance forms have also been seen. Decidedly one of the most entertaining things to do in Khajuraho, the Dance Festival of Khajuraho should not be missed out on!

Highlights: Experience the magical union of various Indian classical dance forms like never before. Many famous artists attend and participate in the Dance Festival. The beauty of the nearby Chitragupta Temple only amplifies the joy.

Location: The festival takes place in a huge open auditorium near Chitragupta and Vishwanatha Temples of the Western Group of Temples.


Explore History in the State Museum of Tribal and Folk Art

The State Museum of Tribal and Folk Art is cradled in the Chandela Cultural Complex in Khajuraho and is a converging point for various ancient relics and artifacts. Exhibiting the beautiful tribal works of artisans, the museum holds the attention of visitors as soon as they enter.

Luring herds of curious travelers, and patrons of history, folklore, and culture, the State Museum of Tribal and Folk Art satisfactorily provides you with answers to the multitude of questions swarming in your head.

Highlights: It showcases works of various tribal artisans and artists. Acts as a meeting point of several ancient cultures, traditions, and religion through artifacts, relics, and articles. A lovely art gallery that depicts the art forms from the bygone era.

Location: State Museum of Tribal and Folk Art, Link Road No 1, Chandela Cultural complex, Khajuraho.

Timings: The museum is open from 12:00 pm to 08:00 pm every day except on Mondays and public holidays.


Relinquish Yourself at Raneh Falls Canyon

Garbed in a multitude of colors, Raneh Falls create a 30 feet deep canyon with dazzling crystalline granite, which lures countless nature lovers and birdwatchers into its realm. The region also houses several large and small waterfalls that greet you at nearly every turn you take.

Its lush greenery is literally the breath of fresh air that everyone needs and a little excursion to Raneh Falls will unmistakably offer you much more than what you would have expected! Out of all the popular things to do in Khajuraho, visiting Raneh Falls should be your priority.

Highlights: Experience peace and tranquility in the laps of mother nature at the falls. The beauty of the anomaly of crystalline granites will leave you dumbfounded. Perfect respite for nature lovers, trekking enthusiasts, and the curious.

Location: Raneh falls, Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh.

Price: The place charges INR 15 for Indians and INR 150 for foreigners as entry fees.

Check here the amazing waterfalls of Madhya Pradesh.


Explore the Old Town of Khajuraho

Khajuraho can be classified into 2 beautiful areas, but if you prefer to stray from the beaten tracks, the old town of Khajuraho is your best bet! Replete with beautiful rustic huts and mud cottages, the old town is paved with roadways cleaner than any other Indian city.

It is a stark reflection of the old ages of India in its entirety. You are gifted with rare glimpses of the strange life of the natives too, and passing by ladies garbed in their traditional attires isn't uncommon. If you're polite and caring, some natives might even invite you in for a cup of tea! It is simply one of the most unique Khajuraho things to do.

Highlights: Explore the native lifestyle and cultures of the old town. Watch the beauty of real ‘rural’ India unfold only for you. Have enlightening chats with the natives over a steaming cup of tea.

What to Do: Best attractions & places to visit in Khajuraho.


See the Mesmerising Beauty of the Pandav Waterfall

Sheltered beautifully in the drapes of Panna National Park in Khajuraho, Pandav Waterfall skirts the river Ken from a height of 30 meters! A steep gorge forms a great pool at the bottom, where all the cascading water from the falls accumulates.

This natural wonder owes its name to the legendary Pandava brothers from the Hindu Epic Mahabharata, who were believed to have passed through the waterfall. One of the most relaxing things to do in Khajuraho, a dual dose of nature and waterfalls is bound to bring you the tranquility your soul deserves.

Highlights: Named after the legendary Pandava brothers from Mahabharata. A deep gorge collects the water and forms a lovely pool below the waterfall. Pandav Waterfall is seated in close proximity to the marvelous Raneh Falls Canyon.

Location: Pandav Falls, NH 75, Nahri, Madhya Pradesh

Price: An entry fee of INR 50 is charged per head and INR 200 per vehicle.


Take a Visit to Ajaigarh Fort

Ajaigarh fort stands at a distance of 80 km from Khajuraho. Perched at a height of 688 meters on a beautiful hill, Ajaigarh Fort was a fortress of the Chandela Kings, and one of the most important monuments in their history.

The beautiful Vindhya Ranges border the fort, and offer great views of the sprawling landscape. Stronghold of the Chandela Kings, the forts played a significant role in their reign.

Location: Ajaigarh Fort, Chhatarpur District, Khajuraho, Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh

Price: No entry fee.

Timings: The fort is open from 06:00 am to 06:00 pm every day.


Enjoy Mouth-Watering Street Food of Khajuraho

One of the most common essentials in the daily lives of Indians is the obsessive love for street food. Every Indian city brings its fair share of culinary delicacies, including the tantalizing street food that you just can't keep your hands off of.

Khajuraho is strewn with tempting little food stalls on nearly every street, most of which are placed at a considerable distance from the temple groups as they are silent zones. Mouth-watering and pocket-friendly, there's no shortage of numerous Indian chaats, tikkis, samosas, bhajiyas, dal bafla and other local delights for you to devour.

