Khajuraho & Orchha Tour is one of the most perfect short trips, which can be easily planned for just 2-3 days. Here, I am sharing a perfect Khajuraho Itinerary for 3 days combined with Orchha, which covers entire guidelines on how to reach, where to stay, places to visit, trip cost etc, which will help in planning a beautiful and short trip to Khajuraho & Orchha.
Khajuraho is one of the most popular historical destinations of India. It is famous for its gigantic and magnificent temples built by Chandela Dynasty between the 10th – 13th Century. Khajuraho Temples are built in Hinduism and Jainism style. Originally there were 85 temples spread across roughly 20 sq km area. Now it is reduced to 25 temples spread across 6 sq km area. Khajuraho Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, hence, highly preserved.
The most famous temple of Khajuraho is Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. There are other temples as well dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Sun God and Jain Tirthankaras. The entire temple region is divided into three parts – Eastern Group of Temples, Western group of Temples and Southern Group of Temples.
Western Group of Temples among all is the largest area with maximum temples and most visited. The most mesmerising thing about these gigantic temples is the way intricate carvings depicting various human emotions are sculpted on its exteriors. This also surprises me about the excellence of fine art and architecture around that time. The beauty of these Temples cannot be described in words and one can only understand it, after paying a visit. This place attracts a huge number of visitors not only from India but also from abroad.
Trip to Khajurahu is always clubbed with a visit to Panna National Park, Raneh Waterfall and Ken Ghariyal Sanctuary because they are very close to Khajuraho.
Orchha – another small Heritage town, which is 175 kms from Khajuraho, and roughly a 5 hour drive. This is again a historical place, which was the capital of Bundela Rajput rulers in the 16thand 17thcentury.
Orchha is situated at the banks of Betwa River hence gives a picturesque view at the time of sunset and sunrise. Its partially ruined forts and the very famous Ram Raja Temple, which is the only temple in India where Lord Ram is worshipped in his King form, gives a sneak peak of the history of this place.
Orchha and Khajuraho together is an ideal weekend getaway for all neighbouring cities in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Overall, it makes a perfect fun filled 3 days trip full of history and adventure.
DURATION – 3 Days
KHAJURAHO ITINERARY FOR 3 DAYS – TRIP COST
- Flight/ Train/ Road Trip from India: 3000 – 8,000 INR / Person (45-115 US$)
- Hotels: 5000 – 8000 INR / Day (70-115 US$)
- Food & Misc Expenses: 3000 – 5000 INR / Person (40-75 US$)
- Total Budget: Approx 13,500 – 20,000 INR / Person (195-295 US$) for 3 days
HOW TO REACH KHAJURAHO
Khajuraho has well connected roads from major cities of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. So a road journey can be planned easily from Kanpur, Jhansi, Orchha, Chattarpur, Bhopal, Gwalior etc. People can also reach Jhansi by train and then book a cab up to Khajuraho. There is also direct train running from Delhi to Khajuraho. If planning to travel by air, Khajuraho has its own Airport also with direct flight connections from Delhi and Varanasi.
BEST TIME TO VISIT KHAJURAHO & ORCHHA
October to February (Winters) is the ideal time to visit Khajuraho, Panna National Park and Orchha. As one has to take long walks to visit the temple areas in Khajuraho, winter season is the best time for that.
WHERE TO STAY IN KHAJURAHO, PANNA NATIONAL PARK & ORCHHA
This luxurious 5 star property is located at just 500 meters from western group of temples. Hotel is very impressive – big lawns, artistic interiors, spacious rooms and wonderful staff. This hotel is the most expensive stay in Khajuraho. One day tariff starts from roughly 10,000 – 12,000 INR (130-160 US$).
An excellent mid range hotel in Khajuraho at just 1 km from western group of temples. The big lawns and the swimming pool is quite impressive. Rooms are decent with all good amenities. Hotel staff is cordial and supportive. Overall a good property to stay in Khajuraho. One day tariff is roughly 6000-8000 INR (80-100 US$).
Chandela is a perfect upper mid range hotel in Khajuraho. It has beautiful lawn, comfortable rooms and courteous staff. It is situated very close to Radisson Jass Hotel. One day tariff is roughly 4000-6000 INR (55-85 US$).
