Khajuraho, the exuberance of Indian spirit represents a paean to life, love, to joy-perfect in execution and sublime in expression. The Khajuraho temples are internationally famous for the erotic sculptures that adorn the walls. Life in every form and mood, has been captured in stone, testifying not only to the craftsman’s artistry but also to the extraordinary breadth of vision of the Chandela Rajputs under whose rule the temples were conceived and constructed.
Western Group of Temples
The most prominent structure at Khajuraho is the Kandariya Mahadeo temple, which is the largest soars 31 km high, dedicated to Lord Shiva, the sanctum enshrines a lingam( a phallic symbol, a symbol of energy, fertility and potency).
The amorous couples are most sensuously depicted in the Chaunsath Yogini temple, the only granite temple and the earliest surviving shrine of the group (900 A.D), is dedicated to goddess Kali.
Facing eastwards to the rising sum , Chitragupta temple is dedicated to the Sun God Surya . The image of the deity in the inner sanctum is particularly imposing; five feet high and driving a horse drawn chariot.
A three headed image of Brahma is enshrined in Vishwanath Temple. The approach is equally impressive, with lions flaking the northern and elephants the southern steps that lead up to it.
The lintel over the entrance of beautiful Lakshman Temple shows the trinity of Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, with Lakshmi, Vishnu’s consort. The finely carved sanctum has a three-headed idol of Vishnu’s incarnations, Narasimha and Varaha.
One of the oldest temple, Matengeswara temple, is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has an eight feet high lingam.
Eastern Group of Temples
The temples in this group can be subdivided into two one being a cluster of Jain temples and another scattered through the small village
Parsvanath Temple is the largest in this group. The temple was initially dedicated to Adinath but the statue was replaced by that of Parsavanath in 1860 A.D.
The Jain temple, Gantai temple, has a frieze, which depicts the 16 dreams of Mahavira’s mother and a Jain goddess on a winged Garuda.
Dedicated to the Jain saint Adinath, Adinath Temple is lavishly embellished with sculpted figures, including Yakshis. The three Hindu temples of the group are the Brahma containing a four-faced linga; the Vamana, which is adorned on its outer walls with carvings of Apsaras in a variety of sensuous attitudes; and the Javari, with a richly carved gateway and exterior sculptors.
This comprises only two temples. A track running south from Jain enclosures reaches the first called Duladeo Temple. It is among the latest built temples at Khajuraho, more accurate, finer and equally graceful, with figures of Mithuna (sexual intercourse) and women in various poses. The other temple is Chaturbhuj Temple which has a three meter image of Vishnu.
How to Reach:
By Air: Regular services link Khajuraho with Delhi, Agra, and Varanasi. By Rail: The nearest railheads are Harpalpur (94 Km) and Mahoba (61 Km). Jhansi (172 Km) is a convenient railhead for those traveling from Delhi and Chennai;
Satna (117 Km), on the Mumbai-Allahabad line of the Central Railway for those coming from Mumbai, Kolkata and Varanasi. By Road: Khajuraho is connected by regular buses with Satna, Harpalpur, Jhansi and Mahoba.
Best Season: July to March. Nostalgia