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KHAJURAHO

The Khajuraho Group of Monuments in Khajuraho, a town in the Indian state ofMadhya Pradesh, located in Chhatarpur District, about 620 kilometres (385 mi) southeast of New Delhi, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Khajuraho has the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, famous for their erotic sculptures. The name Khajuraho, ancient "Kharjuravāhaka", is derived from the Sanskrit wordskharjura = date palm and vāhaka = "one who carries". Locals living in th e Khajuraho village always knew about and kept up the temples as best as they could. They were pointed out to the English in the late 19th century when the jungles had taken a toll on the monuments. In the 19th century, British engineer T.S. Burt arrived in the area, followed by General Alexander Cunningham. Cunningham put Khajuraho on the world map when he explored the site on behalf of the Archaeological Survey of India and described what he found in glowing terms. The Khajuraho Group of Monuments has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is considered to be one of the "seven wonders" of India. Khajuraho is a town in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, located in Chhatarpur District, about 620 kilometres (385 mi) southeast of New Delhi, the capital city ofIndia. According to the 2001 India census,[1] Khajuraho has a
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population of 19,282. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. The town has an average literacy rate of 53%, lower than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 62%, and female literacy is 43%. In Khajuraho, 19% of the population is under 6 years of age. Khajuraho is located at 24.85°N 79.93°E[2] and has an average elevation of 283 metres (928 feet). Khajuraho is served by Khajuraho Airport and there is a railway station in the centre of the town.

HISTORY
Some Bargujar Rajputs moved eastward to central India; they ruled over the Northeastern region of Rajasthan, called Dhundhar, and were referred to as Dhundhel orDhundhela in ancient times, for the region they governed. Later on they called themselves Chandelas; those who were in the ruling class having gotra Kashyap were definitely all Bargujars; they were vassals of Gurjara Pratihara empire of North India, which lasted from 500 CE to 1300 CE and at its peak the major monuments were built. The Bargujars also built the Kalinjar fort and Neelkanth Mahadev temple, similar to one at Sariska National Park, and Baroli, being Shiva The city was the cultural capital of Chandel Rajputs, a Hindu dynasty that ruled this part of India from the 10 to 12th centuries. The political capital of the

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Also.Chandelas wasKalinjar. The Chandela capital was moved to Mahoba after this time. the temples serve as fine examples of Indian architectural styles that have gained popularity due to their explicit depiction of sexual life during medieval times. The whole area was enclosed by a wall with eight originates. It has been suggested that these suggest tantric sexual practices. scattered over an area of about 20 square kilometres (8 sq mi). and the changes that occur in bodies. human bodies. as 3 . each flanked by two golden palm trees. The erotic sculptures were crafted by Chandella artisans. some of the temples that have two layers of walls have small erotic carvings on the outside of the inner wall. were pointed out to the English in the late 19th century when the jungles had taken a toll on the monuments. The temples. Today. STATUES AND CARVINGS The Khajuraho temples contain some sexual or erotic art outside the temple or near the deities. Meanwhile. The Khajuraho temples were built over a span of 200 years. of which only 25 now stand in a reasonable state of preservation. There are many interpretations of the erotic carvings. the external curvature and carvings of the temples depict humans. from 950 to 1150. There were originally over 80 Hindu temples. Khajuraho has no forts because the Chandel Kings never lived in their cultural capital. maintained by the locals. but Khajuraho continued to flourish for some time.

" While the sexual nature of these carvings have caused the site to be referred to as the Kamasutra temple. playing games. Neither do they express the philosophy of Vatsyayana's famous sutra. McConnachie describes the zesty 10% of the Khajuraho sculptures as "the apogee of erotic art": "Twisting. musicians. and endlessly knotting and unknotting their girdles. These fleshy apsaras run riot across the surface of the stone. and other folk. Some 10% of the carvings contain sexual themes. The mundane scenes are all at some distance from the temple deities. guardian deities and. For example.Beside the heavenly nymphs are serried ranks of griffins.. the carvings depict sex between deities. farmers.. 4 . washing their hair.. those reportedly do not show deities but rather sexual activities between people. A common misconception is that. they do not illustrate the meticulously described positions. extravagantly interlocked maithunas. most notoriously. those depictions show women putting on makeup. potters. putting on makeup.well as facts of life.[5] Another perspective of these carvings is presented by James McConnachie. since the old structures with carvings in Khajuraho are temples. broad-hipped and high breasted nymphs display their generously contoured and bejewelled bodies on exquisitely worked exterior wall panels. In his history of the Kamasutra. dancing. The rest depict the everyday life of the common Indian when the carvings were made and activities of other beings. or lovemaking couples.

