Jhansi to Khajuraho – A Road Review

It was past 3 PM when we were done with our lunch at Jhansi and we gathered ourselves for the last and final leg of our journey towards Khajuraho. Hindi is the primary language of this region and we had no difficulty in getting directions and in a while we were back on NH75 which would remain with us till Bamitha, where we would turn left. Khajuraho is 8 odd KMs from there.

Here’s the route

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Total Distance – 180 KM
Time – 4 hours
Quality of Tar – Mixed to Poor


As we got out of city madness, we were surprised to find that the tar quality was excellent, something not very common in Madhya Pradesh. There is a lot of international tourist which travels between Orchha and Khajuraho and there is no train connection between the two cities. Well, to be more accurate there was no train till that day when I was driving (25th December, 2008). We were pleasantly surprised to find Mr. Laloo Prasad Yadav, our Railways Minister, at Khaujraho the other day, he was there to inaugurate the new rail connection between Jhansi and Khajuraho. So coming back to road, we enjoyed the good tar.

After a while there is a exit on your right towards Orchha. We skipped that and kept going straight.

The main towns which fall on the way are
– Mauranipur
– Nowgong
– Chhatarpur

Chale Chalo - With noone around

Chale Chalo - With noone around


Photo Courtesy – Deepender Sehajpal

It was already around 4 PM when we were at Orchha Exit and I was hoping that we are able to cover as much distance as possible before it gets dark and was thankful to road quality. But as they say it, road suddenly started to deteriorate and our speed greatly reduced. With two small kids, I drive all the more slow and the cabin atmosphere starts to get a little edgy in the last legs of these long drives. But thanks to some splendid company, we kept going on. It was the same set of folks who did Delhi-Jaisalmer during last Christmas and amid the lead track of ‘Oye Lucky Lukcy Oye’, we kept going over pot-holes. If you can follow a bit Punjabi, it was like ‘Gaddi jaandi hai chhalanga maardi’….

By the time, we crossed Mauranipur, it was getting dark and I could see Nowgong only on my return trip, when it was pretty sunny. Both of these are pretty small towns and we didn’t notice anything of much significance except the lovely countryside.

Remember to take a right here.

Remember to take a right here.


Photo Courtesy – Deepender Sehajpal

As you get out of Mauranipur, you need to take a right turn to remain on NH75. There is a old world yellow board but be extra careful since even though its a NH, its not more than a 20 feet wide single road.

Chhatarpur was the only big ticket item on the way and it was more so because of ‘Chhatarpur Palace’ being converted into a hotel and OT (Outlook Traveller) covered it in detail. It was pitch dark when we were out of busy Chhatarpur market. It seemed to me that Chhatarpur must be the biggest trading town in that area before Satna.

Equal Oppertunity Country

Equal Opportunity Country


Photo Courtesy – Deepender Sehajpal

We reached Bamitha around 6 ish and took the last left turn. The only thing which was glowing was later identified as the new railway station. Few more ask-at-each-turn and we could see the big R of our hotel.

I looked at my watch and I looked around. As my fellow riders were getting off, I could quietly feel the pulse of this long drive thumping within me and could wink to myself, welcome to Khajuraho. Well done.

23 Comments

  • Vinod Khare says:

    My mother is from Chhatarpur. Didn’t know they’d converted the palace to a hotel. Should ask my folks about it. Did you visit the palace?

  • Nandan Jha says:

    No Vinod. Though we were mulling over it but then chose Orchha over it.

    I would want to drive that way sometime again, to see Panna Diamond mines and then go over Satna and beyond, may be if I am able to do it I might stop at Chhatarpur. Also, Khajuraho does deserve more visits.

    Thanks for visiting. I briefly looked at your blog, would do in detail later, looks interesting. Write your travel stories at Ghumakkar as well.

    Best.

  • Vinod Khare says:

    If you do go to Panna again, do look out for the various temples in Panna. I’m was mighty impressed by them. Some of them were built during british time and are architechturally interesting. One of them is belongs to the Pranami community. I had never even heard of them until I visited this temple. I wonder why the tourism dept doesn’t advertise these temples more.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog.

