Kandariya Mahadev temple at Khajuraho is the epitome of the North Indian Temple structure type. It’s a 10-11th CE gem left to us by the then-ruling Chandela dynasty. Chandela kingdom was referred to as Jejahuti with its capital at Khajuraho or Kharjuravahaka.
10-11th CE India has seen among the greatest examples of Indian Temple Structure throughout geographies and types. This consists of Brihdeeshwara Temple in Thanjavur, Hoysala Temples in Karnataka, Solar Temple at Modhera, and Lingaraja Temple at Bhubaneshwar.
Historical past of Kandariya Mahadev Temple
As per an inscription discovered on the mandapa of the temple, it was constructed throughout the reign of King Vidyadhara who reigned throughout the early a part of eleventh CE. He’s greatest identified for combating the primary invasion by Ghazni. Ghazni returned after a couple of years and fought one other inconclusive battle. As per some sources, this temple was constructed to have a good time the defeat of Ghazni.
Temple was constructed between 1025-50 CE.
Additionally it is attainable that it was certainly conceptualized by Vishwanatha – the predecessor of Vidyadhara. It was devoted to Shiva, the household deity of the Chandelas. Anyway, the temple belongs to a interval that may simply be referred to as the golden period of Indian Temple Structure.
Since 1986, Khajuraho temples are a UNESCO World Heritage Website.
Kandariya comes from the phrase Kandara which refers back to the caves on the mountain tops. So, Kandariya Mahadev can merely imply the cave of Mahadev or the lord of the caves.
It’s stated that together with Matangeswar and Vishwanath temples, Kandariya Mahadev temple completes a trinity of three major Shiva temples of Khajuraho. The three Devi temples belonging to Chausath Yogini, Chhatri Devi, and Jagadambi kind the opposite intersecting triangle. Collectively these 6 temples kind a Yantra or a sacred diagram as outlined on this paper.
Visiting Kandariya Mahadev Temple
I bear in mind standing in entrance of the temple early morning one winter. Solar rays have been enjoying with the contours of the temple. You would nearly hear their morning dialog.
The temple shimmered with the primary rays of the solar falling on it. It didn’t appear like it’s carved in stone. It seemed to be made in sandalwood, with positive shades of pale pink showing and disappearing with solar rays.
I sensed a rhythm within the structure of the temple. If it have been the right proportions of the Jagati, Mandapa, and Shikhara, or did the builders use the right formulation to re-create the Kailash Parvat of Mahadev? I have no idea. I solely do not forget that I had tears in my eyes as some resonance passed off between me and the temple.
It modified my relationship with temples perpetually. I’ve talked about it in my guide Lotus In The Stone – Sacred Journeys in Everlasting India.
The prior night, I had seen this temple come alive throughout the gentle and sound present. I might see its exterior magnificence then however, within the morning, it was the rhythm in its kind that struck a chord deep inside.
This temple like most different temples of Khajuraho is manufactured from Sandstone. Stone got here in numerous shades of pink and yellow from the close by quarry at Panna on the banks of Ken River.
It is part of the western group of temples at Khajuraho, and it stands freely on a tall platform. There isn’t a prakara or wall of any type. It means that you can have a very good 360 deg view of the temple as you stroll round. It shares the Jagati or the platform with two different temples – a smaller one devoted to Shiva and the opposite larger one devoted to Devi Jagadambi.
Greatest Temple at Khajuraho
It seems a fairly compact temple, though it’s the greatest temple on campus. Constructed on an East-West axis, it measures 30.5 meters in size and 20 meters in width. It’s 31 meters in top and stands on a Jagati that’s 4 meters excessive. It has all the weather of a typical Hindu temple.
You enter by means of the Ardha Mandapa or the doorway that leads you to Mandapa or the corridor. An Antrala or a vestibule connects the mandapa to the garbh-griha or the sanctum. A Parikrama path or an ambulatory path goes across the sanctum.
Rhythm of Shikhara
Shikhara of this temple is what offers it the rhythm. It’s composed of 84 unbiased Shikhara, every replicating the opposite, however growing in dimension as you progress up. It creates a pile that results in the highest. In a means, it recreates the Kailasha Parvat – the favourite abode of Shiva. Is it the way in which to make Shiva really feel that he’s at residence – perhaps?
Mandapa is definitely referred to as Mahamandapa because it has corridors with home windows searching. Home windows sits on the projections popping out in three instructions, the 2 sides and the again of the temple. Inside you have got platforms the place you may sit. One wonders if these have been used for meditation or rituals.
Moldings on the outer partitions are stuffed with ornate sculptures. These embrace processions of elephants, horses, musicians, dancers, on a regular basis life, and erotica.
Larger and extra express sculptures will be seen on the three bands working on the window degree. It has sculptures of Devi Devatas however being a Shiva temple, he dominates alongside together with his consorts and even Saptamatrikas. Different sculptures embrace Sur Sundaris or auspicious girls, erotica primarily on the junction of Garbhgriha and mandapa, and figures of Nagas and Vyalas.
Sculptures of girls on the outer partitions of this temple are essentially the most developed, with excellent physique proportions. The curves are highlighted by means of Tribhangi Mudras or the physique posture that bends at three locations. The jewellery and the positive clothes of those collectible figurines will depart you mesmerized.
Contained in the temple
On the entrance an beautiful Makar Toran or an arch with the crocodile ending welcomes you. Toran is carved in a single stone. Kandariya Mahadev is the one temple in Khajuraho with two Makar Torans.
The ceilings of the mandapa are manufactured from concentric circles carved in stone, all of them profusely carved. To me, they’re among the most great engineering marvels that present us the perfect mix of precision and aesthetics.
The pillars right here have floral scrolls carved on them.
There are as many as 646 sculptures on the outer partitions and 226 on the inside partitions of the temple, as per George Michell.
Can we make it a practising temple?
Kandariya Mahadev temple is devoted to Shiva because the identify itself signifies. It isn’t a practising temple in the meanwhile. I sincerely hope that Pran Pratishthha will be carried out and this temple will be made a residing temple as soon as once more.
Books will be written about its magnificence, and pictures, and movies can depart us in awe. Nevertheless, what issues is that the divine power of the temple is revived so that each customer can profit from it.
As Sthapati Ponni Selvanathan explains to us, the renovation or Jeernodhar of deserted temples is duly talked about in our shastras.
That is temple is vital not simply from an architectural perspective but additionally vital when it comes to preserving the sacred geography of Khajuraho. It’s the final gem from the golden period of Indian Temple Structure. The least we will do is to maintain it alive.
You’ll be able to go to the Temple from dawn to sundown on all days.
Khajuraho has an airport, some railway connectivity, and good highway connectivity from Jhansi.
The temple is part of the western group of temples in Khajuraho. When you attain Khajuraho, all roads would lead you to this place.
There are accommodations of each vary accessible in Khajuraho. We stayed on the MP tourism property which is positioned very near the temples. It’s simple to stroll to the temples early morning from right here.
Being a well-liked vacation spot with worldwide vacationers, international delicacies is well accessible within the streets of Khajuraho.
You’ll be able to spend 1-2 days seeing all of the temples. I’d recommend holding not less than an hour for the temple go to.
Being a UNESCO World Heritage Website, tour guides and audio guides are simply accessible. My suggestion is to choose up the ASI information and stroll round at your personal tempo.
Images is allowed in most locations.
We extremely suggest the Gentle and sound present within the night.
You’ll be able to go to Panna Nationwide Park, Orchha, and Jhansi together with Khajuraho.
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