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Home » Khajuraho

Khajuraho Temples , India

Khajuraho, the temple city of central India, is famous throughout the world for its exquisitely carved temples in stones. Thousands of visitors and tourists from all over the world flock together to envisage this immortal saga of Hindu art and culture engraved in stone by shilpies (stone craftsmen) millenia ago. Khajuraho is amongst the 3 world heritage sites present in Central India.

Khajuraho Location : Located in the chattarpur district of madhya pradesh, khajuraho is a samll village know for its exquisitely carved temples in stones.

How to Reach Khajuraho : Khajuraho is a small village but a thousand years ago it was a large city of the Chandelas, medieval Rajput kings who ruled over Central India. Khajuraho is 595 km (370 miles) south-east of Delhi and can be visited by air, rail or road. An overnight train journey from Delhi takes the visitor to Jhansi, from where another morning train takes him to Harpalpur 85 km (53 miles) to the east.

Khajuraho Temples : The temples of Khajuraho are divided into three geographical groups: Western, Eastern and Southern.The Western group is certainly the best known, because it is to this group that the largest and most typical Khajuraho temple belongs: The Kandariya Mahadev. Perfectly symmetrical, it soars 31 km high. Though the four temples that stand at the corners of the main shrine are now in ruins, the main shrine has an exquisitely carved entrance arch with a multitude of themes. Celestial beings, lovers serenading musicians... movements captured in stone, frozen in time, yet retaining a quality of warm, pulsating life. The very stone seems to have taken on the living, breathing quality of the carved figures.

Beyond the archway of the Kandariya Mahadev, lie the six interior compartments; the portico, main hall, transept, vestibule, sanctum and ambulatory. The ceilings are particularly noteworthy and the pillars supporting them have intricately carved capitals. The transept's outer walls have three horizontal panels showing deities of the Hindu pantheon, and groups of lovers, a pageant of sensuousness, vibrantly alive.Also in the Western group is the Chaunsat Yogini, the only granite temple in the Khajuraho group. Dedicated to Kali, it is also unique in being quadrangular in plan. Only 35 of the original 65 cells remain and no image of Kali has survived: not surprisingly, since this is the earliest surviving shrine of the group dated to 900 AD.

khajuraho temples india
Another Kali Temple (originally dedicated to Vishnu) is the Devi Jagadambe Temple.
North of it facing eastward to the rising sun, is the Chitragupta temple, dedicated to the sun-god, Surya. The image of this powerful deity in the inner sanctum is particularly imposing: 5ft high, and driving a seven-horsed chariot. The group scenes depicted are equally spectacular: royal processions, elephant-fights, hunting scenes, group dances. The lavish lifestyle of the Chandela kings and their court is here in all its pomp and glory.

Similar in plan to the Kandariya Mahadev is the Vishwanath Temple. Lions flank the northern steps and elephants the southern, leading up to the temple. Within, there is an impressive three headed image of Brahma. The exteriors are profusely carved. Facing the shrine is a Nandi Temple with a massive, 6 ft high Nandi bull.
khajuraho india
Since the first few Chandela rulers were devotees of Vishnu, there are some important Vaishnavite temples in the Khajuraho group, the finest of which is the Lakshmana Temple. The lintel over the entrance shows the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, with Lakshmi, Vishnu's consort. The sanctum is richly carved and has a three-headed idol of Vishnu's incarnations, Narsimha and Varaha.
The boar incarnation also appears in another Vaishnavite shrine, the Varaha Temple. The statue here is a mammoth 9 ft high one, its surface covered with figures from the Hindu Pantheon.
The Khajuraho temples are no longer living places of worship, with a few exceptions. The Matangeswara Temple for example is still a place of worship. Dedicated to Shiva it has an 8 ft high lingam. South of this temple is the open air Archaeological Museum, which has a beautiful displayed collection of statues and friezes collected from the area: the remains of long vanished temples.



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