Khajuraho is a brilliant example of Indian craftsmanship. Witness intricate architecture, beautiful carvings, and fine storytelling through these murals on the walls of ancient temples laden in the picture perfect town of Khajuraho. No wonder the temple complex in Khajuraho is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nestles in the Vindhya mountain range, this quaint town is surrounded by lush mountains and pristine water bodies. Exploring the ancient treasures in the city is a delightful and enriching experience. The detailed architecture tells a tale about ancient Indian culture and Hindu mythology. The entire temple complex is divided into various segments and each segment has a specialty. A beautiful light and sound show is held in the temple complex and it is a must watch!
Khajuraho temples, Chandela caves, Raneh Falls
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A brilliant example of Indian architecture & carving skills, the Khajuraho Temples brings to the fore-front a small town named Khajuraho tucked in the Bundelkhand region in Madhya Pradesh. Khajuraho as destination is all about the Khajuraho Group of Monuments. These are a group of Jain, Hindu and Buddhist temples, about 175 kilometers from Jhansi, towards southeast. This temple complex is an UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is the Nagara style architectural symbolism, erotic sculptures carved on the outer wall of the temples, and outstanding workmanship inside the temples that has given this monument an edge over others. Once can find the sheer confrontational nature of the erotic carvings here, which show a firm contradiction with the conventional Indian idealism about eroticism. Nevertheless, craftsmanship here is engrained in every structures and are a time honoured example of India's cultural and artistic finesse. These carvings swathe the entire Khajuraho temple complex as a manifestation of the essence of Indian aesthetics philosophy. These temples cannot be just passed off as mere erotic sculptures, rather the temples have most revered Gods in their sanctum.
The Chandela Rajputs had built most of the Khajuraho temples sometime between 950 and 1050. The dynasty declined in 13th century and the entire complex of temples laid hidden under dense date-palm trees for decades. In fact this gave the name to this town as Khajuraho, wherein Khajur in Hindi means a date-palm. It was in 1838, when a British army engineer, Captain T.S. Burt rediscovered the complex. Unfortunately only 22 out of the 85 original temples had survived the time lapse.
Tucked in the Vindhya mountain range, Khajuraho is set midst hills and rivers and the temples are near water bodies. History sites that the temple complex then had 64 water bodies. Interestingly all the temples except one face the sunrise, the art work in those temples symbolize the four goals of life dharma, Kama, Artha and Moksha, as per Hinduism. Once can find intricate carvings depicting spiritual teachings, gods, goddesses, meditation, bliss, royalty, kinship, armies, war, wrestling, courtship, marriage, union, lovemaking, music and dancing, plants, animals and an abundance of human life forms. Amongst the surviving temples, one can find temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesha, Sun God, and Jain Tirthankars.
The temple complex is segregated into western group of temples, eastern group of temples and southern group of temples. The Western Group includes Lakhmana Temple, Kandariya Mahadeo Temple, Devi Jagdamba Temple, Chaunsat Yogini, Chitragupta Temple, Varaha temple and Vishwanath Temple. The Eastern Group has Parsvanath Temple, Ghantai Temple, Adinath Temple, Hanuman Temple, Brahma Temple, Vamana Temple and Javari Temple. The Southern Group has temples dedicated to Dulhadev, Beejamandal, and Chattarbhuj or Jatkari.
All these temples are open for visitors from sunrise to sunset. Once you are done with sightseeing of these picturesque temple complexes, attend the light & sound show in the western complex. The show is held every evening and tickets are available at ticket counters. The show is narrated by our World renowned Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachhan, and this enhances the grandeur of this show. The Khajuraho Dance Festival is a world famous festival conducted every year, here and the temple complex creates a majestic backdrop.
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