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Home ›   Astrology Blogs ›   Khajuraho Temples: Know the History and Architecture of the Auspicious Group of Temples

Khajuraho Temples: Know the History and Architecture of the Auspicious Group of Temples

MyJyotish Expert Updated 10 Jan 2022 12:25 PM IST
KHAJURAHO TEMPLES - Photo : Times of India
The Khajuraho temples, or the Khajuraho Group of Monuments are a collection of Jain and Hindu places of worship which are situated in the district of Chhatarpur, in Madhya Pradesh, India, around 175 kilometres south-east of the city of Jhansi. They have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. These temples are really popular for their architectural symbolism in the nagara-style and their visuals and sculptures with erotic themes. 

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Most of these temples of Khajuraho were constructed from 885 AD and 1050 AD by the emperors of the Chandela dynasty. Historical and available records ascertain that the site of the Temples of Khajuraho had around 85 temples by the 1100 CE, spread over an area of 20 square kilometers. Of these temples, just around 25 temples have stood the test of time, spread over an area of six square kilometers. Of the temples that survived, the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is decorated and adorned with a profusion of sculptures with intricate and magnificent details, expressiveness, and symbolism of ancient Indian art. 
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At the time when the construction of these monuments took pace, the boys in these places lived in hermitages, by way of being bachelor (brahmcharis) till the attainment of manhood and these sculptures aided them in learning of the worldly role of the 'householder'. This Khajuraho temple group were constructed together but have been dedicated to two distinct yet rather similar religions, Jainism and Hinduism, implying a tradition of respect and acceptance for distinct religious views between Jains and Hindus in the area. 
This collection of the temples of Khajuraho had been constructed at the time of  the rule of the Chandelas. The construction work began almost instantly after the rise of this dynasty, throughout their empire to later be known by the name of Bundelkhand. Most of the temples were constructed during the reigns of Dhanga and Yashovarman , prominent hindu kings . The legacy of Yashovarman is best displayed by the Lakshmana Temple. The reign of King Dhanga is best highlighted by the temple of Vishvanatha. The biggest and presently most popular temple surviving is Kandariya Mahadeva constructed during the reign of King Vidyadhara. The temple inscriptions imply that many of the presently surviving temples were finished being built between 970 and 1030 AD, with additional temples ready in the decades to follow. 
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The temples of Khajuraho were constructed around 35 miles from the town of Mahoba, which was the capital of the Chandela dynasty, in the region of Kalinjar. In medieval and ancient literature, their empire has been referred to as Jejahoti, Jijhoti, Jejakabhukti and Chih-chi-to.
The very first documented mention of the Khajuraho temples was done in the year 641 by a Chinese pilgrim, Xuanzang, who described having an encounter with many dozen inactive Buddhist monasteries and a dozen Hindu temples with a thousand brahmins as devotees. Khajuraho was mentioned, In 1022 CE,  by Abu Rihan-al-Biruni, the Persian historian who accompanied Mahmud of Ghazni in his raid of Kalinjar; he mentions Khajuraho as the capital of Jajahuti. The raid turned out to fail, and a peace accord was attained when the Hindu king agreed for paying a ransom to Mahmud of Ghazni to stop the attack and eventually leave. 

Khajuraho temples were in regular use through the end of the 12th century. In the 13th century, this changed after the army of Delhi Sultanate, under the command of the Muslim Sultan Qutb-ud-din Aibak, attacked and captured the Chandela kingdom. About a hundred years later, the Moroccan traveller, Ibn Battuta, in his memoirs about India about his stay from 1335 to 1342 AD, stated visiting the temples of Khajuraho, calling them by the name of "Kajarra".

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