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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Khajuraho Temple Complexes

The temples of Khajuraho gained the status of being a world heritage site in 1986. The sublime expressions of its stone sculptures speak volumes of their perfection, artistic sense and lifestyle of the period when it was constructed. Joy and love have been immortalized here in the finest of stone figurines. Chandelas built the temple over a period of 100 years extending from 950 - 1050 AD. Exuberance, sensuousness and eroticism characterize these temples. Originally there were 85 temples in all but only 22 have now survived. According to an interesting folklore, Chandelas descended from the Moon god who seduced an exceptionally beautiful Brahmin girl called Hemavati, while she was bathing alone in a pool. Their love child was named Chandravarman, who later founded the Chandela dynasty.It is said it was to fulfil his mother's wish that he dreamt; he built this temple to give sanctity to all aspects of human passion. After the rule of Chandelas came to an end, the temples lay forgotten for centuries and were ruined and covered with forests. Though, tribals still used to visit the temple complexes, it was only in the 20th century that the they were re-discovered by the modern world and were salvaged, cleaned and restored. The most important shrines of these temple complexes are Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, Jagadamba Temple and Lakshmana Temple in the Western complex and Jain Temple of Parsvanath in the Eastern complex.

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