The Khajuraho Group of Monuments
in Khajuraho, a town in the Indian state
of Madhya Pradesh
, located in Chhatarpur District
, about 620 kilometres (385 mi) southeast of New Delhi
, is one of the most populartourist destinations in India
. Khajuraho has the largest group of medieval Hindu
and Jain temples
, famous for their erotic sculptures
Between 950 and 1150, the Chandela
monarchs built these temples when the Tantric
tradition may have been accepted. In the days before the Mughal
conquests, when boys lived in hermitages
until they became men, they could learn about the world and prepare themselves to become householders through examining these sculptures and the worldly desires they depicted.
The name Khajuraho, ancient "Kharjuravāhaka", is derived from the Sanskrit
= date palm
= "one who carries". Locals living in the Khajuraho village always knew about and kept up the temples as best as they could. They were pointed out to the English in the late 19th century when the jungles had taken a toll on the monuments. In the 19th century, British engineer T.S. Burt arrived in the area, followed by General Alexander Cunningham
. Cunningham put Khajuraho on the world map when he explored the site on behalf of the Archaeological Survey of India
and described what he found in glowing terms. The Khajuraho Group of Monuments has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
, and is considered to be one of the "seven wonders" of India
In the 27th Century of Kali Yuga the Mlechcha invaders started attacking Northern India, some Bargujar
moved eastward to central India; they ruled over the Northeastern region of Rajasthan
, called Dhundhar
, and were referred to as Dhundhel
in ancient times, for the region they governed. Later on they called themselves Chandelas
; those who were in the ruling class having gotra Kashyap
were definitely all Bargujars; they were vassals of Gurjara - Pratihara empire of North India, which lasted from 500 CE to 1300 CE and at its peak the major monuments were built. The Bargujars also built the Kalinjar
fort andNeelkanth Mahadev temple
, similar to one at Sariska National Park
, and Baroli
, being Shiva
The city was the cultural capital of Chandel Rajputs, a Hindu dynasty that ruled this part of India from the 10 to 12th centuries. The political capital of the Chandelas was Kalinjar
. The Khajuraho temples were built over a span of 200 years, from 950 to 1150. The Chandela capital was moved to Mahoba
after this time, but Khajuraho continued to flourish for some time. Khajuraho has no forts because the Chandel Kings never lived in their cultural capital.
The whole area was enclosed by a wall with eight originates, each flanked by two golden palm trees. There were originally over 85 Hindu temples, of which only 25 now stand in a reasonable state of preservation, scattered over an area of about 20 square kilometres (8 sq mi). The erotic sculptures were crafted by Chandella artisans. The temples, maintained by the locals, were pointed out to the English in the late 19th century when the jungles
had taken a toll on the monuments. Today, the temples serve as fine examples of Indian architectural styles that have gained popularity due to their explicit depiction of sexual life during medieval times.You can see the erotic sculptures on Kandariya Mahadev Temple
The temples are grouped into three geographical divisions: western, eastern and southern.
The Khajuraho temples are made of sandstone. The builders didn't use mortar: 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. The columns and architraves were built with megaliths that weighed up to 20 tons.
temple on the campus of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science
, India, is modeled after the Khajuraho temples.