Asia,  India,  TDM,  Travel Journal

Khajuraho (India) – and its temples with erotic sculptures

Khajuraho isn’t pronounced as it is written, which annoys us a lot every time someone asks us for our itinerary in India. Now we know that we have to say “khaj rrraho”

Part 1: Travel Diary
Part 2: Practical Tips

Part 1: Khajuraho Travel Diary

Day 1 : Arrival in Khajuraho

Another sleepless night for JB who can’t manage to stretch his legs in the train. The 2nd class with air conditioning (AC2) has no doors, just curtains and a much smaller bed than the upper class (AC1). We put our big bags on the bed for fear of getting them stolen but after that there isn’t much room left for us (well, especially for JB…). We hear much more noise. As usual, I spend a good night and enjoy a morning chaï in the train at 10 rupees (when the train stops, chaï sellers get on the train, they will jump from the moving train if needed)

I feel that the trip Khajuraho – Varanasi will be even harder for JB since we go down again in comfort and the trip takes longer. Besides we have seen the conditions of the last class without reservation, it’s just … Horrible! For the Parisians, imagine the metro line 13 in rush hour on a strike day and tell yourself that the trip lasts all night long!

The train is an hour late. We thus arrive in Khajuraho under a torrential rain at 7:30 am instead of 6:30 am. This time, we learned from our lesson in Jaipur that we have to take out our umbrella right away to get away from the crowd

JB negotiates like a chef a rickshaw to our hotel for 100 rupees (I let him negotiate now, he’s doing better than me). Having Google Maps is a formidable negotiation weapon since we know precisely the distance and travel time needed. We still arrive at the hotel half-soaked

We booked our beautiful hotel with garden and swimming pool (JB is dying to enjoy it), a little far from the city center to rest and enjoy the nice setting for cheap (Khajuraho being in the country, the rates are half as much as in other cities)

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However, with the rain and thunderstorm forecast for the next 7 days, the pool may not be part of the program. The hotel seems to be empty in low season, and the service is impeccable. We have lunch and dinner at the hotel’s restaurant (a little expensive but very good) and conclude once again that Indian cooks have no idea what “not spicy” means. The waiter, learning that we are from France, starts counting “uno, dos, tres, cuatro”

Day 2: Temples of the West

Today it is raining but less than yesterday. We walk from the hotel towards the western temples. The audio guides do not exist any more, we have to pay a guide. As much the City palaces do not require a guide, as much here without a guide it is difficult to see the small details

It is thus under the rain that we visit the first temples. Even with the umbrella, we are completely soaked (the joy of the monsoon). But seeing the sculptures under the rain is an interesting experience. The guide tells us that it has not rained like this for several months. Only a few days ago, walking in the street under 47 degrees was impossible. So we have to consider ourselves lucky

The temples are really well preserved and very very beautiful. The sculptures capture well the movements and expressions of both animals and humans. The whole is harmonious, the details are very interesting


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The steps and walls surrounding the platforms leading to the temples are damaged, imagine the splendor of these temples if everything remained well preserved as it was in the early days

The guide mainly shows us the erotic sculptures (that’s mostly why tourists come here) and his comments look more like “kamasutra for dummies” than “the art of stone carving”. The sculptures are erotic but not vulgar. Further on, a group of Indian women also laugh at the comments of their guides

However, it isn’t only that, the sculptures retrace the everyday life of the time, including hunting, war and religion. Sex, being part of life, is presented

The visit is so pleasant that we spend the whole morning there. Several Indians and Indians pose with us for selfies. I think that the temples of Khajuraho are among my top 3 in India (with the Taj Mahal and Ranakpur). We then have lunch at the famous Raja Café which is only good for the view of the temples


Small experimental session for JB who is testing the service of a barber-hairdresser. The cut is only done with scissors (no clippers as in France). JB gives the barber the Gilette razor he just bought, but it doesn’t shave well. After careful inspection of the barber’s equipment, we accept that he shaves JB with the blade. We give him (mineral) water to wash his blade holder and check that he uses a brand new blade. Here in India, they put talcum powder at the end of the cut and at the end of the shaving. JB also gets a small head and face massage

The real price is 100 rupees for hairdressing + shaving (50 rupees each), the hairdresser asks us 150 rupees. The service is so impeccable and careful that JB gives 200 rupees at the end

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An Indian who wants to learn French discusses with us. Everything is fine until he tells us about his services as a guide for the

I buy one kg of ripe mangoes for 50 rupees (0.7€ vs. 18€ in France) and we spend the rest of the afternoon at the hotel pool, where the chairs are taken out especially for us

A large part of the evening is spent without electricity because of the thunderstorm. They seem to be used to it because the candles are already available in the room. JB watches the France-Germany game at midnight thirty alone without any atmosphere. He probably would have liked to be transported to France just for a few hours

Day 3: Rest

As usual, the breakfast is very hearty and very good. It rains intermittently but the heat makes a trip to the pool a must

We ask for a free drop off at the train station as it is marked on the official website of the hotel. The reception discovers that it is written on the site. One hour of negotiation later, they finally agree to drop us off for free at the train station tonight

Electricity re-cutting, card payment does not work. We are in the countryside 😁. JB is working on his projects while I’m busy preparing our business

Part 2: Practical Tips

How to get there

From Delhi or Agra, take the train (preferably at night which will take 7 hours)


  • Take advantage of the cheap rates in Khajuraho to rest (like us)
  • Go there in the early morning or late afternoon to escape the heat


  • 100 rupees = 1,3€
  • Hotel Syna Heritage: 2300 rupees/night double room with air conditioning. Late check-out between 1000 and 1500 rupees
  • Meals at the hotel: between 350 and 400 rupees/meal/person
  • Mangoes: 50 rupees/kg
  • Visits to the temples: 1000 rupees/person
  • Guide to the temples: 1190 rupees for the half day
  • Rickshaw train station -> hotel : 100 rupees

TOTAL: 14820 rupees or 197€ for 3 full days, 2 persons (with late check-out). We spent a little more in Khajuraho by taking a nice hotel with air conditioning, swimming pool, breakfast and copious meals at the hotel



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