thus powerful.[7] Roger Hopkins and Mark Lehner also conducted experiments to quarry limestone which took 12 quarrymen 22 days to quarry about 400 tons of 5 .[6] Between 950 and 1150. or yantras" designed to appease malevolent spirits. following brahmacharya until they became men. That is. In the days before the Mughal conquests.[citation needed] While recording the television show Lost Worlds (History Channel) at Khajuraho. when boys lived in hermitages. fertility is moot. Alex Evans. Thisalamkara (ornamentation) expresses sophisticated artistic transcendence over the natural.[citation needed] The strategically placed sculptures are "symbolical-magical diagrams. He also 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. ruler. sexual images imply a virile. a contemporary stonemason and sculptor gave his expert opinion and forensically examined the tool marks and construction techniques involved in creating the stunning stonework at the sites. the Chandela monarchs built these temples when the Tantric tradition may have been accepted.As "a strange union of Tantrism and fertility motifs. they could learn about the world and prepare themselves to become householders through examining these sculptures and the worldly desires they depicted. with a heavy dose of magic" they belief a document which focuses on pleasure rather than procreation.

LANDSCAPE This section does not cite any references or sources. When India gained independence from Britain in 1947 the landscape setting was semi-desert and scrub.[8] These temples would have required hundreds of highly trained sculptors. The development of landscape archaeology as an academic discipline raises questions concerning the earlier landscape of Khajuraho and the original relationship between the temple complex and the surrounding area. rose beds and ornamental trees. with mowed grass. The archaeological park now has something of the character of a public park.stone. There are no records of what the original landscape might have been.(August 2012) The Khajuraho temples are now set in a parkland landscape. This design is aimed for tourists comfort but has no relationship with the historic landscape at the time the temples were built. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. but it is known that a large community of priests used the temple complex and that Indian gardens in 6 . Please help improve this section byadding citations to reliable sources.

birds and animals and nikunj houses. held every year in the first week of February (1st to 7th). 7 . is an opportunity for visitors to experience various classical Indian dances set against the backdrop of the Chitragupta or Vishwanath Temples. pools. Tourism and cultural events The Khajuraho temple complex offers a professional light and sound show every evening. philosophy and the art of sculpting of these temples. with helpful tourist officers to guide the travelers. climbing vines.[9] The M P Tourism Development has set up kiosks at the Railway Station (which is 9 km away from the city). They did not have lawns. The temples in Khajuraho are broadly divided into three parts : the Eastern group. The first show is in English language and the second one in Hindi. RECENT DISCOVERY The Archaeological Survey of India has recently[when?] started digging on a mound where perhaps the largest underground temple in Khajuraho has been unearthed. The dig will take at least a couple of years to conclude.the 10th century predominantly had fragrant trees. The show is about an hour long and covers the history. The Khajuraho Dance Festival. shady gardens. It is held in the open lawns in the temple complex.

Caves & Temples Coordinates Built Construction materials Current condition Open to the public Controlled by Garrison Commanders Rewa 24.the Southern Group and the Western group of temples of which the Western group alone has the facility of an Audio guided tour wherein the tourists are guided through the seven eight temples.4852°E 10th century Granite Stones Ruined Citadel Yes Government of Uttar Pradesh British garrison 1947 Chandel dynasty of Rajputs & Solankisof 8 .9997°N 80. There is also an audio guided tour developed by the Archaeological Survey of India which includes a narration of the historical data related to the temples. KALINJAR FORT Type Fort.