A beautiful property at very good price. Western Group of Temples are very close by, at a distance of approximately 1.5 kms. This distance doesn’t matter if one has come from a car. Size of the rooms is exceptionally bigger than any other property. One-day tariff is roughly 3000-4000 INR (40-60 US$).
PANNA NATIONAL PARK
A beautiful property by MPTDC (Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation) at Panna National Park. These are decorative logwood huts with good caring staff, tasty homely food and an amazing jungle view from the balcony. This is a very economical and good choice of stay at Panna. One day tariff approx. 3000 INR (40 US$).
A sprawling luxurious property by the Taj Group in the interiors of Panna National Park. It consist of 12 stone cottages with huge private bathrooms, open area and gazebo. It is an extremely beautiful property set in the private 200 acres jungle area. One-day tariff is approx. 28000 INR (370 US$).
This is the most popular choice for stay at Orchha. This Heritage style Hotel sits besides Lake Betwa. Like a Mahal (Palace) it has big lawns, gardens and swimming pool. Orchha Fort, Raja Ram Mandir and riverside area are walking distance from this Hotel. Hotel Restaurant offers amazing food. It is a different charm staying here, as its style is very conventional. One-day tariff is approx. 3000-4000 INR (40-55 US$).
It is a newly built palace kind of property with Modern style rooms. It is a huge property and is a little away from the main area but its Red stonework and palace like structure is very impressive. One-day tariff is approx. 3000-5000 INR (40-65 US$).
It provides beautiful cottages for the stay. Both garden and grounds are beautiful. Location is also perfect right at the town center. Hotel provides good amenities, service and food. One-day tariff is approx. 3000-4000 INR (40-55 US$).
MUST VISIT PLACES IN KHAJURAHO & ORCHHA
Places to visit in Khajuraho – Western Group of Temples – Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Lakshman Temple, Vishwanath Temple, Chitragupt Temple etc and Khajuraho Light and Sound Show.
Near by places to visit in Khajuraho – Raneh Waterfall, Ken Ghariyal Sanctuary and Panna National Park.
Places to visit in Orchha – Raja Ram Mandir, Orchha Fort Complex, Chaturbhuj Temple, Cenotaphs Orchha (royal Chattris).
Near by places to visit in Orchha – Jhansi Fort and Datia Mata Temple.
TIPS FOR KHAJURAHO & ORCHHA TOUR
- Raneh Waterfall Khajuraho and Panna Tiger Reserve Madla, both are 25 kms from Khajuraho. Both can be easily covered along with Khajuraho.
- Raneh Fall is best during Monsoons (July/August/ September) but both Ken Ghariyal Sanctuary and Panna National Park are closed during Monsoons. So plan the trip accordingly.
- Always check opening days & best timings for Panna National Park from Hotel staff at Khajuraho. They are the best one to guide you for the same.
- There is a morning Safari Tour for Panna National Park from Khajuraho. Timings are from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Charges are Rs 1000 (13.5 US$)/Safari Jeep having a seating capacity of 6 people. It is said that it is the best time to spot Tigers and other wild animals.
- If you are interesting in seeing different forms of Indian Classical Dance like Kathakali, Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Manipuri etc then visit Khajuraho Dance Festival, which takes place every year from 20th Feb to 26th Feb at the grounds of Western Group of Temples from 7 pm till 9:30 pm. Entry price is Rs 500 (6.5 US$) / Person.
KHAJURAHO ITINERARY FOR 3 DAYS ALONG WITH ORCHHA
- 1st Day: Reaching Khajuraho, Western Group of Temples and Khajuraho Temple Light & Sound Show
- 2nd Day: Leaving Khajuraho, Raneh waterfall, Ken Ghariyal Sanctuary, Panna National Park, Pandav Fall and reaching Orchha
- 3rd Day: Orchha – Ram Raja Mandir, Orchha Fort Complex (Jahangir Mahal, Raja Mahal, Rai Praveen Mahal) and Cenotaphs Orchha (royal Chattris from Betwa River Kanchan Ghat)
KHAJURAHO ITINERARY FOR 3 DAYS IN DETAIL
Day 1: Reaching Khajuraho, Western Group of Temples, Khajuraho Temple Light & Sound Show
As we belong to the Northern part of India, Khajuraho is just a 5 – 6 hour road drive. We left early morning to avoid day time traffic. After reaching Khajuraho, we checked into our Hotel – Radisson Jass Hotel and relaxed for some time. We then grabbed lunch at the hotel’s restaurant only. After lunch, we went to see the magnificent Khajuraho Temples.
