Khajuraho, India is home to UNESCO World Heritage temples, some of the finest temple art in the world. It is the erotic carvings that make these temples so famous, with some of the carvings featuring images from India’s famous Kama Sutra.
Tim and I were intrigued by these temples and these carvings, so Khajuraho got added into our itinerary. We hesitated a little, not knowing if it was appropriate to bring children here. Tyler and Kara would be 11 and 10, respectively, at the time of traveling. So, what was it like visiting Khajuraho with kids?
Touring the Temples of Khajuraho
The Town of Khajuraho
Just getting to the temples is an experience. Khajuraho is the worst place in India for touts. The requests for guides, rickshaws, and taxis are unrelentless here. It is almost impossible to walk a short ways through the streets without being hassled. The best thing to do is to politely decline and keep moving, but the constant attention quickly gets annoying.
The streets of Khajuraho
The Western Group of Temples
We paid our fee (250 rupees per adult, children under 15 are free) and entered the western group of temples, the best preserved temples of Khajuraho.
Once inside the grounds of the temples life becomes much more peaceful. We visited Lakshmana Temple first, ogling at the beautiful and sometimes erotic carvings.
The temples are magnificent. The intricately carved people and elephants are beautiful. We quickly discovered that these temples are not completely covered with erotic carvings like we were expecting. Tour books and Google images make Khajuraho look like a XXX destination. This is not the case. Mainly, there were images of people, war elephants, and deities. We did occasionally spot a more amorous carving, but Tyler and Kara never noticed these.
After Lakshmana Temple we visited the other main temples in the western group. Here Tim and I spotted more erotic carvings, which Tyler and Kara were completely oblivious to, probably because they do not know what to look for yet.
By the time we arrived in Khajuraho, we had been traveling through India for almost five weeks. During this time we never saw any other children (who were tourists) until we were visiting these temples.
Our visit to the western temples took about an hour. Many people use tour guides but we just wandered through the temples on our own. All four of us enjoyed this quick visit to see these temples. Located just a short distance away, on the outskirts of Khajuraho, are the eastern group of temples and some Jain temples. We visited these as well but they were hardly worth the time after the spectacular visit to the western temples.
We all enjoyed our visit here. We all got to enjoy some world class art, learn a little more about Hinduism, and enjoy the peace and quiet of these temples. Taking Tyler and Kara was completely fine, as they missed the more erotic carvings that some would argue are inappropriate for their age (until they read this post!). Tim and I joke that by visiting the temples of Khajuraho, we have covered their health education for the year.
How Long to Visit?
Twenty-four hours is more than enough time. All of the temples (western, eastern, and Jain) can be visited in several hours. There is not much more to do in Khajuraho. The town is very small. The constant requests from touts make walking through the streets irritating. The food is mediocre and most accommodations are very basic.
Where to Stay
We stayed at Hotel Harmony, which is located on the main road, Jain Temple Road, in the center of town. We had a four bed room with ensuite bath and stayed for $24 per night. It was a five minute walk from here to the western group of temples. The wifi was decent. We used their laundry service which was the best we had in India; our clothes came back very clean and smelled great, a rarity here.
Is Khajuraho Worth it?
Maybe. Visiting the temples was not as amazing as Tim and I were expecting. We flew in and out of Khajuraho, staying two nights and two days here. If temples are your thing, this is a great place to go. Otherwise, this may be a destination to skip in India.
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