One of the most rewarding things to do in Khajuraho is to try its street food. Though your tummies will feel heavier, hearts will be a lot lighter.

Highlights: Discover the various local street food, and relish them. Save huge bucks, while you get a whiff of the true local food in Khajuraho. Delicacies like samosas, pakoras, and jalebis await you.


Experience the Soothing Ayurvedic Spa at Ayur Arogyam

While traveling is a delightful experience, let’s not forget the exhaustion that comes with it, warranting a well-deserved dose of rejuvenation. Founded and managed by a lovely and qualified Keralan couple, the beautiful Ayurvedic spa is an ideal choice for those seeking to shed off the day’s stress.

One of the most relaxing things to do in Khajuraho, the Ayur Arogyam offers wonderful short head, neck and back massages, and an hour-long full body massage with special oils! Release those tight, sore muscles as your senses enjoy the soothing ambiance.

Highlights: Highly qualified trainers offer you the best massages you can expect. Release the stress and tension from your body and mind after a long day’s excursion. Bask in the massage therapy with special oils.

Location: Ayur Arogyam, Sevagram, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh

Timings: The spa is open for 24 hours every day.

Where to Stay: Best resorts and places to stay in Khajuraho.


Explore the Ruins of Mastani Mahal

Housed in the Dhubela region of Madhya Pradesh, the beautiful Mastani Mahal is separated from Khajuraho by 60 km. The palace was built around the year 1969 by Maharaja Chhatrasal for the gorgeous dancer Mastani.

The great Peshwa Bajirao got married to her after his victory on Bangash. There are countless more legends and tales that revolve around the palace. However, the beautiful architecture and ornamentation of the palace had once been commendable.

One of the most interesting Khajuraho things to do, a visit to the ruined Mastani Mahal should undoubtedly grace your itinerary.

Highlights: Contemplate about the life in the era of Bajirao and Mastani like never before. Let the ruins of the palace satiate your thirst for historical knowledge. The palace was for Mastani by King Chhatrasal.

Location: Dhubela, Madhya Pradesh.


Take a Day Trip to Orchha

Located at a distance of about 173 km from Khajuraho, Orchha makes for a scenic 4 hours’ drive from the town. It sits on the banks of the beautiful river Betwa and houses an array of temples and monuments that retain some of their former glory, rendering the town resplendent.

Founded by Maharaja Rudra Pratap Singh in the early 16th century, Orchha brings you wonderful places to visit like Raj Mahal, Jehangir Mahal, Chaturbhuja Temple, Laxmi Narayan Temple, Sunder Mahal, Phool Bagh, and lots more.

The town echoes with the striking Rajput architecture with touches of Mughal style. More unexplored and laid back than Khajuraho, Orchha offers a great opportunity to explore and discover the town on foot, as well as on cycle.

Highlights: More unexplored and rustic than Khajuraho. Less crowded, and perfect for those seeking solitude and mindful discovery. Explore the beautiful monuments in Orchha with a much lesser hustle and bustle.

Location: Orchha, Tikamgarh District, Madhya Pradesh.

What to Do: Some of the best things to do in Orchha.


Go for Jungle Safari at Ken Ghariyal Sanctuary

Ken Gharial Sanctuary is a nature reserve cradled inside Panna National Park. The beautiful Ken river cuts its way through the forests and flows northwards to meet the river, Ganga.

Housing stunning species of wildlife like the Gharial, Wolf, Chinkara, Spotted Deer, Nilgai and Sloth Bear, the reserve is ideal for nature lovers, birdwatchers, and those seeking solitude and calm in the bounds of nature.

Witnessing the regular sunrise and sunset can also turn to a whole new experience here. One of the most peaceful things to do in Khajuraho, short treks in the reserve will replenish your soul.

Highlights: Ideal for nature lovers and birdwatchers. Besides short treks, you can also opt for exciting boat rides within the sanctuary.

Location: Ken Gharial Sanctuary, Panna National Park, NH 75, Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh

Timings: The place can be visited from sunrise to sunset every day, while boating is possible only from 07:00 am to 09:00 am in the morning, and from 04:00 pm to 05:00 pm in the evening.


Enjoy the View at Beni Sagar Dam

Built on the banks of the river Khuddar, Beni Sagar dam is one of the most mesmerizing places in Khajuraho, and affords spectacular views of the river. Spanning across nearly 8 square kilometers, the surrounding beauty and lush greenery promises to captivate your senses, rendering it ideal for when you’re looking for some peace and quiet.

The dam also hosts a number of adventurous water sports and activities. Watching the sunrise and sunset from here is an unequaled and overwhelming experience, and is one of the most unmissable things to do in Khajuraho.

Highlights: Located on the river Khuddar, the dam opens to beautiful vistas. Hosts various water sports for visitors.

Location: Beni Sagar Dam, Pahadi Hirajoo, Chhatarpur Madhya Pradesh

Price: There is no entry fee for visitors.

Timings: The dam is open to visitors from 06:00 am to 10:00 pm every day.

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