Khajuraho is well known all over the world
for its temple
and exquisite sculptures. Situated in the heart of India in the state of
Madhya Pradesh, it lies in the forested plains of the region of Bundelkhand.
The Khajuraho temples were built between the 9th and 11th centuries by the
warrior kings of the Chandela dynasty. However, the definite reason behind
such mass scale temple construction that is now over a thousand years old
remains unknown. According to local legend, these temples were built by the
first Chandela raja to atone his mothers sin, whose consummation with
the Moon god heralded the start of the Chandela dynasty.
Khajuraho combines history, architecture, culture and environment with
delectable charm. It takes one away from the noise and pollution of the
city, with its fresh air and scenic countryside. Its quaint charm and
marvelous beauty of the temples attracts people to it and makes it Madhya
Pradeshs most famous tourist town.
The Kahjuraho Temples magnetizes tourists from all the corners of the
world. The temples are grouped into three geographical divisions : western,
eastern and southern. The ceilings are particularly noteworthy and the
pillars supporting them have intricately carved capitals. The sanctum
features a lingam, while the main shrine is ornately carved and depicts
various gods, goddesses, apsaras in elaborate ornaments. The temple also
projects royal processions, group dances and other scenes of sheer luxury,
typical of the Chandela period.
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.
This is the largest, and most typical
Khajuraho temple. There are about 900 statues in this temple. Kandariya
Mahadeo is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and it soars 31 m upward. Every inch of
the temples - the entrance arch, the huge pillars and ceilings are
noteworthy with exquisite carvings, leaving the tourists spellbound.
Dedicated to Goddesses Kali, Chaunsat
Yogini is the oldest surviving temple in the group. This is the sole granite
temple of 900 A.D. Only 35 of the original 65 cells remain and no image of
Kali has survived.
Facing the rising sun, Chitragupta
Temple is dedicated to the Sun-God, Surya. The inner sanctum projects of an
impressive image of the presiding deity - the Sun-God looming 5 feet high,
and driving a chariot.
The temple enshrines a three-headed
image of Lord Brahma. The temple of Vishvanath and Nandi celebrates the
marriage of Lord Shiva with Parvati. The sculptures are dominated by women
in various moods.
The sanctum is adorned with a
three-headed idol of Vishnu's incarnations, Narasimha and Varaha. The
sculptures feature - battle, hunting and women.
This temple is dedicated to Lord
Shiva. It boasts of an eight feet high lingam. It is still a place of
Devi Jagdamba Temple :
The temple of Devi Jagdamba is
dedicated to Goddeses Kali.
Other important temples in the western group are the temples of Lakshmi and
Varaha, Mahadev, Chitragupta, Parvati, and Matangesvara.
The temple of Parsvanath is the
largest of the Jain temples in Khajuraho. It was originally dedicated to
Adinath and later to Parsvanath.
This Jain temple has a frieze depicting
the 16 dreams of Mahavira's mother, and a multi-armed Jain goddess sitting
on a winged Garuda.
Shantinath Temple :
This is the newest of all the temples
in Khajuraho. It is just a century old and has a big statue of Adinath.
The three Hindu temples in this group are the Brahma temple, which has a
four-faced lingam, The Vamana temple which is embellished with images of
ravishing apsaras at their alluring best; and finally the Javari temple,
with its ornate gateway and lavish carvings. A variety of sensuous attitudes
: languid, provocative, mischievously inviting, give credibility to the
theory that Khajuraho's erotica were meant to test the devotees who came to
worship their gods at the temples.
Southern Group of Temples
5 km from the Khajuraho village, lies the Southern Group of temples.
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The temple boasts of some of the exquisite images of the apsaras.
This temple projects a huge,
elaborately carved image of Vishnu in the sanctum.
Places of interst near Khajuraho
» Benisagar Lake (11 km)
» Ranguan Lake (25 km)
» Pandav Waterfall (30 km)
» Ranch Waterfalls (20 km)
» Rajgarh Palace (25 km)
How To Reach Khajuraho
By Airways a daily Boeing 737 service links Khajuraho with Delhi, Agra,
Varanasi and Kathmandu. By Railways the nearest railway stations are Mahoba
and Harpalpur. Jhansi and Satna are railway stations for tourists from
Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, Agra and Varanasi.
By Roadways Khajuraho is linked by regular bus services with Mahoba,
Harpalpur, Satna, Jhansi, Gwalior, Agra, Jabalpur and Bhopal.