Sunday, October 13, 2013

Khajuraho The city of Erotic Sculptures

Khajuraho's art is a manifestation of the essence of the philosophy of Indian aesthetics. The erotic sculptures of Khajuraho depicting Kama Sutra are unique in the world.

These sculptures representing the Indo-Aryan architecture, congeal in stone a lyrical paean to love and passion and reflect the Chandela dynasty's passion and immense appreciation for the forbidden art, paradoxically, in the land of Kama Sutra. They cannot be passed off as just erotic sculptures; the temples have some of the most revered Gods of Hinduism.

History
The temples of Khajuraho were built between 950 to 1050 A.D. during the Chandela dynasty of Central India (These rulers claimed descent from the moon, hence the name Chand-ela). After the decline of the Chandela dynasty in 13th century, the temples were left under the cover of dense date palm trees for many years, which gave the city of Khajuraho its name, Khajur in Hindi means a date. In the ancient times it was known as Vatsa.
In 1838, a British army engineer, Captain T.S. Burt rediscovered them. By that time only 22 of the original 85 temples had survived.
Climate
Khajuraho's climate is quite extreme, with wide variation in day and night temperatures along with minimal rainfall. Summers are hot at 45°C and winters pleasant at 27°C. Rainfall of 114 cms annually. As summer is too hot, winter is a good time to visit. A good time to visit is March, when the annual Dance Festival takes place. So the best time to visit Khajuraho is from September to March.

Western Group of Temples
There is a entry fee of Rs. 10/- (for Indians) and USD $ 5 (for foreigners) to enter the Western Group of temples. (If you have a ticket from Taj Mahal, you can use it here again.) All the temples are open from sunrise to sunset. These are the richest and largest of all temple groups
§  Lakhmana Temple - The oldest and finest of the western group of temples, named after the ruler that built the temple. The A horizontal beam over the entrance of this beautiful Vaishnavite temple shows the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva with Lakshmi, Vishnus consort.
§  Kandariya Mahadeo Temple - This temple is decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art.
§  Devi Jagdamba Temple - Dedicated to the Goddess(devi), this is smaller and much more delicately proportioned temple and is home to some of the finest sculptures of Khajuraho.The garbha griha has a huge image of the Devi of the Universe (Jagdambi), though it appears to have started as a Vishnu temple. It has the usual three bands of sculptures, but the third and most uppermost of these houses some of the most erotic sculptures.
§  Chaunsat Yogini - The only granite temple in the Khajuraho group
§  Chitragupta Temple - is dedicated to the Sun God (Surya), it faces eastward to the rising sun
§  Matanageswara Temple - A temple dedicated to Shiva, a huge 8ft Lingam adorns the temple.
§  Varaha temple - dedicated to the Varaha avatar of Lord Vishnu, it holds the statue of a Vraha[boar] in the centrestage with the Sheshnag lying beneath. Carving of an idol of Devi Saraswati on the snout of the Varaha reflects that every word/sound[dhvani] seeks blessing of Devi Saraswati [Goddess of speech,learning and knowledge]
§  Vishwanath Temple - dedicated to Lord Shiva, also called Vishwanath [master of the universe]. In the same premises, a temple dedicated to Nandi, holds a huge statue of Nandi [the Bull, the companion, attendant and closest aide of Lord Shiva].

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