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PILGRIM INDIA TOUR

KHAJURAHO

Location of Khajuraho: Madhya Pradesh.
Main Groups: Western, Eastern, Southern.
Main Temples:Lakshmana Temple, Kandariya Mahadev Temple.
Other Temples: Chausath Yogini Temple, Varaha Temple.

The temples at Khajuraho are divided into three broad groups:
1. The Western Group, which is the largest, compact and centrally located group in Khajuraho, includes some of the most prominent monuments, built by the Chandela rulers.
2. The Eastern Group, which comprises of five detached sub-groups in and around the present village of Khajuraho, and
3. The Southern Group, which is the most distant one comprising of two main monuments near and across the Khudarnala.

The Western Group of Temples
The western group of temples, which the visitor encounters first, is situated along the main approach road to Khajuraho. This is the largest and most important group with most of its constituent temples laid out roughly in two rows. The Lakshmana Temple, the Matangesvara Temple and the Varaha Temple form one complex and the Visvanatha and Nandi temples are not far from this complex. These temples form an irregular row running north-south, while the Chitragupta, Jagadambi and the Kandariya Mahadeva temples form a more regular, parallel row, about a furlong to their west.

The western group of monuments is best maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India amidst a setting of green lawns, colourful shrubs and flowerbeds. Admission to its enclosure is regulated by a ticket of small denomination, valid from sunrise to sunset. The monuments of the group face east and are arranged in two rough alignments, running north to south.

The Eastern Group of Temples
The eastern group of monuments, situated in close proximity to the Khajuraho village, includes three Brahmanical temples known as Brahma, Vamana and Javari and three Jain temples, the Ghantai, Adinath and Parsvanath. The Brahmanical temples are located along or near the Khajuraho-Sagar, while the Jain temples are situated farther south and are conveniently approached by a metalled road.

The Southern Group of Temples
The southern group of monuments comprises the Duladeo and the Chaturbhuja temples. The Duladeo is about a kilometer south of the Khajuraho village and half a mile southwest of the Jain group of temples. The Chaturbhuja Temple is a mile further south and is close to the Khajuraho airport.


PRIME TEMPLES AT KHAJURAO
VARAHA TEMPLE
(Built in circa AD 900-925, during the reign of Harshadeva) This small rectangular temple, built on a rock foundation, faces the southeastern portion of the Lakshmana Temple. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple has a 'phamsana' (pyramidal) roof of receding tiers, supported on twelve pillars, there being a short frontal projection, supported on two other pillars, which serves as the entrance.

The shrine is devoid of 'jagati' (platform) and stands on a 10 feet high plain plinth of which the lower half is made of granite ashlars and the upper half of sandstone. It is approached by a flight of steps of which the three upper courses are of sandstone, and the remaining of granite. It is a simple rectangular pavilion with a projection in the west; the whole enclosed by a plain parapet originally mounted by an ornate balustrade. The 'asanapatta' (seat-slab) of the parapet supports the fourteen pillars. The shafts of the pillars are octagonal below, sixteen-sided in the middle and circular above, carrying a plain circular capital, surmounted by plain brackets of the curved profile with a vaulted top of the type found in the subsidiary shrines of the Lakshmana Temple.

 

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