The old city of Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh is greatly esteemed and complimented for its world-class temples with brilliant engineering supremacy and moulding perfection. Declared by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Khajuraho allures the history buffs and archaeologists from far and wide. The congregation of about 85 prosperous Hindu and Jain temples with out of the world designs came into existence in about 1050 AD under the great encouragement and support of the Chandela Rajput rulers.
Historians estimate that the temple complex was completed in the duration of 100 years. Due to natural calamities and foreign invasions and attacks, 63 temples are devastated and the exuberant artistry and mind blowing carvings can be seen and appreciated in the remaining 22 temples.
The temple carvings showcase the human emotions, sentiments, love, lust, dancing forms, gods, goddesses etc. The temples are constructed in a unique style on an elevated platform and have different levels of carvings in the outer gopuram/tower. Their tall towers resemble that of the lofty peaks. Based on their styles and carvings the temples are classified into three categories such as The Eastern, Western and Southern group.
This heritage city hosts a marvellous ‘Dance Carnival’ every year, where one gets to see many dance forms of different states and culture come alive at one platform.
The alluring temples and remnants in Khajuraho depict the true Hindu tradition and richness of the middle age art. It is a sin to miss a visit to this place and should and must be visited once in a lifetime.
PLACES TO SEE
The temples are classified into 3 categories such as the Western, Eastern and Southern groups.
Western Group : This is most popular among the three. The prominent shrine in this group is the Kandariya Mahadev temple which is well proportional in its construction. It is the loftiest temple which has a 31 mtr high pinnacle. There are 4 other small shrines encircling the main temple. The main temple has stunningly carved alleyways and entrance. The shrine also encloses main hall, portico, a lobby, transept and a walking path. The pillars in the temple contain delicate carvings and themes such as musicians, lovers, sentiments are imprinted on the outer stone wall.
Chaunsat Yogini gets the fame as the only granite temple in the entire temple complex. Dedicated to the goddess Kali this temple was constructed in about 900 AD. This temple is beautifully constructed in quadrangles. Jaga Dambi is another Kali temple.
Chitragupta temple, dedicated to Lord Surya is constructed in Eastern direction such that it faces the morning orange sun. The 5 feet statue of the god is beautifully placed on the horse driven chariot. The northern steps are ornamented by the carvings of the valiant lions and the sculptures of the elephants adorn the southern steps. Flawless designs of the hunting scenes, parade, animal fights and dance forms are depicted in the outer walls.
Some of the prominent Vishnu temples can be seen in the temple complex. Since the temple and the idol is in good condition, daily prayers and poojas are performed in the Matangeswara Temple, Many other temples are deprived of this opportunity as the idols are either ruined or missing.
The Western group hosts the Sound and Light show daily at dusk, in the enthralling voice of Amitabh Bacchan.
Eastern Group : This group is the combo of the Jain and Hindu temples. Majority of the temples are dedicated to the Jain Thirtankaras. The Parshwanath temple is the biggest Jain temple. The idol of Parshwanath was placed in the temple is about 1860. The outer walls depict the day to day activities and hardships faced by the human beings. Adinatha temple is placed at the north of the Parshwanath temple. Ghantai temple has detailed designs of Jain goddess riding on a garuda and the 16 dreams of Lord Mahavira’s mother. Brahma, Vamana and Javari are some of the Hindu temples.
Southern Group : This group is quite far from the village. The main shrine in this temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu called the Chaturbhuj Temple. The temple is famous for its signature and extra-ordinary carvings. Duladeo Temple is also worth visiting.
HOW TO REACH
By Air : Delhi and Agra are well connected by aircrafts from Khajuraho.
By Road : Many private and government buses from Khajuraho ply to Mahoba, Harpalpur, Satna, Jhansi, Gwalior, Agra, Jabalpur & Bhopal.
By Rail : Khajuraho with its own railway staions connects to major towns and cities . For people travelling from Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, Agra & Varanasi Satna (117 kms) is the main railway junction.