Built around 1025-1050 AD, this temple exudes grandeur and finesse in its architecture. With beautiful frescos of women in various postures adorning the walls of this temple, this place is one of the most stunning tourists' sites in Khajuraho. Kandariya Mahadev Temple has an artistically engraved shrine with over 800 images of women, most of which are more than 3 feet high. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has a shiva lingam at the centre of Garba Griha. Made of a typical sandstone structure, the artistic representation of eroticism on the walls of this temple are bound to give a new perspective on India's cultural heritage.
The oldest and most aesthetically pleasing temples among the Western group of Temples, the Lakshman temple is named after the ruler of that time. The trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva is depicted in the horizontal beam over the entrance of the temple.
Initially built as a Vishnu temple, the Devi Jagdamba temple has beautifully carved erotic figures. The Garba Griha houses a stunning sculpture of the Goddess of the Universe. The temple also houses a beautiful image of Goddess Parvati, with the image of Mithuna.
This is a jain temple dedicated to the Jain God Tirthankar. With exquisite sculpted figures, including yakshis this is one of the most beautiful jain temples in Madhya Pradesh.
Dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu deity of wealth. This temple houses some moderate shrines and is comparatively smaller than the other temples in Khajuraho.
Built in the year 1130 the Dulhadev Temple enshrines a beautiful shivalingam and striking sculptures of Apsaras and other ornamented figures. The temple also has a stunning sculpture of Lord Shiva with his wife Parvati, the intricate details of the carvings adding to the charm of the overall architecture.
This temple is the largest among the Eastern group of temples and has intricately detailed carvings on its walls. The most intriguing side of the architecture of this temple is the aesthetic blend of Hindu, muslim and Buddhist styles. The highlights of the temple are the sculptures on the northern outer walls.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is one among the western group of temples. It has a beautiful marble shivalinga as the main deity. An imposing image of Brahma is also housed in this temple. A massive sculpture of Nandi the Bull is also enshrined alongside the Shivalingam.
Vamana Temple in Khajuraho is dedicated to Vamana- the fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu and is one among the Khajuraho Group of Monuments. The exterior walls of the shrine have erotic carvings of nymphs and celestial bodies and different women in several different postures. The beautiful site is a popular tourist spot and is thronged by tourists all through the year.
Varaha Temple is built in the Western Group of Temple Complex in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh and is enshrine by a massive idol of Varaha - the incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the form of a boar. Made in sandstone, the sculpture has numerous carvings all over its body and depict Goddess Saraswati at one certain place on the body.
Javari Temple is another temple from the Khajuraho Group of Monuments enshrined by Lord Vishnu although the idol of the presiding deity is broken and headless. The temple is rather tiny and has been built in Shikhara style of architecture. The temple also has sculptures of Navagrahas, Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma at the entrance gate of the sanctum.
Shantinatha Temple is a Jain temple counted as a World Heritage Site along the Khajuraho Group of Monuments. The temple is presided by Shantinatha; however, it has idols of other Jain tirthankaras as well, including a colossal statue of Adinatha. The temple has been renovated but still bears inscriptions from the bygone era.
Built among the Western Group of Temple Complex in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, Matangeshwar Temple is a rather plainly designed temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Made of sandstone, the temple houses a large shivalinga which has Nagari and Persian inscriptions carved on it. The temple is a popular site among Shiva devotees.
Nandi Temple is a part of Khajuraho Group of Monuments which is a World Heritage Site in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh. The temple is dedicated to Nandi- the bull which is the mount of Lord Shiva. As is customary, the temple is built across the shrine of Lord Shiva called Vishvanatha Temple.
Chitragupta Temple in Khajuraho is enshrined by Sun God- Surya and dates back to the 11th century. The presiding deities is riding a chariot with seven horses. The exterior walls of the shrine have carvings of several gods and erotic couples. The site is popular among tourists and devotees alike.
Chaturbhuj Temple is situated in the Jatakari village of Khajuraho and is also known as Jatakari Temple. Enshrined by Lord Vishnu, the temple is free of any erotic carvings or sculptures and hence is considered a unique temple in the region. Rectangular in shape, the shrine built on a raised platform and is visited by a large number of pilgrim all through the year.
The Chausath Yogini Temple is the oldest temple in the temple-town of Khajuraho. This late 9th century Devi temple is now in ruins, but the shrine cells and other remnants remain at the site. There are no sculptures found here. A monument of national importance, remnants of this temple have been found in other places around the region.
The Ghantai Temple or Ghanti Temple is a ruined Jain temple in Khajuraho. Dedicated to Adinatha - Rishabhanatha Tirthankara, this temple can be dated back to 995 CE to the reign of King Dhanga of the Chandela dynasty. It shares a similar style to the Parshvanatha temple in Khajuraho and is host to many sculptures of interest on its outer walls including flying couples, dancers, musicians and celestial beings. The temple also has Vaishnava influences. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Khajuraho.
This ninth century Brahma Temple is located in Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh on the banks of the Khajuraho Sagar lake. The sanctum hosts a four-faced linga which is why it was commemorated as a Brahma Temple, in light of Brahma’s four heads. Historians suggest that this was an error and that the linga represents Lord Shiva whilst others suggest that the lintel above the door indicates that is a Vishnu temple. This debate remains unsettled but makes for an interesting study of the intricate, adorned figurines in this temple.
The Lalguan Mahadeva Temple is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in Khajuraho, now almost in ruins. It is the second oldest surviving temple in this spiritual town. It still hosts a dilapidated pyramid structure forming the main part of the temple. It was built on the banks of Lake Lalguan Sagar. Made with granite, this temple pre-dates the use of sandstone for temple construction. It also has a similar plan to the Brahma Temple here.
The Mahishasuramardini Temple in Khajuraho is dedicated to Goddess Durga, in her avatar as Maheshasur's slayer.
Built between 950 to 1050 AD, the sheer confrontational nature of these carvings shows a stark paradox with the conventional Indian ideals about eroticism, leaving everybody spellbound. Art in this small town is engrained in all of its structures and are a classic example of the finesse of India's cultural and artistic heritage. Do share your experience or views on these wondrous temples in the comment section below.
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