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Khajuraho

Khajuraho

An ancient city known for its temples and intricate sculptures, Khajuraho is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Chattarpur district of Madhya Pradesh and narrates spellbinding historical tales and architectural magnificence. According to the historical archives, Khajuraho temple site had 85 intricately carved temples during the 12th century sprawling over 20 square kilometers. Out of the 85 temples, only 25 have survived the wrath of time and multiple attacks which are spread over 6 square kilometers. Most of the temples are Hindu and some of them are of Jain religion as well. The region was named after the dry fruit Khajur (date palm) and was found in 1838 by a British official after it was lost under the dense foliage of the jungle for several years.

History of Khajuraho Group of Temples

The history of Khajuraho Group of Monuments dates back to 950-1050 AD and it still manages to capture the attention of visitors from all around the world with its spectacular glory and fascinating past. It was built during the medieval century by the Chandela Dynasty and is known for its Nagara-style architecture and graceful figurines of nayikas (Hindu mythological female protagonists) and deities. The outstanding and detailed sculptures and structure of the temples is one of the reasons that makes Khajuraho one of the most popular sites in Madhya Pradeshfor tourists to visit.

The temples depict various forms of meditation, spiritual teachings, and relationships through stimulating art. The fine craftsmanship and impressive demonstrations of fine statues with detailed skill makes Khajuraho Group of Monuments a stunning UNESCO heritage site. The temple complex was forgotten and overgrown by the jungle until in 1838, when Captain T.S. Burt, a British engineer, made a visit to this area and reported his findings in the journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.

According to the historians, these monuments were built and used as a place of knowledge and gaining education to the boys. The boys or students lived in hermitages by being ‘brahmcharis’ (bachelor) until they attained manhood and these sculptures helped them to learn about the worldly role of the ‘householder’. Although the Khajuraho Group of Monuments were constructed together, but these were dedicated to Hinduism and Jainism, indicating a tradition of acceptance and respect for diverse religious views among the two religions and their culture.

Architecture

The temples of Khajuraho are clustered near water which is a symbolic feature of Hindu temples. In the Khajuraho temples, the Hindu temples follow a grid geometrical design called vastu-purusha-mandala, which has three important components:

Most of the temples which are a part of Khajuraho Group of Monuments, deploy the 8x8 (64) padas grid; and the primary deities here are located within the grids. All temples, except one – (Chaturbhuja temple) face the sunrise, another dominant Hindu temple feature. The relative layout of the temple depicts masculine and feminine deities, and the artworks depict the four goals of life in Hinduism – dharma, kama, artha, and moksha. The temples are known for their stunning sculptures and some erotic carvings which cover about 10% of the temple structure. The largest surviving temple in the Khajuraho Group of monuments today is one called Kandariya Mahadeva.

Places to Visit in Khajuraho

Khajuraho is a history buff’s delight and a heaven for architecture paramours. The stunning, intricate, and expressive sculptures of Khajuraho temples will leave you mesmerized and in awe and must be visited if you are in Madhya Pradesh. The temples in Khajuraho are divided into three groups – Eastern, Western, Southern.

EASTERN GROUP OF TEMPLES :

Other temples include Adinatha temple, Santinatha temple, Ghantai temple, and Brahma temple which fall under this group and have spectacular architectural and historical features.

WESTERN GROUP OF TEMPLES :

The western group of temples has around 870 beautiful sculptures carved out on the interior and exterior walls. As you enter the western group, you are greeted by a plaque on the right which outlines a brief information about the history of Khajuraho. The main highlight of this place is a Shivalinga and a stunning floral carving inside the sanctum of the temple. The outer section of the walls of the temples showcase carvings of gods, goddesses, and Hindu mythological creatures.

There are several other temples in the western group which have impressive architecture and are a sight to behold.

SOUTHERN GROUP OF TEMPLES :

Things To Do in and Around Khajuraho
Timings and Entry Fees

Fees:

The temple complex is open from 6am to 6pm every day.

How to Reach

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Why is Khajuraho famous?

Khajuraho is known for its ancient temples which are intricately carved and some of which have erotic figurines.

Which is the largest temple in Khajuraho group of monuments?

Kandaria Mahadev Temple is the largest standing temple among the remaining temples in Khajuraho.

Who built Khajuraho temples?

The temples of Khajuraho were built by the Rajput rulers of Chandela dynasty who rules central India from the 10th to the 13th century.

Where is Khajuraho located?

Khajuraho is in the Chattarpur district of Madhya Pradesh.

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