Dedicated to: Lord Shiva
Location: Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
Timing: 5:00 AM to 12: 00 PM in morning
4:00 PM to 9:00 PM in evening
Entry Fee: For Indians – Rs. 10
For Others: US $ 5 or Rs 250
For children below 15: Free Entry
Note: Camera not allowed
Throughout Asia, there are a few spectacularly glorious examples of art showcasing that the continent exceedingly adept in the area of art. The Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is one among those glorious examples along with the Taj mahal in India and the Angkor Wat Khmer Temple in Cambodia. India features among one of the most splendid examples of religious art and it can be compared to the Renaissance architecture of Europe.
Among the Khajuraho group of the temples, Kandariya Mahadeva temple is one of the prettiest, tallest and largest. The temple was built by the Chandela king Raja Dhandadeva and is one of the medieval wonder which dates back to 1050 BC. The temple has been ornamented with flamboyant sculptures and highly elaborated carvings. Inside the temple, Mount Kailash has been depicted by the main spire or Shikhara and it has a height of around 31 metres. This main spire has been beautifully surrounded by 84 other spires a smaller in size called as Urushringas. The temple is a religious place for Hindus dedicated to worshipping Lord Shiva and there has been a Shiva Linga which is made from marbel as a sanctum. Besides that, there are 646 statues installed inside the temple’s premises which make it even more appealing. The entrance of the temple has staircase which has been beautifully adorned with garlands. An overall estimate says that there are around 870 sculptures within the temple each of which has a height of around 1 meter.
Khajuraho which was then the capital of the Chandela dynasty has a whole lot of temples which were built by the Chandela dynasty during 950 CE and 1050 CE. Chandela’s who had a great contribution in construction of these temples reached the zenith of their reign around 1030 and had ruled as the most potent rulers from the era of 9th to 12th century. Historical evidences says that there were around 85 temples during 12th century, of which only around 20 temples have been left which still stand. The biggest of these surviving Shiva temples is Khandarya Mahadeva. Those of all the existing temples together with the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple were then mentioned into the list of the UNESCO list of world heritage sites in 1986.
The temple is built around an area of 6,500 square feet and has a height of about 117 feet measured from ground. All the temples including the Kandariya Mahadev faces the East, the exceptional being Chaturbhuja. The Kandariya Mahadev tempels has been built upon, adhishsthana which is a raised platform and which can be reached using a vertical steps. Inside the temple, the whole lot of chambers are connected to each other in a well organized fashion. There is a rectangular hall at the entrance called as ardhamandapa and which leads to a central pillared hall called Mandapa which in turn leads to the Garbhagrha, the darkest sanctuary. Above the Garbhagrha is the main spire.
There is a Linga or the devotional marble image of Lord Shiva inside the sanctuary. The decorative artistic designs and the architecture throughout the building have been showcased in a certain Hindu iconographic pattern. Both on the exterior and interior of the temple walls, the pillars and the ceilings has the depiction of the four basic pursuits of life; Moksha, Kama, Dharma and Artha.
The exterior of the temple is features the main tower called Shilkhara which is considered to be the highest point of the temple being in the form of Mount Kailash which according to the Hindu mythology is the home of Lord Shiva on the Himalaya Mountain. Whole of the temple is made from sandstone along with the foundation of granite. No mortar had been used in the construction of the temple.
One of the most enticing things about the Kandariya Mahadev temple is the great many numbers of sculptures of stone present inside the temple. These sculptures depict the various matters of our everyday life chores including the sculptures of humans and animals. The balcony at the entrance of the temple is embellished with an artistic carving of crocodile which has been supported by a number of other smaller figures all of which has meticulously carved detailing. While on the exterior of the towers there are figures of intricately carved sculptures of divine figures and humans. The most superior quality of the sandstone has been used into these sculptures which makes it one of the highest qualities of carving. It’s quite one of the features of these sculptures that had enabled the minute detailing like the obscure jewelleries, strands of nails and nails.
Ganesha, Javeri, Lakshmana Vaikuntha, Lalgun Mahadev, Vamana, Chitragupta, Vishvanath, Hanuman, Chaturbhuja, Matangeshwar, Brahma, Rishabha, Parshvanath, Varaha and other.Charges for Sound and Light Show
For Indians: Rs 120
For Foreigners: Rs 400
English: 6:30 PM to 07:25 PM
Hindi: 7:40 PM to 8:35 PM