KHAJURAHO – @expanding_explorations
”A living work of art.”
Khajuraho, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Madhya Pradesh, India is known around the world for its stunning temples adorned by erotic and sensuous carvings. A small town located in the Bundelkhand region, Khajuraho is a brilliant example of Indian architecture and its culture back in the medieval period. The architecture of these Hindu and Jain temples depict the erotic forms of love, the carvings on the walls display passion in the most sensuous yet aesthetic ways. Built between 950 to 1050 AD the sheer confrontational nature of these carvings shows a stark paradox with the conventional Indian ideals about eroticism, leaving everybody spellbound.
The Chandela rulers built the temples over a span of 100 years, a temple being commissioned by a king each. Most of the temples were built by kings Dhangadeva and Yashovarman. The temples were built near Mahoba which used to be the seat of the Chandela empire. The temples were named after the date palm trees that used to be the gates of the premises back in the day. The Khajuraho Temples are majorly known for their erotic sculptures and carvings but there are similar sculptures at the Konark Sun temple in Odisha. Interestingly these sculptures have many theories to their existence and are based on the Hindu iconography and are a part of the core belief system which hinge around the four tenets of Hinduism: karma, dharma, kama, and moksha.
The temples follow the design sensibilities of the Nagara-style architecture and are made out of sandstone and granite. Barring the temple of Chaturbhuja all temples are sun-facing, a common aesthetic found in Hindu temples. The deities of male and female deities exhibit a co-dependence of the male and female power. The temples run on the basic mandala design comprising a square and circles. The entire precinct is divided into three zones combining to form a pentagon.
Located in the northern Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is famed as the land of the Khajuraho temple. It receives a huge number of tourists every year for this major tourist attraction alone. And it is because of this reason that Khajuraho is easily accessible and has its own airport pretty near to the site. The easiest way to reach Khajuraho is by flight, the airport is only 2 minutes drive from the town. Else, you can take a bus from Chhatarpur.
The best time to visit Khajuraho is during winter between October to March. If you are culturally inclined then you must plan your trip to Khajuraho during the annual Khajuraho Dance festival. The week-long classical dance festival is held every February. A celebration of the Indian classical dance forms, it is a must-attend if you are an enthusiast or want to appreciate the aesthetic of the cultural performances against the backdrop of the ancient temple. Book hotels in Khajuraho online before you plan your trip.
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