History of Khajuraho Temples
History of Khajuraho Temples
Khajuraho Temples: Khajuraho is located in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. The town is known for its group of temples which are categorized into three main group - Western Group, Southern Group and Eastern Group. In fact, Khajuraho Temples are India's unique gift to the world. Ethereal, enchanting and erotic, Khajuraho Temples conjure up images of a society and the inner human feelings. Life has been captured in stone in every form and mood, testifying the craftsman's artistry and the vision of the Chandela Rajputs.
Khajuraho was the first capital of Chandela, who ruled over the region in the 9th century. The Chandela rulers built the Khajuraho Temple between 950 - 1050 A.D. Out of the original 85 temple, only 22 temples have survived till today. By the 16th century, Khajuraho vanished into oblivion and was discovered by the British engineer T.S.Burt in the 19th century.
Architecture of Khajuraho Temples
Khajuraho Temples are built in Nagara Style of temple architecture, quite different from the temple prototype of that period. Each temple stands on a high masonry platform and is marked with upward direction in their structure. The chief compartments are mounted by their own roof and are grouped. The three main compartments are ardhamandapa (entrance), mandapa (assembly hall) and grabhagriha (sanctum). Khajurao temples have the idols of Lord Vishnu (the creator of the universe), Lord Shiva (the destroyer of the universe) and several other gods and their courtiers. In addition to deities, Khajuraho Temples also have the images of apsaras (celestial maidens), warriors, musicians, animals, cloths, ornaments, hair-style and make up.
Group of Temples
» The Western Group :The Western Group is largest group of temples and it has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNSECO in 1986. The Western Group is the best way to start your tour to Khajuraho Temples. There are 12 temples in the Western Group, which are imposing and lavishly decorated. The temples of Western Group are dedicated either to Lord Vishnu or Shiva. Popular temples in the Western Group are Lakshmana Temple, KandariyaMagadev, DeveJagadamba Temple, Chandragupta Temple, Parvati Temple and Vishwanatha Temple.
» The Eastern Group :The Eastern Group is one km east of the Western Group and can be accessed from the Gandhi Chowk. The temples of Eastern Group can be divided into two rough clusters. The first group of four Hindu temples are situated near the Old Khajuraho Village and the other group comprising Jain Temples, falls at the back of the village. The Hindu Group of Temples areGhantaji Temple, Vamana Temple, Javari Temple and Brahma Temple. The Jain Group of Temples are situated within a compound, the Prashvanath Temple is the largest temple here other temples are Temple of Adinath and Shantinath Temple.
» The Southern Group :The Southern Group has only two temple, one dedicated to Lord Shiva (Duladeva Temple) and the other to Lord Vishnu (Chaturbhuj Temple). The Duladeva Temple is situated next to a small river, Khuddar and it was built by MadanVarman in 1130 A.D. The Chaturbhuj Temple is 1.5 kms away from Duladeo and was built around 1100 A.D. The temple houses an unusual 9 ft icon of Lord Vishnu as an ascetic.