  • Rajeev says:

    My friend is from Panna and he used to take his car home. You report reminds me of his recounts, especially before the current Government and before Congress Diggy was toppled due to bad roads, there used to be no tar only craters in the name of road.

    I have relatives in Mauranipur, may be would drive by someday.

  • Patrick Jones says:

    A place which I always wanted to visit. Your post laid out the route extremely clear to me.

    But…. have to wait till children become independent so that wifey-dear and I can enjoy the sights in each other’s company. Right, Nandan?

  • nandanjha says:

    Vinod – Would do.

    Rajeev – Its worth a drive. The landscape and overall feel is different than Delhi-LKO drive, the towns are much more smaller, less industrious and all that.

    Patrick – Well, depends on how inquisitive the kids’ are. We were with two kids, a 3.5 year old and a 5 year old and we were not too sure too. We were planing to baby-sit the kids while my friend and his better half visits but once we got it, the world is all together different. The motifs are not very conspicuous, and its not at all vulgar or any thing like that. Its erotic but very subtle. The more elaborate ones are hidden among the hundreds. My post on Khajuraho should talk about this in detail.

    I would personally think that grown-up kids (age 12+) or young kids (-5) can accompany without too much of censure.

  • samrat says:

    After you cross river which comes after mau ranipur, there is some construction work going on. we reached this place at 10ish in night. by mistake we took left which is NH76 which goes to harpalpur. After few minutes we realised that we should have taken right turn… just take care at this location..

    Chattarput was a great place.. we stay at lake side.. lake looks great in night moonlight.

    My overall experience of gwalior, jhansi, orchha, khajuraho, bandhavgarh,kanha,bedaghat,bhopal, bhimbetka, bhopur, sanchi was great..

  • A.G.Mujumdar says:

    I was looking for road guide to Khajuraho. You have given all necessary information and I got what I wanted.Thank U very much.

  • nandanjha says:

    Thanks Mr. Mujumdar. Glad that it would be a help to you.

    When you make the journey, please take some time and update here on the road conditions, tips around good hotels to stop-over for food and anything else.

    All the best.

  • Che Guevara says:

    Short & Sweet….and its great that you have mentioned the important road diversions ind etail, would surely help us in our December Bike Ride…

    Cheers…
    Che

  • Chandra says:

    Dear Nandan,
    This new year 1st to 3rd , i too had visited Khajuraho. Before start, read your review and it helped a lot.
    However just wanted to add few more comments as it may help others:-

    GWALIOR : What a wonderful City? As i studied there, i have been to most of the places (having tourist interest). Anyway that now the point but after Morena you have to cross Gwalior to get on Jhansi Road. While going we have taken the AB Road, moved almost 7-8 KMs on Shivpuri road and then took a left turn for Jhansi. Guys, believe me this is the worst patch (comparing to the NH75 mentioned below) where Car like Safari was moving merely at 5KMPH with potholes, couldn’t measure the depth and then the width of NH2 (good for 4-6 lanes for cycles only).
    However while coming back from Jhansi, followed the road signs for Delhi (i.e. University Road, Bus Stand, Railway Stn, Gole Ka Mandir , take left for AB road, drive 7-8 KMs and hit the AB road). This is an excellent road with zero potholes.
    I would suggest even while going you can take this road for quick passthrough Gwalior.

    ORCHHA : While coming back had a 3 hours stopover at Orchha. What a place it is? A beautiful Ramji temple, with a huge palace and the a river bath at Ken river ghats. After visiting Orchha, felt that its worth a day atleast to see such a wonderful splendid palace, monuments etc.

    RANEH FALLS : This is termed (by Guide) as mini GRAND CANYON with more then 5 KMs of rocky area almost 100 feet deep at places with a wonderful Fall. Although you may not be able to see the fall clearly but the scenic beauty of this place is amazing. Four different types of Rocks with different colors are clearly visible. The flora and fauna of this place is great.

    And last but not the least : Hats off to MP Tourism for their efforts in development of MP as a major tourist destinations. We stayed at Hotel Payal (of MP Tourism) and believe me, for such price this is a real luxury, having a cute swimmingpool.
    If MP Road and Highways also join hands with MP Tourism and provide good Roads, visit to such placess will be memorable for ever.

