If you want to acquaint yourself with the rich history, culture,
architecture and mysticism of India, a tour to Khajuraho will come to your
Khajuraho is known the world over for its rock cut sculptures and gorgeous
temples. These temples are divided into three groups namely the Western
group, the Eastern Group and the Southern Group.
Western Group of Temples - The western group of the temples at Khajuraho
include the following:
Kandariya Mahadeo Temple
This is the largest temple of the group. It is 31 meters high and is
dedicated to Lord Shiva. The shrine is beautifully carved and etched with
Gods and Goddesses. The striking features of this temple are the arch at
the entrance and the ceilings and pillars of the interior halls.
This is the only temple in Khajuraho made of granite. It is also the
earliest surviving shrine as it is estimated to have been built in 900
A.D. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. Originally there were 65
shrines but only 35 of those still exist.
The temple contains a magnificent three- headed image of Lord Brahma. The
approach to the temple is very majestic and grand as it is flanked by
lions in the north and elephants in the south. A statue of Nandi (Lord
Shiva's sacred bull) faces the shrine of the temple.
Just over the entrance of this temple you can see a beautiful depiction if
the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva along with Lakshmi. The
interiors of this temple are also very beautiful.
Regular puja is still carried out at the Matangeswara Temple. This temple
is also dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple has an eight feet shiv lingam.
54 Eastern Group of Temples - These include the following temples -
This is a Jain Temple with exquisite detailed sculptures out of which the
most noteworthy are the sculptures on the northern wall of the temple.
Inside the temple there is a beautiful throne that faces a bull which is
the emblem of Lord Adinath, the first Jain Tirthankara. The image of
Parsvanath was installed here in 1860 A.D.
This is another Jain temple which has a very interesting frieze which
depicts the 16 dreams of Lord Mahavira's mother, as well as a beautiful
sculpture of a Jain goddess on a winged Garuda.
As the name suggests the temple is dedicated to Lord Adinath, the first
Jain Tirthnakara. This temple is decorated with sculpted figures including
yakshis. Hanuman Temple - This statue can be found while moving from the
Western group towards the Khajuraho village. The temple is marked by a
gigantic 8 feet high statue of the monkey God; Lord Hanuman. The temple
and the statue are one of the oldest structures of Khajuraho; in fact
there is a very ancient inscription on the pedestal of the statue of
Hanuman, which dates back to the time of Maharaja Harsh, 922 A.D.
This temple stands on the banks of the Khajur Sagar, also known as Ninora
Tal near the Khajuraho village stands the Brahma Temple. The body of the
temple is made of granite while the shikhara (peak) is made of sandstone.
Enshrined in the temple is a four-faced image of Brahma. Originally this
temple must have been dedicated to Lord Vishnu, as it is his figure that
is carved centrally on the lintel of the sanctum doorway.
55 Southern Group of Temples -
The two main temples of this group are the following:
Dulha Deo Temple
Dulha Deo lies south of the Ghantai temple. This is the finest temple at
Khajuraho also is also called Kunwar Math. It houses some of the grandest
sculptures including some of the choicest sculptures especially the
Shalbhanjika. The temple holds within it an ardhamanadap, mandapa, maha
mandapa, antarala and a garbha griha with no circumambulatory passage. The
image of Lord Shiva on the lintel at the entrance to the inner sanctum
indicates that the temple was originally dedicated to Lord Shiva. Even
today, the sanctum enshrines a shivlingam. The ornamentation within and on
the outside temple walls are equally elaborate. Most remarkable are the
images of wizards flying singly and in pairs with their consorts. They
carry weapons and garlands, brandish swords, play on musical instruments,
but most uniquely have a picture of detachment on their faces.
This temple is also known as the Jatkari Temple. It lies 3 km south of
Khajuraho in the village of Jatkari. This is a pair of two temples. One of
them dedicated to Lord Shiva contains a marble lingam. The other one
enshrines an 11 feet high image of Chatturbhuja (Vishnu) in the sanctum
with an expression of transcendental calm on its face.