Khajuraho temples are a live example of the majestic past of India. Khajuraho, because of its amazing and unique temples has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Annually millions of visitors visit these temples and these temples make Khajuraho the second most visited place in India after the Taj Mahal. Khajuraho was the capital of the Chandela Empire and depicts an Indo Aryan style of architecture. All these temples depict that to attain enlightenment; physical speculation is one of the ways. There are three main parts of each temple i.e. the entrance (ardhamandapa), the assembly hall (mandapa) and the actual sanctum (garbha griha).
Khajuraho town is popular for its Khajuraho Group of Monuments, which are located in the Chhatarpur district, Madhya Pradesh. The ancient version of Khajuraho, known as Kharjuravāhaka has been derived from a Sanskrit word Kharjura that means date palm and vahaka means ‘one who carries’. Khajuraho is popular for its erotic sculptures across the temple and it has the largest group of temples belonging to medieval Hindu and Jain religion. Though these sensuous sculptures are the main reason for the worldwide attraction of Khajuraho, but these sculptures are confined to a small portion not the entire temple.
Khajuraho Temples History
Khajuraho was constructed between 950 and 1050 AD during Chandel Empire. Natural disasters have destroyed almost 85 more Hindu temples located at Khajuraho. Now there are just 22 temples. Most of the temples at Khajuraho are built with spiral superstructures and depict North Indian Shikara style of temples. These are considered as an architectural wonder of that time. There are three geographical divisions of temples at Khajuraho i.e. western, eastern and southern. Larhest among these is the western group. This group consists of famous temples – Jagdambi Temple, Kandariya Mahadeva and Chitragupta Temples. Kandariya Mahadeo is the largest among these and has 900 statues. Chaunsat Yogini is the oldest temple in western group and dedicated to goddess Kali. Brahma, Vamana and Javari are included in Eastern Group of temples. Southern group of temples are located at a distance of 5 km from Khajuraho village. Duladeo and Chaturbhuj Temples are popular temples of this group.
There are two beliefs regarding the sexually explicit sculptures in the temples. As per one school of thought the kings of that time were used to live an obscene life full of luxury and excitement. Another explanation behind this goes that these sculptures were the part of sex education in ancient India. As temples were visited by masses so it was thought to be the most appropriate place for this education. Some even think these sculptures as a part and symbolic gate to reach to God and that is why these are part of outer walls of the temple but not inner. Apart from these temples, Khajuraho is also popular for its cultural festival of dance and music that is organized by Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad. Classical dancers from all across India come there to perform.
To know more about Khajuraho and Madhya Pradesh, you may refer to the following: