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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What all do I need to know about the temples of Khajuraho?

Ravinder Malik DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Khajuraho has held our fancy for time immemorial. Undeniable beauty, artistic perfection and splendid craftsmanship envelops the works of wonder in the city. Each temple with its own little story will enrapture you with its brilliance. Wouldn't you want to set out on a journey so enriching? Hold that answer for a bit until you read some interesting tidbits about the myriad temples of Khajuraho.

  • The beginning

    Built between 950 to 1050 A.D during the Chandela rule, the temples primarily represent the doings of daily life. The decline of the Chandela dynasty in the 13th century lead to the abandonment of city beneath thick date palm trees. The name Khajuraho owes its existence to the ‘khajur' or ‘date' trees enveloping it.
    Out of the original 85 temples, only 22 exist today.
    Grouped into three divisions according to their geographical location, the temples are divided into western, eastern and southern. The temples predominantly depict sexual art outside the temples or near the deities. It is believed that these carvings are influenced by tantric sexual practices. The human figures are portrayed as musicians, potters and as performing usual activities such as applying make up, dancing et al.

    As the popular myth goes, the temples are not influenced by
    Vatsyayana's Kamasutra. The figures are radically distinct and simply provide a glimpse into mundaneness of daily life. It is also believed that the rigorous tantrik practices may have influenced these statues.

  • Western group of temples

    The western group of temples comprises of some of the most famous temples in Khajuraho. The temples are primarily Hindu and showcase examples of Chandela art in its glory.
    You could start with the beautiful
    Lakshmana temple, with typical medieval Indian architecture, the temple is made of sandstone. The most interesting attribute of the temple is the sanctum is in the form of a chariot also referred to as the Pancharatha. With over 600 Hindu God residing in the temple, the temple is one of the most visited sites. The splendid carvings are in the southernmost corner of the temple.
    Another famous temple is the
    Kandariya Mahadeva. The largest temple in the city, it is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is decorated with grand sculptures on the outside of the temple.
    Some of the other temples are the
    Chitragupta Temple, dedicated to the Sun God whilst the spectacular Vishwanath Temple sports a three headed image of Lord Brahma.

  • Eastern group of temples

    Consisting of some of the most popular temples, the eastern group comprises of two important Jain temples including the largest temple, Parsvanath Temple. With interesting legends surrounding this side of Khajuraho, you are in for an enriching journey.
    You must visit the Brahma temple, dedicated to
    Lord Vishnu, it is one of the most beautiful structures. Shrouded in mystery, the temple was initially associated Lord Brahma because of a four faced Shivalinga. Strikingly different than the other temples in the western side, the temple is plainly built and is made of granite along with a sandstone spire. Situated on the banks of Khajursagar, you are in for a splendid and breathtaking sight.

  • Southern group of temples

    The southern group of temples in Khajuraho give you an opportunity to explore and discover supreme beauty amongst perfection. The Duladeo temple is one of the recently built temples in Khajuraho. The temple boasts of splendid images of maidens in various graceful postures. Another temple in the Southern part of Khajuraho is the Chaturbhuja temple with an imposing figure of Lord Vishnu. The southern part comprises of only two temples and you can visit this side peacefully with ample time in your kitty to explore more places.

    Plan your day well in advance so that you don't miss out on any of the spectacular sites.The temples in Khajuraho open in the morning up until sunset. With personalised guided tours available, you will get an enlightening sneak peek into the rich culture and historical past of this enchanting city.
    Don't forget your cameras as a world of memories await you.

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