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Destination Guide

   KHAJURAHO - Chandela Kings' Artistic Creation

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Detail
Ethereal, enticing and enchanting, Chandela temples instantly flashes erotic images of sculptures involved in the most fascinating aspect of life - Love Making. These sculptures depict the society that celebrates life and was not ashamed of sex. Located in Madhya Pradesh. Khajuraho temples are the one of the most captivating temples in India.

It is the magical appeal of these extraordinary temples that have brought a small village, Khajuraho, on a world map. The sculptures are graceful, languid, and sensuous.

Apart from the exotic / erotic temples, there are Archeological museum and Shilpgram to visit. The Archeological museum showcases sculptures and stone panels of ruined temples in the Jain, Buddhist and other galleries. There is a huge statue of Buddha and an unusual statue of a dancing Ganesha.And then off course the sound and light show will enchant your evenings.

The fascinating Chandela temples of Khajuraho are a world heritage site. These temples were built between 950 and 1050 A.D. The divine sculptures in these temples, are a tribute to Life itself, embodying everything that is sublime and spontaneous about it. The murals depict the life and times of the Chandelas and celebrate the erotic state of being. The sculptures testify to the mastery of the craftsman.

With the wane of the Chandela empire these magnificent temples lay hidden and were rediscovered only in the 20th century, restored and granted the recognition that they justly deserve. Originally there were 85 temples of which only 22 still exist. Their style of architecture was also unique to their times. Each structure stands on a high masonry platform with a distinct upward direction. The three main compartments are the entrance, assembly hall and the actual sanctum.

The temples are grouped into three geographical divisions : western, eastern and southern.

Western Group
Kandariya Mahadeo is the largest temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, It is 31 meters high. The sanctum enshrines a lingam, while the main shrine is ornately carved and depicts various gods, goddesses and heavenly maidens in elaborate detail. The entrance arch, the massive pillars and ceilings are adorned with exquisite carvings that leave the visitor spellbound.

Chaunsat Yogini the oldest surviving temple in the group (900 A.D.) It is the sole granite temple dedicated to Goddess Kali.

Chitragupta Temple is dedicated to the sun-god, Surya and faces eastwards to the rising sun. The inner sanctum boasts of an impressive image of the presiding deity - the majestic sun-god looming 5 feet high, and driving a chariot. The other group scenes depict royal processions, group dances and other scenes of sheer luxury, typical of the Chandela court life.

Vishwanath Temple enshrines a three-headed image of Lord Brahma. Lions guard the northern entrance to the structure, while elephants flank the southern flight of steps that lead up to it. A Nandi bull faces the shrine.

Lakshamana Temple: The lintel over the entrance of this temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, shows the holy trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva with Goddess Lakshmi, Vishnu's consort. The sanctum is adorned with a three-headed idol of Vishnu's incarnations, Narasimha and Varaha. The latter, the boar incarnation also appears as a nine-feet high statue at the Varaha Temple.

Matangeshwara Temple: This temple, which happens to be outside the precincts of the western group, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It boasts of an eight feet high lingam.

Eastern Group
Parsavanatha Temple: The largest in the group of three Jain temples, the Parsavanath image in this temple, was installed in 1860. The sculptures on the northern wall depict everyday activity, in awesome detail. Within the temple, a throne faces the bull emblem of first tirthankara, Adinath.

Ghantai Temple: This Jain temple has a frieze depicting the 16 dreams of Mahavira's mother and a Jain goddess perched on a winged Garuda.

Adinatha Temple: The 3rd Jain temples is dedicated to the Jain saint, Adinatha, and is gorgeously adorned with sculptures of yakshis among others.

The three Hindu temples in this group are the Brahma temple, which has a four-faced lingam. The Vamana temple is embellished with images of ravishing maidens at their alluring best; and finally the Javari temple, with its ornate gateway and lavish carvings.

Southern Group
Duladeo Temple is dedicated to Shiva. The highlights of this temple are the sensuous images of the maidens, and other exquisite sculptures.

Chaturbhuj Temple: This temple sports a huge, elaborately carved image of Vishnu in the sanctum.

Festivals
Khajuraho Dance Festival
is held for seven days in March each year. India Tourism invites renowned clasical dace artists to perform here.

Mahashivaratri is observed by devotees during the months of February / March at the Matangeshwar temple.

How to Get There

By air: From Delhi and Varanasi.

By rail:
The nearest rail stations are are Jhansi (172 km), Satna (117 km) which are linked to Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai. From Jhansi and Satna one can travel by car / coach to Khajuraho.

 

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