drank the poison and his throat became blue (hence the name Neel (blue) Kantha (throat)) and he came to Kalinjar and overcome the 'Kal' i. This is the reason the Shiva temple at Kalinjar is called Neelkanth. 9 . Legend says that after manthan Hindu God. 'Kal' is time and 'jar' destruction. the hill has been considered a holy site. It served several of Bundelkhand's ruling dynasties.Battles/wars Mahmud of Ghazni 1023. he achieved victory over death. casting its shadow across the patches of grasslands as well as the densely forested valley. Its antiquity is proved by its mention in the Mahabharata. Kalinjar means The destroyer of time in Sanskrit. dating as far back as the Gupta dynasty of the 3rd-5th centuries. including the Chandela dynasty of Rajputs in the 10th century. Since then. Kalinjar is located in Banda District of Uttar Pradesh state. Sher Shah Suri 1545. near the temple-city and World Heritage Site of Khajuraho. and the Solankis of Rewa. originally hill-shrines. British 1812 & Revolt of 1857 Kalinjar is a fortress-city in the Bundelkhand region of centralIndia. Lord Shiva. The fortress contains several temples. of central India. at an elevation of 1203 feet overlooking the plains of Bundelkhand. HISTORY (Kalinjar) is one of the most characteristic specimens of the hill-fortresses.e. The fortress is strategically located on an isolated rocky hill at the end the Vindhya Range.

(a shilalekh/rock edict stands testimony to this fact.The natural splendor of the surroundings makes it an ideal place for penance and meditation and. "Annals and Antiquties of Rajasthan" 18th century British historian. The Hindu princes of different dynasties as well as the Muslim rulers fought hard to conquer it and the fort continued to pass from one ruler to another. 10 . no other ruler could reign over it for long. Its historical background is replete with numerous battles and invasions. not much is known as to when and by whom the fort was built on this holy hill. a strange mystique still pervades all over the hill.James Tod in his classical.and at Baroli near Rana Sagar Dam. though modern historians conjecture that Bargujar Kings built it from 150 to 250 CE. The hilly peak has several legends attached to it. Later the Bargujars were part of a much bigger Gurjara .Pratihara Empire in North India which was at its peak from 500 to 1150 CE. Similar to the one built by King Manthandev Bargujar.Chandelas are also a branch of the Bargujars called Chandela Rajputs. The fort was a unique monument of its time and had no parallel in any other part of the country in terms of sheer grandeur and artistry.now inside Sariska Tiger Reserve ) confirmed by Col. surprisingly. Its origin being shrouded in mystery. The fort contains Shiva temple of Neelkanth Mahadev. But. except for the Chandelas.

transferring the legacy of the old aristocracy into the hands of the new bureaucracy of officials who showed their loyalty to British imperialism by damaging the captured fort. too. The damages caused to the fort can still be seen on its walls and open spaces. After a long battle they were able to annex the fort. their highly developed aesthetic sense and religious fervor. are of interest to the antiquary on account of the remains of temples. The British seizure of Kalinjar proved to be a great watershed. Kalinjar played a prominent part in history down to the time of the Revolt of 1857. The massive 11 . It was also the place where Sher Shah Suri met his death in 1545 when he was killed either in the fort or nearby on the grounds. and later by the Mughal Babur who was the only commander in history to have captured the fort in 1526 when driving away Raja Hasan Khan Mewattpati. they evinced a great interest in the construction of temples of other deities. Though they were great devotees of Lord Shiva. Both the fort and the town. ATTRACTIONS The majesty and grandeur witnessed within Kalinjar's precincts is due to the Bargujar rulers' creative imagination. when it was held by a small British garrison. inscriptions and caves. which stands at the foot of the hill.It was besieged by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1023 without success. the British troops marched into Bundelkhand. In 1812. sculptures.

six-storey constructions were raised. The idea has been to use landscape and cave-isolation to set the solemnity of the mood for prayer. There are numerous rock-cut sculptures showing 12 . Its intrinsic feature is to reflect and refract light in the appropriate seasons. Just above the temple is a natural water source and water in this source never dries up. Close to the Shivling cave. letting in light in winter and darkening to restrict its entry in summer. point out an interesting factoid: The neck of the sculpture of lord shiva on the shivalinga.rock cut sculptures include figures of various gods and goddesses from ancient mythological themes. The priests. and sculpture. Wherever the Bargujar had established their reign they left their mark by enriching them with fine works of art. who are chandela rajputs since the time of the chandela kings. The western part of the fort rewards all who take the time to look inside the temple of Neelkanth Mahadev. Images of numerous gods and goddesses are carved on both sides of the gateway. but they were demolished later. stand the idols of Bhairava and goddess Parvati. is always moist to touch. made of black stone. stone images. it is said. On these pillars. one is awestruck. Each time one peeps through a cave-like opening and glances at an imposing Shivlinga of around five feet. though made of soid rock. Water continually drips on Shivalinga. A number of broken pillars are seen at regular distances. In some sense reminding every visitor the "neelkantha" or drinking of poision story.

