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.

LALGUAN MAHADEVA TEMPLE
(Built in circa AD 900). This temple situated half a mile west of the Chausath Yogini Temple was constructed on the eastern bank of the Lalguan Sagar, which formed the western limit of the old town. Built on an outcrop of granite, the temple faces west and stands on an eight feet high platform made of granite courses.

This shrine shows a simple plan and design with a few ornaments and belongs to the transitional phase when structures were made partly of granite and partly of sandstone. The body of this shrine is made largely of granite and sandstone is introduced for the veneer of the pyramidal roof and for those architectural members like pilasters and ceiling, which were required to be either carved or finely finished.

The sanctum rests on six pilasters, of which the two outer ones are plain and square, while the four inner ones are similar in design to the pilasters of the porch. The surmounting ceiling consists of two plain intersecting squares capped by a course, which is decorated with a lotus flower in relief. The interior of the sanctum is quite plain and shows no image whatsoever, though the presence of Nandi figure facing the shrine indicates that the deity enshrined in the sanctum was probably a Shiva-linga.

GHANTAI TEMPLE AT KHAJURAHOA Coloumn from Ghantai Temple.The Temple gets its name from the chain-and-bell (Ghatai)  motifs,Khajuraho - Madhya Pradesh
(Built in late 10th century). To the south east of the Khajuraho village is situated the fragmentary shell of a Jain temple known as the Ghantai and a little farther away is a group of Jain temples enclosed with in a modern compound-wall. The group comprises the Parsvanath, Adinatha and Santinatha temples, besides numerous modern shrines. Some of the latter stand on the ruins of older ones, while most of them are lately built of old material and display old images.

The Ghantai temple is locally so called on account of the chain-and-bell (ghanta) motifs, prominently carved on its tall conspicuous pillars, which are among the finest ones of medieval India, remarkable for their stately form, bold ornamentation and classical dignity. Facing east, the extant shell shows that the temple was essentially of the same design as the Parsvanath temple, but grander in conception and nearly twice as large in dimensions.

MATANGESVARA TEMPLE AT KHAJURAHO

The Temple Still In Worship
Matangeshvara Temple , dedicated to Shiva. Built in c. AD 900-925 during the reign of Harshadeva , Khajuraho - Madhya Pradesh (Built in circa AD 900-925, during the reign of Harshadeva). This ancient Shiva Temple, now known as temple of Matangesvara, enshrines one of the largest Shiva-lingas of North India. It is situated on the north bank of the Shivasagar Tank immediately to the south of the Lakshmana Temple. The temple has prominent cardinal projections on the three sides. It is square internally and cruciform externally and has a grand stepped pyramidal roof of receding tiers.

Legend: An offering To King Dhanga
The grand dimensions of the structure together with its close proximity to the royally founded Lakshmana and Visvanatha temples may show that the funerary monument was erected in honour of one of the Chandela kings. It is believed that the monument may have been built to commemorate King Dhanga who after having lived for more than a hundred years is recorded to have cast off his mortal coil at the sacred confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna in Prayag, while meditating on Lord Shiva.The Sanctom floor of the Matangeshvara Temple , dedicated to Shiva. Built in c. AD 900-925 during the reign of Harshadeva , Khajuraho - Madhya Pradesh

The temple is in worship and since it suffered much damage in the past, it is encumbered with modern additions and accretions in the interior as well as on the exterior for lending support and stability.

Prominent Features
The pillars of this temple are stumpy and austere. They carry plain capitals and brackets. Neither brackets nor any sculptures or carvings adorn these pillars. The ceiling also shows elementary ornaments of cusps and floral cusps without any attempt at elegance or elaboration.

Standing on a lofty platform terrace and a tall basement approached by an imposing flight of steps, the temple is notably distinguished by the balconied windows in the cardinal projections on the three sides, while the frontal projection consists of an entrance porch.

The lack of ornament and carving on this temple together with the stupendous size of the Shiva-linga, which, with its enormous pedestal occupies nearly the entire span of the interior, combined with its pyramidal roof indicates that the structure probably was a funerary monument.

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