The temples of Khajuraho are a group of Hindu and Jain temples in Madhya Pradesh, India. The temples were built over a period of 100 years between 950-1050 CE by Chandela rulers. Out of the 85 or so temples that were built only 24 are now extant.
The earliest temple, Chausath Yogini, constructed circa A.D. 850-900, was the only temple made entirely of Granite. Every other temple at Khajuraho is primarily constructed of sandstone. 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. These temples are world treasures and Khajuraho is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.
Many of the temples of Khajuraho are covered in sculptures representing different aspects of life ranging from recreation to religion. They are intricate in detail, artistic and impressive created by artists with vast experience working with sandstone
The sculptures found on the temples of Khajuraho are into three categories. Temple interiors have some three dimensional sculptures that does not protrude from anything ( in the round) , deep bas relief-sculptures with three dimensional effect but are not sculpted all around are present on the wall. Thin friezes of sculptures of varying depth are also seen on the platform and some parts of the wall.
The advanced typical Hindu temple structure consists of five compartments: Entrance porch (ardh-mandapa), Main assembly hall (Mandapa), Ambulatory passage hall, (Maha-Mandapa) ante chamber between shrine and hall (Antarala) and the sanctum (Garbhagriha)
These temples with the five compartments with an ambulatory passage around the Sanctum are know as Sandhara Temples. Lakshmana, Vishvanatha, Kandariya Mahadeva and Parshvanath temple are Sandhara temples
These temples with the five compartments but without ambulatory passage around the Sanctum are know as Nirandara Temples
There are three jain temples at Khajuraho namely Ghantai, Adinatha, and Parshvanatha. The rest are Hindu Temples. The sculptures and inscriptions show both Puranic ( worship of Vedas ) and Tantric ( Sexual imagery ) Hinduism. Sexual themes cover about 10% of the temple sculpture.
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A great guide if you're planning a visit to this heritage site, finding out about the progression of Hindu and Jain art and sculpture and also for those who love to find out about exciting places across the world.