The city was once the original capital of the Chandela Rajputs, a Hindu dynasty that ruled this part of India from the 10th to the 12th centuries. The Khajuraho temples were built over a span of a hundred years, from 950 to 1050. The Chandela capital was moved to Mahoba after this time, but Khajuraho continued to flourish for some time.
The whole area was enclosed by a wall with eight gates, each flanked by two golden palm trees. There were originally over 80 Hindu temples, of which only 22 now stand in a reasonable state of preservation, scattered over an area of about 8 square miles (21 km²). Unlike other cultural centers of North India, the temples of Khajuraho never underwent massive destruction and a number of them have survived. They are fine examples of Indian architectural styles that have gained popularity due to their salacious depiction of the traditional way of life during medieval times. They were rediscovered during the late 19th century and the jungles had taken a toll on some of the monuments.
The Khajuraho temples, constructed with spiral superstructures, adhere to a northern Indian shikhara temple style and often to a Panchayatana plan or layout. A few of the temples are dedicated to the Jain pantheon and the rest to Hindu deities – to God’s Trio, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, and various Devi forms, such as the Devi Jagadambi temple. A Panchayatana temple had four subordinate shrines on four corners and the main shrine in the center of the podium, which comprises their base. The temples are grouped into three geographical divisions: western, eastern and southern.
With a graded rise secondary shikharas (spires) cluster to create an appropriate base for the main shikhara over the sanctum. Kandariya Mahadeva, one of the most accomplished temples of the Western group, comprises eighty-four shikharas, the main being 116 feet from the ground level.
Lakshman temple at Khajuraho, a panchayatana temple. Two of the four secondary shrines can be seen. Another viewThese shikharas — subordinate and main — attribute to the Khajuraho temples their unique splendor and special character. With a graded rise of these shikharas from over the ardhamandapa, porch, to mandapa, assembly hall, mahamandapa, principal assembly hall, antarala, vestibule, and garbhagriha, sanctum sanctorum, the Khajuraho temples attain the form and glory of gradually rising Himalayan peaks. These temples of Khajuraho have sculptures that look very realistic and are studied even today.
How to Reach
Direct buses to Khajuraho can be boarded from Jabalpur.
Khajuraho has no direct trains from the metro cities.
Jhansi (175 km) and Satna (120 km), jabalpur (270 kms ) are the three convenient railheads.
The centrally located Khajuraho Airport has regular flights to Varanasi, Agra and Delhi.