Khajuraho is a small town, located in the forested plains of Madhya Pradesh. The place is a standing ovation to the architectural brilliance of the Chandela Rajputs, who ruled Central India for many decades. The richly carved temples, with their distinctive graphics, testify the creative period that Khajuraho witnessed during the Chandela regime. Sculptured in Indo-Aryan architectural style, these temples are still recounted as masterpieces of Indian artistry and form the major tourist attractions of the place. Learn about the places to see in Khajuraho, forming the major tourist interest of the place.
Western Group of Temples Clustered near the left of the entrance, this
group of temples includes some of the biggest sculptures of Khajuraho.
One of the oldest surviving granite temples of this group is 'Chaunsat
Yogini', dedicated to the Goddess Kali. The largest of the Western
temple is 'Kandariya Mahadeo', whose presiding deity is Lord
Shiva. It soars to a height of 31m and is exquisitely carved with
delicate details. Close to it is the 'Matangeshwara Temple',
which is also dedicated to Lord Shiva. It still sees many devotees and
houses an eight feet high 'shivalingam' (sacred stone).
Another temple is the 'Lakshmana Temple', adjoined by four
other shrines. This Vaishnavite temple is one of the finest
architectural specimens of the place. The lintel over the entrance to
this temple exhibits the figures of many Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The
'Chitagupta Temple' belonging to this group also poses a
majestic sight, with brilliantly cut figures of elephants & lions.
'Devi Jagadamaba' is one of the most renowned temples of this
group and is etched with many erotic images, like carved figures
(mithuna) in various acts of lovemaking.
Eastern Group of Temples
These temples stand on the bank of the Khajur River. The 'Parsvanatha
Temple' is the largest and most reputed of this group. This Jain
temple is ornamented with sculptures that depict the mundane aspects of
everyday life. It also houses an image of 'Parsvanatha' in the inner
sanctum. It is decked with some of the most graceful figures of
celestial beauties (sura-sundaris) on its different facades. Another
prominent temple is the 'Adinatha Temple', dedicated to the Jain
saint 'Adinath'. It is richly emblazoned with lithe and delicate
carvings on its three bands of sculptures.
'Shantinatha Temple' is another major shrine of this group and
is famous for the 14 ft idol of Lord Shantinath. Miraculous happenings
have always been associated with this temple. The 'Ghantai Temple'
is another known Jain temple of the place, with a decorative frieze that
depicts the 16 dreams of Mahavira's mother and a beautiful sculpture of
a Goddess on a winged Garuda. The 'Brahma Temple', belonging to
the Eastern group, is simple in plan and is a beautiful artwork made of
sandstone and granite. The 'Hanuman Temple' has a colossal
statue of Hanuman and is another major temple of this group.
Southern Group of Temples
'Dulah Deo' and 'Chaturbhuj Temple' are two temples that
are included in this group. 'Dulah Deo' is located about a kilometer to
the south of the village of Khajuraho and half a mile to the southwest
of Jain enclosures. It is also known as 'Kunwar Math' and is elaborately
decorated with carved structures on the inner walls and three outer
bands. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the inner sanctum of the temple
houses a 'shivalingam'. Though built in the same historical span and
employing similar artistic lines, 'Dulah Deo' lacks the refinement &
aesthetic sense of the temples belonging to the other groups.
'Chaturbhuj Temple' is located three kilometers to the south of
Khajuraho, in a village called 'Jatkari'. Two dilapidated adjoining
temples now stand in the spot. One of the temples is consecrated to
Shiva and stores a marble lingam. The other is a Nirandhara temple, with
an 11ft image of Lord Vishnu in the Chaturbhuja (four-armed) form. It
can be assigned to be belonging to a period of circa 1100. Over the
lintel of the doorway, there are delicately engraved figures of various
Hindu deities like Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. It is the only temple of
Khajuraho that is devoid of any erotic carvings.