Khajuraho Excursions

Places to visit around Khajuraho

Khajuraho Khajuraho excursion Tour of Khajuraho

Ajaygarh Fort Ajaygarh Fort is situated in the Panna District of Madhya Pradesh. It is around 36 km from the town of Panna and 80 km from Khajuraho. This old fort is at a height of 688 m above sea level. It was the capital of the Chandelas during their decline. The fort has ruins of temples adorned with elaborately carved sculptures. It was captured by the British in 1809.

Ajaigarh was the capital of a princely state of the same name during the British Raj. Ajaigarh was founded in 1765 by Guman Singh, a Bundela Rajput who was the nephew of Raja Pahar Singh of Jaitpur. After Ajaigarh was captured by the British in 1809, it became a princely state in the Bundelkhand Agency of the Central India Agency. It had an area of 771 sq mile (1997 sq kms), and a population of 78,236 in 1901. The rulers bore the title of sawai maharaja. He commanded an estimated annual revenue of about £15,000.00, and paid a tribute of £460.00. The chief resided at the town of Nowgong, at the foot of the hill-fortress of Ajaigarh, from which the state took its name. This fort, situated on a steep hill, towers more than 800 ft (244 m) above the eponymous township, and contains the ruins of several temples adorned with elaborately carved sculptures. The town was often afflicted by malaria, and suffered severely from famine in 1868-1869 and 1896-1897.

The state acceded to the Government of India on January 1, 1950; the ruling chief was granted a privy purse of Rs. 74,700.00, and the courtesy use of his styles and titles. All of these were revoked by the government of India in 1971, at the time when these privileges were revoked from all erstwhile princes. The former princely state became part of the new Indian state of Vindhya Pradesh, and most of the territory of the former state, including the town of Ajaigarh, became part of Panna District, with a smaller portion going to Chhatarpur District. Vindhya Pradesh was merged into Madhya Pradesh on November 1, 1956.

Raneh Falls Raneh Falls, a sort of canyon, on the Ken River, is around 20 km from the historic town of Khajuraho. It is renowned for rock formations. A 5 km long, 100 ft deep canyon of crystalline granite in varying shades of color ranging from pink and red to grey is the main attraction. A series of seasonal waterfalls surrounded by pristine forests makes it an ideal spot for nature lovers.

Ken Gharial Sanctuary Very close to Raneh Falls is the Ken Gharial sanctuary. Ken Gharial sanctuary gets its name from the 6 m long fish-eating Gharial, the very rare species of crocodiles. This Sanctuary is natural habitat of Gharial. Gharial is listed as critically endangered animal. When it comes to size, the Gharial is the world record holder amongst all crocodilians, with adult males reaching a whopping 6-7 meters in length. None of the other crocodilians on the planet are a match for the Gharial’s ability at swimming and capturing fish. Broad webbed feet and a very well-developed laterally-compressed tail make it the fastest swimmer amongst all related contenders. The most striking feature of any Gharial is its highly specialized, tapering snout that possesses an array of interlocking needlelike teeth - 54 to 58 in the upper jaw and 50 to 52 in the lower jaw that make it quite impossible for captured fish to escape. As the growing Gharial becomes a specialized fish-capturing machine, its snout becomes progressively narrower.

One can also enter Ken Gharial Sanctuary from the other bank, which falls under the boundary of the Panna Tiger Reserve.

Pandava Waterfalls One of the most famous waterfalls of the region, the Pandava Waterfall on the Ken River, is located at a distance of 30 kms from Khajuraho. This waterfall and the region surrounding it are revered in Hinduism and are thought to have been the place where the Pandavas (the virtuous clan of the Mahabharata) spent a significant amount of their exile.

Kalinjar Fort About 130 kms from Khajuraho, Kalinjar is a fortress-city in the Bundelkhand region of central India. Kalinjar is located in Banda District of Uttar Pradesh state, near the temple-city and World Heritage Site of Khajuraho. The fortress is strategically located on an isolated rocky hill at the end the Vindhya Range, at an elevation of 1203 feet overlooking the plains of Bundelkhand. It served several of Bundelkhand ruling dynasties, including the Chandela dynasty of Rajput in the 10th century, and the Solanki of Rewa. The fortress contains several temples, dating as far back as the Gupta dynasty of the 3rd-5th centuries. Kalinjar is one of the most characteristic specimens of the hill-fortresses, originally hill-shrines, of central India. Its antiquity is proved by its mention in the Mahabharata. Kalinjar means the destroyer of time in Sanskrit. 'Kaal' is time and 'jar' destruction. It is therefore a common belief associated with the Kalinjar hill that Lord Shiva had slain the god of time on it. Legend also says that after manthan Hindu God, Lord Shiva, drank the poison and his throat became blue (hence the name Neel (blue) Kantha (throat)) and he came to Kalinjar and overcome the 'Kaal' i.e. he achieved victory over death. This is the reason the Shiva temple at Kalinjar is called Neelkanth. Since then, the hill has been considered a holy site, casting its shadow across the patches of grasslands as well as the densely forested valley. The natural splendor of the surroundings makes it an ideal place for penance and meditation and, surprisingly, a strange mystique still pervades all over the hill.

Cemented roads have been built all through the mountainous passage along which people can conveniently travel to reach the fort. But to discover the real charm and pleasure of adventure, one has to walk along the old beaten track, making way through the rough and rocky terrain of the seven magnificent gates falling in between. Seeing these gates, one truly appreciates the functional relevance of this invincible fort and its strategic defenses.

Panna National Park Panna National Park is one among the five national park situated in the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is situated at about 30-minute drive from Khajuraho. Panna National Park is situated in the region rich in wildlife and its highlights are Leopards, Wolves, Gharials, Wild Boars, Sloth Bears, Cheetals, Chowsinghas, Indian Foxes and Porcupines. Flora is not the less inviting with dense teak forests and the panoramic landscape of the sanctuary has deep gorges and lush green serene valleys. Due to the hot summers in the region, the national park remains close from June to October.