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Khajuraho, Many explanations for love

by on August 16, 2007

khajuraho.jpgKhajuraho conjures up images of a society that celebrated life and was not abashed by sex. It was the first capital of Chandelas, who rose to rule the region in the 9th century. Right from the onset Khajuraho was envisaged as a temple town, which accounts for the absence of any non religious structures other than tanks and lakes.

We started our journey from The Western Group, near the Shiv Sagar, by either hiring an akhajuraho-temple.jpguto headset from its ticket booth or hiring a guide. We started on cycles as Khajuraho is best when exploded from cycles which are available from stands in front of the Western Group.

The temples in this complex were large and lavishly decorated, displaying the wealth and power of its rulers. These are dedicated either to Vishnu or Shiva. The most refined temple in the complex, the Lakshmana Temple is the seat of Vishnu as Vaikuntham. The enshrined statue was 4-ft high, has three faces lion, man and boar and is said to have been acquired from the Kashmir – Chamba region. On its base, starting from the left are depictions from everyday life, including marching armies, domestic life, dancers and orgies. The temple has four subsidiary shrines on its platform. In front of the temple are two smaller shrines, one dedicated to the Devi and other to Varaha.

The Kandariya Mahadeva, an extremely harmonious and rhythmic temple is a Shiva temple. Standing on the same platform and north of the Kandariya Mahadev temple, the Devi Jagadamba Temple was originally dedicated to Vishnu, its special feature include imaginative renditions of shardulas, mythical beasts with the body of lion and the head of a parrot, elephant or boar. The only sun temple in Khajuraho, the Chandragupta Temple stands fourth on the same platform. It houses a 7 ft image of the sun god dressed in armored coat and boots. The sun stands on a chariot pulled by seven horses. The temple’s other special features include a scene of sculptors at their work carved on the plinth, and an interesting statue of an 11 headed Vishnu on the South Hall. Through the garden, towards the east, lies the Parvati Temple, a small shrine believed to have been dedicated to Vishnu. And to the right of the Parvati Temple stands Vishwanatha Temple, the grandest temple of Khajuraho, dedicated to Shiva, its special features include an intact Nandi shrine, apsaras writing letters, playing music and so on; and a stone lingam.

Matangeshwara Temple, the only living temple, stands outside the enclosure, just next to the Lakshmana Temple is dedicated to Shiva.khajuraho-2.jpgThe Eastern group of temples is divided into two rough clusters. The first bunch of four temples falls near the Old Khajuraho Village and the other, comprising Jain temples falls behind of the school at the back of the village. We begin with the Ghantai Temple which is on the edge of the old village, and there were only pillars bearing carved bell and chain motifs left. The Vamana Temple enshrined a chubby dwarf, interpreted either as a vamana or a Vishnu incarnation. The nearby Javari Temple is dedicated to Vishnu. The Jain temples are situated within a compound constructed and maintained by the Digambara sect. The largest of these temples was dedicated to Adinath; its special feature is that the both Hindu pantheon and figures associated with Jainism can be finding representing on its wall.In the Southern Group there are only two temples one dedicated to Lord Shiva and is called Duladeva Temple and the other to Lord Vishnu and is called Chaturbhuj Temple.

There are three museums which we visited where they were sculptures of Vishnu, Shiva and Jain figures. There are lots of places of shopping in Khajuraho selling iron, brass and stone things. There are all types of luxury hotels in Khajuraho like The Grand Temple View, Holiday Inn and many more.

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