Khajuraho - A Town of Remarkable Temples and Statues!

May 05, 2020

Blog :: Heritage

Khajuraho is all about its chain of magnificent temples that are popular for having intricate sculptures and designs. The splendour of the statues is one of the reasons which makes it a popular location to visit among the tourists. Like most of the Hindu temples, the architecture of Khajuraho temples also follows a grid geometrical design called vastu-purusha-mandala. As per the grid, most of the temples face sunrise whereas entrances for the devotees open on the east side.


Once there were 85 temples in Khajuraho...

 

Built around a thousand years ago by the Chandela rulers, there were around 85 temples which got ruined over the years, and today around 20 of them are left that could survive the damage. The sculptures with minute intricacies that are engraved on the outer walls of the temples are something that tourists really adore. Moreover, the designs erected at the Khajuraho group of temples portray several phases of life including pleasure, spirituality, sculptures of dancing nymphs and figurines of nymphs wearing beautiful accessories around waists, wrist, neck, arms, and legs. All these statues represent the liberal mindset of Chandela society.  

 

The representation of life events on the walls of Khajuraho Temples


One can witness the extravagant sculptures of various nayikas (nymphs) performing numerous activities in the exterior part of Kandariya temple. Following below are some examples:


  • A beautiful nayika taking bath, droplets are dripping from her saree, below there is a monkey who is trying to grab those drops of water.
  • One nayika is doing her shringar (makeup) by applying eye liner looking in the mirror - the statue is called 'darpana nayika'.
  • Another nayika is dressed in a transparent saree, taking out a prickle from her injured leg.


Some other prominent statues


Among other idols on the outer walls of the temple, there are sculptures of Uma-Maheshwar, Laxmi-Narayan and Vishnu's vast forms. Below are some other sculptures engraved on the facades of various temples.


The sandstone structure of Varaha (boar) at the Varaha temple is huge. There are around 674 figures of god and goddess carved on the shrine. Each piece is associated with a tale.


On the other hand, the Lakshmana temple houses some extraordinary sculptures explaining some instances including a man and woman listening to tantric preacher sitting on a chair; a group of musicians dancing with joy.


All these figurines describe the great work of sculptors, displaying different dimensions of life carved on stone. The professional guides at the site still get amazed as they find something new to make statements on each visit.

 

The Khajuraho group of monuments are the supreme specimens of the finest architectural edifices, these have also been recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1986. Visit one of the famous group of monuments in Madhya Pradesh and witness the years-old traditions, tales of ancient monuments and festivities! The best time to visit these historical temples is during the monsoons and winters.