Here, we share with you Khajuraho Temple History and Monuments. Khajuraho Temples (Group of Monuments) is a world-famous erotic sculpture.
They are located in Chatarpur district, Madhya Pradesh, India. It is 175 kilometers southeast of Jhansi.
The Khajuraho Group of Temples were built between 885 AD and 1050 AD by the Chandela dynasty.
According to historical records, 85 such temples were spread over 20 square kilometers. However, as of now, only about 25 temples survive, spread over six square kilometers.
Khajuraho Temples have been recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Site. These temples have been built in the Nagara style of architectural symbolism.
Among Khajuraho Temples, Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is the most famous with intricate details, expressiveness, and symbolism depicting ancient Indian art.
Khajuraho Group of Temples has dedicated to Hinduism as well as Jainism. These temples were rediscovered in the 1850s that showcase some of the finest art in the world.
Although Khajuraho Temples are famous for their eroticism, these temples also depict meditation and spiritual teachings. In addition, Khajuraho Temples display a stunning combination of fine sculptures and exceptional architectural skills. The intricateness and expressiveness of Khajuraho temples will certainly leave you in awe and wonder.
Khajuraho monuments are located in Chatarpur district in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh which is about 620 kilometers southeast of New Delhi. The town where these temples are located is also known as Khajuraho.
Khajuraho Temples exhibited a period in Indian History when Hindu art and devotion reached their apex. As a result, these temples represent the best Hindu temple sculpture.
Khajuraho temples are more than just erotic sculptures. For example, their soaring Shikhara were meant to resemble the peaks of the Himalayas, the abode of Lord Shiva. In fact, these temples were designed to inspire the viewer towards the highest human potential, out of the material world, to Moksha.
Khajuraho temples were mainly built from sandstone mined from the banks of River Ken (30 kilometers away).
Some of the essential elements exhibited in these temples are as follows:
- A high raised platform
- An Ardh mandapam (entrance porch)
- A Mandapam (portico)
- An antrala (vestibule)
- A garbha griha (inner sanctum)
- A maha mandapam (hall)
- Sculptural Motifs
- Moreover, more
The figure of Lord Ganesh faces north.
Yama, the god of death, faces south.
Rivers Ganga and the Yamuna guard the entrance to the sanctum. Other sculptures include the Apsara.
There are figures of sultry nayikas (human women) that show various emotions. In addition, there are erotic sculptures that run up and down the thighs of many female sculptures.
Lastly, there are figures of Goddess Chamundi.
On the whole, Khajuraho temples are representative of full-blown erotic art. They portray a tantric cult where couples are deeply engrossed in each other. Moreover, they display the sensual pleasures of the Kama Sutra (the classical Hindu love manual).
Khajuraho Group of Temples has been divided into three groups:
- Eastern Group: Vamana Temple, Javari Temple, Brahma Temple, Ghantai Temple, Adinath Temple, Parsvanath Temple, etc.
- Southern Group: Duladeo Temple, Chaturbhui Temple, etc.
- Western Group: Chausath Yogini Temple, Lalgaun Mahadeva, Matangesvara Temple, Varaha Temple, Lakshmana Temple, Kandariya Mahadeva, Devi Jagdamba Temple, Mahadeva Temple, Chitragupta Temple, Vishwanath Temple, etc.
Khajuraho Temple History
Khajuraho Group of Temples was built during the rule of the Chandela dynasty. The building activity immediately started when the Chandelas rose to power.
Most of the Khajuraho temples were built during the rule of King Yashovarman and King Dhanga. The Lakshmana Temple is the best example of Yashovarman’s legacy, whereas the Vishwanath Temple is the best example of King Dhanga’s reign.
The largest Khajuraho Temple is Kandariya Mahadeva which was built during the reign of King Vidhyadhara.
The currently surviving temples were completed between 970 and 1030 AD.
The Khajuraho temples were built about 35 miles from the medieval city of Mahoba, which was the capital of the Chandela Dynasty, in the Kalinjar region.
A Chinese pilgrim, Xuanzang, gave the first documented mention of the Khajuraho temple in 641 AD.
The Khajuraho temples have also been mentioned by Abu Rihan-al-Biruni, the Persian historian, and accompanied Mahmud of Ghazni in his raid of Kalinjar. He has mentioned that Khajuraho was the capital of Jajahuti.
The Khajuraho temples were active until the end of the 12th century when the Muslim Sultan Qutb-ud-din Aibak attacked and captured the Chandela kingdom.
Ibn Battuta, the Moroccan traveler, also mentioned Khajuraho temples during his stay in India from 1335 to 1342 AD. He called them “Kajarra.”
From the 13th century until the 18th century, the Khajuraho temples were controlled by various Muslim dynasties. They destroyed most of these temples, and others were left in neglect. For example, in 1495 AD, Sikandar Lodi’s campaign included the destruction of Khajuraho temples.
It was only the remoteness and isolation of Khajuraho temples that protected it from continued destruction by Muslims.
In the 1830s, the local Hindus guided a British Surveyor, T.S. Burt, to the Khajuraho temples to be rediscovered by the global audience.
Alexander Cunningham reported that the Khajuraho temples were secretly used by yogis and thousands of Hindus who arrive here for pilgrimage during Shivratri annually in February or March.
In 1852, F.C. Maisey prepared the first drawings of the Khajuraho temples.
Who Built the Khajuraho Temples?
The Khajuraho Group of Temples was built during the Chandella dynasty, which reached its peak between 950 and 1050 AD.
It took about 100 years to build the Khajuraho Temples.
As of now, only 20 temples remain, which fall into three distinct groups and belong to two different religions, namely Hinduism and Jainism.
Khajuraho Temple Images
Here, we have shared some glimpses of Khajuraho Temple Images, which represent its glorious architecture.
Although Khajuraho Temples are mainly known for erotic, however, they are also one of the best examples of Indian architectural marvel and genius. So, let’s witness the beauty and splendor of Khajuraho Temples which will undoubtedly put you in awe and wonder.
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