Western Group of Temples
We decided to visit the Western Group of Temples, which are the biggest, most popular and the most beautiful ones. If one has visited the Western group of Temples, then the Eastern Group of Temples and other Jain and Hindu temples will not appeal much as the best has already been seen. The Western Group of Temples was a short brisk walk (15 mins) from our Hotel. You can also hire an auto for the same. Do not take your personal car to visit the temples, as lanes closer to the temples are narrow and therefore one can get stuck in traffic. After reaching the temple area, we bought tickets from the booth beside the entry gate. Price was Rs 40/Person for Indians and Rs 600 (8 US$)/Person for foreigners.
Upon entry, we were totally taken aback by the view the place had to offer. It felt like we have entered some different era. We were totally blown away by the beauty of these gigantic huge Temples all around and the enormous well maintained gardens and lawns.
One by one, we covered all the temples – Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Lakshman Temple, Vishwanath Temple, Chitragupt Temple, Devi Mandap, Varaha Mandap etc at this premises admiring each and every temple, checking the intricate craftwork done on them, the richness in the entire structure and the magnitude of the grandeur of the whole area. We also enjoyed the wonderful sunset here.
Light and Sound Show
On our way back, we saw the banner of Light and Sound Show. As there is not much to do in Khajuraho in the evenings, so we bought tickets for the same. It was Rs 250/Person for Indians and Rs 700 (9.5 US$)/Person for foreigners. Timing of Light and Sound Show is from 7:30 pm to 8:25 pm. The entire show was in the lawn right next to the temples. There were digital lights and narration along with music depicting the history of Khajuraho Temples. Overall it was an interesting show and also a nice way to understand the history of these temples.
After the show finished, we went for a stroll in the nearby area and spotted Café Raja. We loved the ambience and food there. If interested in Indian food then you can try Badri Seth Marwari Bhoj. Later, we went back to the Hotel and relaxed.
- 05:00 AM: Leaving for Khajuraho
- 12:00 PM: Reaching Khajuraho
- 02:00 PM: Lunch at Hotel Radisson
- 04:00 PM: Visit to the Western Group of Temples
- 07:30 PM: Light and Sound Show
- 08:30 PM: Dinner at Raja Café
- 10:00 PM: Back to Hotel
Day 2: Leaving Khajuraho, Raneh Fall, Ken Ghariyal Sanctuary, Panna National Park, Pandav Fall, reaching Orchha
Raneh Fall, Ken Ghariyal Sanctuary and Panna National Park are some of the attractions nearby Khajuraho. Right after breakfast, we checked out from our hotel in Khajuraho and went to see the Raneh Waterfall.
Raneh Waterfall is just 20 kms from Khajuraho and takes only 40 mins to reach by Car. One can also hire auto/taxi from Khajuraho to reach here.
Entry price was Rs 700 (9.5 US$) for 4 wheeler and Rs 400 (5.5 US$) for an auto plus an additional Rs 100 (1.5 US$) for a guide. Hiring a guide is compulsory here. Also known as the Mini Grand Canyon of India – Raneh Waterfall was spectacular. The canyons at Raneh Falls were made from molten lava millions of years ago and were a treat to the eyes. We saw the Ken River surrounded by rocks forming different hues of shiny dolomite, quartz and granite. Walking through these canyons was an amazing experience. It is said that the best time to visit Raneh Fall is during the rainy season – July to September, when the water flows from 5 different points, giving a perfect scenery kind of a view like that on the postcards.
Ken Ghariyal Sanctuary
Attached to Raneh Fall is Ken Ghariyal Sanctuary, which leads you inside the jungle. Sadly we didn’t see any Ghariyals (Crocodiles) there but we did see deers, rabbits, Nilgae (Antelopes) etc in the jungle area.
