The Temples at Khajuraho: Fifteen facts at a Glance
Khajuraho Temples (in Madhya Pradesh) are among the most beautiful medieval monuments in the country. These temples were built by the Chandella rulers between AD 900 and 1130. It was the golden period of Chandella rulers. It is presumed that every Chandella ruler has built at least one temple in his lifetime. So all Khajuraho Temples are not constructed by any single Chandella ruler, rather building Temples was a tradition of Chandella rulers and followed by almost all rulers of Chandella dynasty.
(Picture of one of many Khajuraho temples):
Crucial Facts about Khajuraho Temples:
I. The Khajuraho Group of Monuments is a group of Hindu and Jain temples in Madhya Pradesh (in Chhatarpur district), about 175 kilometres (109 mi) southeast of Jhansi.
II. In Hindi language, “Khajura” means ‘Date’ and “Vahika” means ‘Bearing’. In history, Khajuraho is also described with the name of Jejakbhukti.
III. The temple site is situated within Vindhya Mountain range in Central India.
IV. These temples were constructed by the Chandella rulers between AD 900 and 1130.
V. These Temples got the status of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 1986.
VI. The Khajuraho temples are made of sandstone, with a granite foundation that is almost hidden.
VII. The temples are famous for their Nagara-style architectural symbolism and erotic sculptures.
VIII. The Khajuraho group of temples belongs to Vaishnavism School of Hinduism, Saivism School of Hinduism and Jainism.
IX. It is presumed that every Chandella ruler has built at least one temple in his lifetime. So all Khajuraho Temples are not constructed by any single Chandella ruler, rather building building Temples was a tradition of Chandella rulers followed by almost all rulers of Chandella dynasty.
X. The Khajuraho temples were reported for the first time by Abu Rihan al Biruni in AD 1022 and the Arab traveller Ibn Battuta in AD 1335.
XI. According to local estimates there are 85 temples in Khajuraho out of which only 25 temples are standing after various stages of preservation and care. All these temples are scattered over an area of about 9 square miles.
XII. When Chandella dynasty (after AD 1150) fallen, Khajuraho Temples suffered destruction & disfigurement at the hands of Muslim invaders in this area who compelled the locals to leave Khajuraho.
XIII. The most visited temple, Kandariya Mahadev covers an area of about 6,500 square feet and a Shikhara (spire) that climbs 116 feet.
XIV. From about 13th century to 18th century, Khajuraho temples remained under forest cover, away from the public till they were re-discovered by British engineer T. S. Burt.
XV. Khajuraho is connected by air, rail and road. The nearest railway station to Khajuraho is Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh). Satna and Jhansi also connect to Khajuraho by road and there are regular bus services available.