THE MEDLEY OF TEMPLES AT KHAJURAHO

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» North India
» Madhya Pradesh
Location of Khajuraho: Madhya Pradesh.
Main Groups: Western, Eastern, Southern.
Main Temples:Lakshmana Temple, Kandariya Mahadev Temple.
Other Temples: Chausath Yogini Temple, Varaha Temple.

VAMANA TEMPLE IN KHAJURAO

An Ode To The 'Dwarf Incarnation
(Built in This temple belongs to the eastern group of temples and is situated north of the Khajuraho village, about a furlong east of the Ninora Tal and almost the same distance north of the Javari Temple.

Dedicated to the 'Vamana' (dwarf) incarnation of Vishnu, this temple consists on plan of a sanctum without ambulatory having a mono-spired 'sikhara', a vestibule, a 'maha-mandapa' with lateral transepts and a porch, of which only the plinth has survived. Of all the temples at Khajuraho it bears the close resemblance to the Adinatha Temple, which likewise has no ambulatory and has a 'sapta-ratha' sanctum with a mono-spired 'sikhara'.

Another noteworthy feature of this temple is that the top or third row of the 'jangha' (wall) shows framed niches containing diamonds in the place of sculptures, an early feature shared by the subsidiary shrines of the Lakshmana Temple. It is one of the very few local temples, which have a cognizable 'samvarna' roof over the 'mahamandapa' and exhibit female struts on the ceilings of the balconied windows. In all other respects, this temple is broadly akin to the other developed temples of Khajuraho. On the evidence of sculptural and architectural style this temple is assignable to 1050 to 1075 AD.

DULADEO TEMPLE AT KHAJURAHO

Duladeo Temple in Khajuraho - Madhya PradeshThe Kunwar Math
(Built in circa AD 1100-1150) This Shaiva Temple, traditionally known as the temple of Duladeo or 'Kunwar Math', stands on the left or north bank of the Khurau Nala, about a kilometre south of the Khajuraho village. It is situated about half a mile south of the Ghantai Temple and the same distance southwest of the Jain group of temples including the Parsvanath temple.

The temple faces east and consists on plan of a sanctum without ambulatory, vestibule, 'maha-mandapa' and entrance porch. The sanctum is 'sapta-ratha' on plan as well as in elevation. While its 'sikhara' is of the usual developed form, clustered around by three rows of leaning half-spirelets, its 'maha-mandapa' shows some peculiarities of design and decoration. Duladeo Temple in Khajuraho - Madhya Pradesh

While some figures are of exceptional artistic merit on this temple, the plastic treatment has on the whole become stiff and in many cases lacks depth of relief, which is evident on a majority of the figures of nymphs of the exterior. The iconography of this temple also shows some distinctive traits. The Ashtavasu figures are invariably depicted here with a crocodile mount in place of the usual bull, while the 'dikpalas', 'yama' and 'Nirriti' wear their raised curls in a stylised fan shape. The facades of this temple carry tedious repetitions of the images of standing Shiva and Shiva-Parvati.

The temple is incompletely preserved and has been extensively repaired and restored.

CHAUSATH YOGINI TEMPLE : The Oldest Temple At Khajuraho
Chausath Yogini Temple in Khajuraho - Madhya Pradesh(Built in late 9th century). Situated about three furlongs south of the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple and about two furlongs west-south-west of the Shivasagar Tank, this monument belongs to a very rare class of temples, dedicated to the sixty-four Yoginis, which represented innumerable aspects or manifestations of 'Shakti'.

The temple is built on a low rocky ridge and stands on a Cyclopean 'jagati' (platform), from 14 to 18 feet high, made of rough dressed boulders of coarse local granite. The entire superstructure reared on the platform terrace is made of granite ashlars.

Distinguishing Features
This is the only temple at Khajuraho, which is not oriented due north south but is oriented northeast to southwest. This temple has many notable features. While most of the Khajuraho temples are made of a fine variety of buff or pink sandstone, this is the only temple at the site, which is made entirely of granite. Further, this structure is extremely simple in plan and design, with hardly any carvings or ornaments and has no pretensions for architectural elegance.

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