Thousands of images made of granite and sandstone have been collected in a museum set up informally. Nandi and the Shivling. A number of legends are associated with this Mahal whose big lawns and walls unfold a long history of Chandela culture. The vagaries of nature and of man have taken their toll but the remnants indicate a synthesis of several ancient cultures and faiths.neglect and ravages of time. enclosed within the coils of the Sheshnag. It presents a unique artistic charm. among the rock-cut and stone images are mostly those of Shiva. Parvati. The presence of images of Lord Shiva the god of love Kamadev. Indrani the wife of Indra etc. Rich carvings on these images arrest the eye. Trimurti images are also many. Another beautiful sight is the palace of prince Aman Singh. It also leads us to believe that the creation of the Chandela culture was not the handiwork of artists from one region. Vishnu and Mahesh(Shiva). Some distance away is a massive figure of Vishnu lying in the ocean of milk. speaks of influence from diverse cultures and religions. showing the faces of Brahma. even though they are broken and have been struck by the ravages of time. The Bargujar princes who ruled before the Chandelas were influenced by the 'Shaiva' cult. 13 . Shiva is seen at times in his dancing posture of tandava and at others in a close embrace with goddess Parvati. the legacy of a glorious past. Therefore. He was the descendant of King Chhatrasal.

this massive fort also is built for the purpose of defending the kingdom. Like all other forts. coupled with its strong battlements interspersed with highly fortified gates gave it an awesome look. The fort’s strategic location on the rocky terrain. making way through the rough and rocky terrain of the seven magnificent gates falling in between. Persons suffering from skin diseases can take a dip in the 'pond of million tirthas'. Pandu-kund.There are numerous other attractions. The Sita-kund. The palaces. which has found its mention in many Hindu scriptures. A hub of classic monuments and sculptures. the Kalinjar Fort has a magnificient history. This magnificient fort situates on the top of a holy hill. Cemented roads have been built all through the mountainous passage along which people can conveniently travel to reach the fort. The Venkat Bihari temple presents a majestic look from the outside though its interiors are decayed now. This colossal fortress contains numerous temples and structures within it. temples. A unique 14 . one truly appreciates the functional relevance of this invincible fort and its strategic defenses. one has to walk along the old beaten track. which replicate the creative expertise of the Chandela dynasty. Patal-ganga etc. chhatris and other structures of the fort are constructed in the Hindu style of architecture. But to discover the real charm and pleasure of adventure. Seeing these gates. speak for the Chandelas' taste for the aquatic resorts.

15 . some sort of renovations helped to maintain its former glory. The walls are adorned with beautifully carved figures of court musicians. showing arched doorways. Believed to be built in the 11th century. Adinath Temple is dedicated to the Jain saint. Only the sanctum and vestibule of the old shrine has been survived the beatings of time. and its single towered 'shikhara' gives the shrine a graceful look. Adinath.monument of its time. this temple is an important constituent of the Jain group of temples. The temple is constructed in the form of 'sapta-ratha'. replaces its ‘mandapa’ and entrance porch. A modern entrance chamber. Adinath Temple . Though the temple had not been restored to its former shape. Khajuraho A sumptuously decorated temple with beautiful sculptures. elegance and artistry. made of lime-plastered masonry. the fort presents an unparallel dignity.

known as ‘Chopra’. which depicts voluptuous and full figured surasundaris. A smaller and delicately balanced temple is bedecked with some of the premium figurines at Khajuraho. which is also a worth visiting spectacle. A 11th century old monument this temple enshrines an impressive 5 ft high image of Lord Surya in a standing posture driving a chariot of seven horses. Chitragupta Temple really provides a rare feast to the viewer. Chitragupta Temple faces eastwards to the rising sun. The lintel of the intricate doorway portrays three similar but smaller figures of Lord Surya as depicted in the main sanctum. The Garbha Griha of this superb shrine houses a huge image of the goddess of the Universe. A temple with well ornate and developed features. the Chitragupta Temple houses an ancient three-storied stepped tank. Fabulously carved walls. erotic couples. DEVI JAGDAMBA TEMPLE Devi Jagdambi Temple is famed for its erotic and intensely carved figures.CHITRAGUPTA TEMPLE An ancient shrine. 16 . dedicated to Lord Surya. image of lord Vishnu in the 11 headed form.

