Place : Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, situated in the central India.
History of Temples :
Popular As : World Heritage Site. Khajuraho is well known for
awesome stone sculptures and carved temples and Dance Festival
The Khajuraho Temples :
Situated in the heart of Central India, in the state of Madhya Pradesh,
Khajuraho is a fascinating village with a quaint rural ambience and a rich
cultural heritage. The epochal creations of the fascinating Khajuraho are an
unparalleled Indian contribution to human civilisation. An architectural
marvel, the complex of 85 temples were said to have been constructed by the
Chandela kings between 950 and 1050 A.D. Of the 85 temples only 22 survive
today. A new one was excavated recently. It is said to be the largest of
them all. The temples have sublime and sensuous sculptures, portraying a
journey into eternity. The marvelous temples contain stunning sculptures
exhibits life in every form and mood, has been beautifully etched out in
stone, justifying the excellent craftsmanship and artistry of the Chandela
Khajuraho temples were constructed between 950 and 1050 A.D. during the
reign of Chandel Empire. Khajuraho derives its name from the Khajur tree
(the date palm tree) which can be found in abundance in the area. These
temples are considered the "high point" of Indian architectural
genius in the Medieval period. Originally there were 85 temples, of which
only 22 still exist.
The Architecture :
Each structure stands on a high masonry platform with a distinct upward
direction to their build, further enhanced by several vertical projections
to simulate the effect of an overall lightness. The three main compartments
are the entrance (ardhamandapa), assembly hall (mandapa), and the actual
sanctum (garbha griha). The temples at Khajuraho are grouped into three
geographical divisions : Western Group of Temples, Eastern Group of Temples
and Southern Group of Temples.
Western Group of Temples :
The most striking structure at Khajuraho is the Kendriya Mahadeo Temple,
which is soaring 31 km high upwards. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva,
the sanctum enshrines a lingam, a phallic symbol. The amazingly Chaunsath
Yogini temple is dedicated to goddess Kali. Facing eastwards to the rising
sum, Chitragupta temple is dedicated to the Sun God Surya. A three headed
image of Brahma is enshrined in Vishwanath Temple. The lintel over the
entrance of beautiful Lakshman Temple shows the trinity of Lords Brahma,
Vishnu and Shiva, with Lakshmi, Vishnu's consort.
Eastern Group of Temples :
The temples in this group can be subdivided into two one being a cluster of
Jain temples and another scattered through the small village. Parsvanath
Temple is the largest in this group. The temple was initially dedicated to
Adinath but the statue was replaced by that of Parsavanath in 1860 A.D.
Dedicated to the Jain saint Adinath, Adinath Temple is lavishly embellished
with sculpted figures, including Yakshis.
Southern Group of Temples :
This comprises only two temples. A track running south from Jain enclosures
reaches the first called Duladeo Temple. It is among the latest built
temples at Khajuraho, more accurate, finer and equally graceful, with
figures of women in various moods. The other temple is Chaturbhuj Temple
which has a three meter image of Vishnu.
Reaching Khajuraho -
Air : Khajuraho has an airport that links it with Delhi, Agra,
Varanasi and Kathmandu.
Rail : The nearest railheads are Mahoba (64 km), Harpalpur (94 km),
Jhansi (175 km) and Satna (117km).
Road : Bus services link Khajuraho with all major towns of Madhya