Panna National Park
After spending some time here, we went to Panna National Park (Panna Tiger Reserve Entry Gate Malda), which is 25 kms from Raneh Fall, which took us roughly 30 mins to reach. Park entry was Rs 200 (2.5 US$)/Car. We did not spot many animals here (probably because of the timing). We also heard that there are hardly any Tigers left at Panna National Park, (just 5-10 left) as all were killed by poachers in the past, and so chances of spotting them are very rare.
If you want to spot animals then you can go for morning Safari Tour which starts from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., charges for Jeep Rs 1000/Jeep (capacity 6 people) from Khajuraho. We were not morning people; hence we decided to skip it.
We went to Pandav Fall, which was in the interiors, around 8 kms. Park entry includes entry for this place as well. One needs to climb down around 300 rocky stairs to reach the waterfall base. It is a hidden gem, a place in the middle of nowhere. It is said that the Pandavas had rested in these caves during their exile since the falls have been anmed after them. The sight is really beautiful and the lake appears green due to the surrounding lush green jungle.
After the visit, we went straight to Orchha as it was a 5 hour drive from here. We stopped at a Dhaba (Roadside Eatery) for lunch in between. After reaching Orchha, we checked into our Hotel – Amar Mahal, had dinner and slept.
One can also plan to stay at Panna National Park for a day at Taj Safari Lodge, if budget is not an issue. This sprawling 5 star property with stone cottages, excellent services and private jungle area is a hidden treasure in the middle of the jungle. Tariff starts from Rs 25000/- per day. There is another very good property right at the entry of Panna Tiger Reserve Madla Gate – MPT Jungle Camp.
- 10:00 AM: Checking out from Khajuraho Temple
- 10:40 AM: Raneh Fall
- 11:00 AM: Ken Ghariyal Sanctuary
- 12:00 PM: Panna Tiger Reserve Entry Gate
- 01:00 PM: Pandav Fall
- 07:00 PM: Reaching Orchha and checking in Hotel
- 09:00 PM: Dinner
Day 3: Orchha – Ram Raja Mandir, Orchha Ford Complex (Jahangir Mahal, Raja Mahal, Rai Praveen Mahal) and Cenotaphs Orchha (royal Chattris from Betwa River Kanchan Ghat)
There is not much to do in Orchha apart from visiting the two major attractions here: Ram Raja Mandir and Orchha Fort Complex.
Ram Raja Mandir/Chaturbhuj Temple/Laxminarayan Temple
After having a heavy breakfast at the Hotel, we went to visit the auspicious Ram Raja Mandir, also known as Orchha Temple, which is just a 10 mins walk from Amar Mahal. As the name suggests, it is the only temple in India where lord is worshipped in his king form. This temple attracts thousands of devotees every year from around the world. You can also visit Chaturbhurj Temple and Laxminarayan Temple, which is very close to Raja Ram Mandir.
After paying homage to the temple, we went to Orchha Fort, which is also just a 10 mins walk from Ram Raja Mandir. Orchha Fort is a big complex, consisting of various palaces and temples. The main ones are the Jahangir Mahal, Raja Mahal and Rai Praveen Mahal over looking river Betwa.
Sunset at Orchha
When it was close to sunset we went to the riverside area. One can also go for boating. On crossing the river to the other side one can witness the amazing view of 14 Chattris (Cenotaphs), which were built by the Bundela Rulers. Apart from boating, other activities like rafting and kayaking are also available.
Post this visit, we grabbed some food. There are various options to choose from. We quite relished the food at our Hotel restaurants so we went there only. Next day we checked out from the Hotel and this ends our 3 days getaway to Khajuraho, Orchha with Panna National Park.
If you have one more day in Orchha then you can plan to visit Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary and Orchha Bird Sanctuary.
- 11:00 AM: Ram Raja Temple
- 12:00 AM: Chaturburj Temple
- 02:00 PM: Orchha Fort
- 05:00 PM: Boating at River Betwa
- 07:00 PM: Dinner at Hotel
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