Parvati.The temple also displays a dazzling image of Goddess Parvati. especially the uppermost band. The intricately carved panels with the images of Lord Vishnu evidences the belief that this pretty shrine is initially started out as a Vishnu temple. Though this temple lacks the charm and magic of other western group temples. this is a small five chambered shrine. Mesmerizing beauty of the three bands of sculptures around the temple. richly decorated with intricately carved jewellery are very striking. 17 . Images of Shiva and his wife. along with the most talked-about image. Mithuna. makes this temple one of the finest shrines in Khajuraho. Dedicated to Lord Shiva. with a closed hall. the lovely shrine is a classic example of Chandela art and architecture. Built in the year 1130 AD. DULHADEV TEMPLE The last temple among the Southern Group of Temples of Khajuraho Dulhadev Temple lies to the south of Ghantai temple. The ceiling are decorated with the apsaras and other ornamented sculptures. its location on the banks of the pretty Khudar stream makes it a lovely shrine.

its elaborate entrance and the slender towering sketch of its spire are worth mentioning. It comes under the eastern group of Khajuraho temples. Kandariya Mahadev Temple The most awesome and the largest temple in Khajuraho. The elaborately engraved main shrine is bejeweled with more than 800 images. The exterior of the temple is decorated with complicated carvings. A well-proportioned shrine Javari temple is a jewel of architecture. Though the temple as such exhibits a magical charm. built between 1075 and 1100 AD. Javari Temple is located at Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh. the temple is dedicated to Shiva with a linga at the center of the Garbha Griha. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu.JAVARI TEMPLE A notable Hindu Temple. This fascinating holy spot displays typical splendor of the ancient Khajuraho architecture. A typical sandstone structure. this is a comparatively smaller shrine. Kandariya Mahadev Temple is built in around 1025–1050 AD. which depicts beautiful figures of native maidens. The temple architecture consists of 18 . of which most of them are three feet high.

which speaks out the artistic grandeur of the bygone days. The southern and northern portions of this shrine depict the most erotic sculptures. a mahamandapa supported with pillars. The east-facing temple is carved with the images of more than 600 gods and goddesses of the Hindu mythology. The delicately carved outer wall is only a beginning. the garba griha and the pradakshina. The platform of the temple. The tower of the temple is about 100 ft high. On the southern side are a few explicitly erotic panels. Each corner of this stone temple is having a border fence and an ancillary shrine. the famous Lakshmana Temple is dedicated to lord Vishnu. LAKSHMANA TEMPLE A well-Preserved Stone Temple of Khajuraho. The platform of the temple has an appealing sculptural fresco of elephants and horsemen in pageant. which is decorated with sculptures of beautiful women in a variety of postures is really stunning. The most elegant and famous temple also houses some of the fantastically ornate frescos on its wall.ardhamandapa. every nook and corner of this marvelous shrine is inscribed with splendid sculptures. 19 .

dedicated to goddess Lakshmi. The temples of Kahjuraho have been included in the World Heritage List for their outstanding architecture and artistic value. The images of two guards supporting the pillar posts in front of the sanctum sanctorum are quite remarkable. On the western side are a few outstanding sculptures and the full figured. 20 . A comparatively smaller shrine. a small town in Madhya Pradesh is famed for its temples with wonderful sculptures. Lakhmi temple. Erotic panels take a central position on the two balconies of the stone temple. It is believed that there were 85 temples in the regions. this temple depicts moderate sculptures. LAKSHMI TEMPLE Khajuraho. sybaritic forms of nude women with ornate jewellery. belongs to the Western Group of temples. buxom. A number of images of gods and goddesses enshrine the walls of this fascinating shrine. the guardians of the directions and other divine creatures.The most scrumptious part of this temple scheme is the bands of sculptural embellishment with delicate figures of apsaras. out of which 25 exist at present. the Hindu deity of wealth.

21 . 62 km. • BY ROAD . BY RAIL . which is 130 km away. 78 km. on the Banda-Satna route.The nearest railway station is Atarra 36 km away.The Kalinjar fort is linked by road to all the important centres in the region with regular bus services. 205 km. Banda.The nearest airport is at Khajuraho. Some of the major road distances are: Chitrakoot. Khajuraho. 57 km from the Banda railway station. 130 km. and Allahabad.HOW TO REACH • • BY AIR .

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