The temple of Khajuraho, located in the heart of Bundelkhand, is an important historical and cultural site in India. Known for its stunning architecture and intricate carvings, Khajuraho attracts thousands of tourists every year. In this article, we will explore the history and stories behind this magnificent temple.
History of Khajuraho
The history of Khajuraho dates back to the 10th century during the reign of the Chandela dynasty. It is believed that the temples were built as a symbol of devotion to the Hindu gods and goddesses. The construction of these temples spanned over several centuries, with each ruler adding their own touch to the architecture.
Khajuraho was once a thriving city, but over time, it fell into decline and was eventually abandoned. The temples were hidden in the dense forests of Bundelkhand and remained hidden from the outside world for centuries.
The temples of Khajuraho are renowned for their exquisite architecture and intricate carvings. The temple complex is divided into three groups – the Western Group, the Eastern Group, and the Southern Group.
The Western Group of temples is the most famous and well-preserved. It is home to some of the most stunning temples, including the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The intricate carvings on the walls depict various scenes from Hindu mythology.
The Eastern Group of temples is known for its Jain temples, which are equally impressive in their architectural beauty. The Parsvanath Temple is the largest and most important Jain temple in Khajuraho.
The Southern Group of temples is located a little away from the main complex. It is home to the Chaturbhuj Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is known for its massive structure and beautiful carvings.
Stories and Legends
There are many stories and legends associated with the temples of Khajuraho. One such story is that of Hemvati, a beautiful woman who was believed to be the daughter of a Brahmin priest. It is said that the Moon God fell in love with her and descended to earth to be with her. They had a son named Chandravarman, who went on to become the founder of the Chandela dynasty.
Another popular legend is that of the origin of the name Khajuraho. It is said that the city was named after the Khajur tree (date palm), which was abundant in the area. The word ‘Khajuraho’ translates to ‘date palm garden’ in Hindi.
Places to Visit in Khajuraho
Apart from the magnificent temples, Khajuraho offers a lot more for tourists to explore. Some of the must-visit places in Khajuraho include:
- Archaeological Museum
- Lakshmana Temple
- Matangeshwara Temple
- Chitragupta Temple
- Light and Sound Show
The temple of Khajuraho is not just a historical monument, but a testament to the rich cultural heritage of India. Its stunning architecture and intricate carvings continue to mesmerize visitors from all over the world. A visit to Khajuraho is a journey back in time, where one can witness the grandeur and beauty of ancient Indian art and architecture.