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Khajuraho Travel Blog

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A morning’s drive brings us to Khajuraho today, revered as the temple city of Central India and famed for its incredible number of intricately carved temples. Considered to embody some of the finest temple architecture on earth, only about 25 of the original 85 temples remain, but they still rank as some of the finest in all India.

Built by the Chandela Dynasty over a period spanning some 100 years, the temples reverted back to the jungle once their creators fled the unwarranted attentions of invading Afghans from the north. The city lay undisturbed for centuries, until its discovery in 1838 by a British officer, whose Victorian sensibilities were believed to have been somewhat shocked by the excessive use of erotic images amongst the sculpted carvings.

The eroticism of the carvings is well known today and each temple is dedicated to a different deity, expressing its own nature and beliefs. This afternoon we will visit the western complex of temples, which includes the imposing Lakshmana Temple, dedicated to Vishnu and one of the best preserved of this temple group.

We also visit the 11th century Shiva temple of Kandariya-Mahadev, a particularly excellent example of Chandela architectural mastery, which boasts a 31m high sikhara and nearly 1000 statues adorning its temple walls inside and out. Deep in the gloom of the inner sanctuary is Shiva’s fertility symbol, the stone lingam (phallus). 

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Khajuraho
photo by: Marusya