  • nandanjha says:

    Chandra – Thanks for the tip around taking the correct road to get over Gwalior.

    I guess its Betwa river at Orccha.

    And you are bang-on for MP Tourism, I am just back from a long driving trip of Delhi-Shivpuri-Chanderi-Mandu and I could see lot of things being done by MP Tourism, if roads can get better, they have the potential to beat Rajasthan.

  • sunil says:

    Thank you show the help and my village show

    Thanks for visiting. I briefly looked at your blog, would do in detail later, looks interesting.
    Easy to traviels is mauranipur

  • sskagra says:

    This site give me more knowledgable as a map but if you given some Temple photographs to sone par sohaga hota
    Thanking you

  • Ravi says:

    We have a small kid of around two years and are planning to go to Orcha and then Khajuraho. A trip of not more than 4-5 days. Will take train to Jhansi and then taxi. How long is the travel time from Orcha to Khajuraho and any idea of how much does a taxi cost? Which hotels do you suggest?

  • nandanjha says:

    Ravi – I am guessing that your base station is Delhi. Assuming my assumption to be correct, here’s my suggestion

    Day 0. Take 2448 UP Sampark Kranti. It starts from Hazrat NZM at 2010 hrs and reaches Khajuraho next morning, around 6.
    Day 1. At Khajuraho
    Day 2. At Khajuraho
    Day 3. Take a taxi from Khajuraho to Orchha during day. It would take you about 4 hours non-stop.
    Day 4. Take 2447A Khaujuraho NZM express. It starts from Jhansi at around 2300 hrs reaching Delhi next morning.

    Taxi prices – I do not know but considering that its 200 odd KMs and its a heavy circuit, you should get a Indica for Rs 1500, else see if there are other modes.

    Raddisson at Khaujraho. 3-3.5 K a night. Its a good deal.
    Orccha Retreat (the government one).

  • nandanjha says:

    I drove yesterday on this circuit.

    The roads have tremendously improved. At nogong, there is a small diversion because of a damaged bridge. Apart from that, everything is pretty smooth. Chhatarpur market though can take a while.

    If you do not take a break and if you got light, than the entire stretch wont take you more than 3.5 hours. It might take 3 if you are lucky.

  • DEELIP says:

    Hi! How to raah Khajuraho from Bhopla. We are planning a trip to Khajuraho on 17th May from Bhopal. Any idea about reasonable hotels with Ac accomodation at Khajuraho?

    Thanks

    Deelip

  • Nandan says:

    Hi Deelip – As per maps, it seems that Bhopal-Vidisha-Sagar-Banda-Chhatarpur-Khajuraho like a good highway route but I have no prior experience of driving on this.

    I searched on Ghumakkar and I could see some info on the following story
    http://www.ghumakkar.com/2009/05/12/delhi-to-hyderabad-by-road/

    Regarding hotels, I personally stayed at Raddisson and it was pretty good. I heard that the ones runs by MPTDC are pretty good. I have stayed at other MPTDC hotels and I have found them very nice in terms of comfort and price. Hope this is helpful and all the best.

  • A good details for visitors who want to come bundelkhand jhansi ,khajuraho ,chitrakoot…..and other places of bundelkhand…………

  • Denise says:

    Hello from Sydney- we are looking to travel from Orchha to Khajuraho in October this year (2016) and are wondering about road conditions? A questionof train vs driver/car/taxi. I understand train is 5 hrs, we don’t have to much time so prefer the quickest option but at same time don’t want a too-crazy car trip if only saving 1 hr…what are your thoughts please.

  • DEELIP says:

    By road from Orchha to Khajuraho is a enjoyable journey. Road condition was very good when I drove with my wife in May 2014.It took about 4 hours to reach Madhya Pradesh Tourism Hotel in Khajuraho. You will pass through some areas of forest also.

  • Pramod nayak says:

    Road KO four line banane ka theka ho gayaa h par kisanon KO muabja nahi mila

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