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Khajuraho South India

Famous for Ancient Temple

TheKhajuraho group of monuments was built during the rule of the Rajput Chandela dynasty. The building activity started almost immediately after the rise of their power, throughout their kingdom to be later known as Bundelkhand. Most temples were built during the reigns of the Hindu kings Yashovarman and Dhanga. Yashovarman's legacy is best exhibited by The Lakshmana Temple. Vishvanatha temple best highlights King Dhanga's reign. The largest and currently most famous surviving temple is Kandariya Mahadeva built in the reign of King Ganda from 1017-1029 CE. The temple inscriptions suggest many of the currently surviving temples were complete between 970 and 1030 CE, with further temples completed during the following decades. The Khajuraho temples were built about 35 miles from the medieval city of Mahoba, the capital of the Chandela dynasty, in the Kalinjar region. In ancient and medieval literature, their kingdom has been referred to as Jijhoti, Jejahoti, Chih-chi-to and Jejakabhukti. Khajuraho was mentioned by Abu Rihan-al-Biruni, the Persian historian who accompanied Mahmud of Ghazni in his raid of Kalinjar in 1022 CE; he mentions Khajuraho as the capital of Jajahuti. The raid was unsuccessful, and a peace accord was reached when the Hindu king agreed to pay a ransom to Mahmud of Ghazni to end the attack and leave.

Khajuraho group of monuments are located in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, in Chhatarpur district, about 620 kilometres (385 mi) southeast of New Delhi. The temples are in a small town also known as Khajuraho, with a population of about 20,000 people (2001 Census).Khajuraho is served by Civil Aerodrome Khajuraho (IATA Code: HJR), with services to Delhi, Agra, Varanasi and Mumbai. The site is also linked by Indian Railways service, with the railway station located approximately six kilometres from the monuments entrance.The monuments are about 10 kilometres off the east-west National Highway 75, and about 50 kilometres from the city of Chhatarpur, that is connected to Bhopal - the state capital - by the SW-NE running National Highway 86.

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The Khajuraho group of temples belong to Vaishnavism school of Hinduism, Saivism school of Hinduism and Jainism - nearly a third each. Archaeological studies suggest all three types of temples were under construction at about the same time in late 10th century, and in use simultaneously. Will Durant states that this aspect of Khajuraho temples illustrates the tolerance and respect for different religious viewpoints in the Hindu and Jain traditions. In each group of Khajuraho temples, there were major temples surrounded by smaller temples - a grid style that is observed to varying degrees in Hindu temples in Angkor Wat, Parambaran and South India.The largest surviving Saiva temple is Khandarya Mahadeva, while the largest surviving Vaishnava group includes Chaturbhuja and Ramachandra.Kandariya Mahadeva Temple plan is 109 ft in length by 60 ft, and rises 116 ft above ground and 88 ft above its own floor. The central padas are surrounded by three rows of sculptured figures, with over 870 statues, most being half life size (2.5 to 3 feet). The spire is a self repeating fractal structure.

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Khajuraho

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The temples are grouped into three geographical divisions: western, eastern and southern. The Khajuraho temples are made of sandstone, with a granite foundation that is almost concealed from view.The builders didn't use mortar: the stones were put together with mortise and tenon joints and they were held in place by gravity. This form of construction requires very precise joints. The columns and architraves were built with megaliths that weighed up to 20 tons.Some repair work in the 19th Century was done with brick and mortar; however these have aged faster than original materials and darkened with time, thereby seeming out of place.The Khajuraho and Kalinjar region is home to superior quality of sandstone, which can be precision carved. The surviving sculpture reflect fine details such as strands of hair, manicured nails and intricate jewelry.While recording the television show Lost Worlds (History Channel) at Khajuraho, Alex Evans recreated a stone sculpture under 4 feet that took about 60 days to carve in an attempt to develop a rough idea how much work must have been involved. Roger Hopkins and Mark Lehner also conducted experiments to quarry limestone which took 12 quarrymen 22 days to quarry about 400 tons of stone.[49] They concluded that these temples would have required hundreds of highly trained sculptors.

The Khajuraho group of temples belong to Vaishnavism school of Hinduism, Saivism school of Hinduism and Jainism - nearly a third each. Archaeological studies suggest all three types of temples were under construction at about the same time in late 10th century, and in use simultaneously. Will Durant states that this aspect of Khajuraho temples illustrates the tolerance and respect for different religious viewpoints in the Hindu and Jain traditions. In each group of Khajuraho temples, there were major temples surrounded by smaller temples - a grid style that is observed to varying degrees in Hindu temples in Angkor Wat, Parambaran and South India.The largest surviving Saiva temple is Khandarya Mahadeva, while the largest surviving Vaishnava group includes Chaturbhuja and Ramachandra.Kandariya Mahadeva Temple plan is 109 ft in length by 60 ft, and rises 116 ft above ground and 88 ft above its own floor. The central padas are surrounded by three rows of sculptured figures, with over 870 statues, most being half life size (2.5 to 3 feet). The spire is a self repeating fractal structure.

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