Panning of stone carving bas relief, Lakshmana Temple, Khajuraho, India. Unesco World Heritage Siteing bas relief panorama, Lakshmana Temple, Khajuraho, India. Unesco World Heritage Site

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Indian Aesthetics: Understanding Khajuraho’s Art and Culture

One of the most culturally rich cities in India, Khajuraho is popular across the globe for its majestic temples built by the Chandela kings back in the 10th and 11 centuries. What draws tourists to these temples, though, are the erotic figurines that grace the outer walls of these temples. But, apart from the temples, there are also other places which will give a grand glimpse of the rich culture and heritage of Khajuraho. Some hotels in Khajuraho near railways station have direct access to many of these places.

Khajuraho Group of Monuments

Whenever one thinks of Khajuraho, the image of the fabulous temples and monuments come to mind. Had it not been for the grand Khajuraho Group of Monuments, maybe Khajuraho would have been among the many ordinary towns of India. These splendid monuments depict the architectural and engineering excellence that prevailed at the time of the Chandela kings. Patrons of art, the Chandelas constructed majority of the temples between a span of hundred years starting from 950 AD and up to about 1050 AD.

The outer walls are adorned with erotic figures of men and women. But contrary to the popular misconception, these comprise only about 10 percent of the total carvings on the outside and inside of the temples. Through the rest of the figurines, the kings have tried to give a glimpse of the everyday life of the times. Some of the figures are also of gods and goddesses and professionals like musicians, dancers, warriors, etc.

An interesting feature of these temples is that nearly all of them face sunrise. Chaturbhuja is the only temple that faces South and you would hardly find any erotic sculptures on its walls. The temples are dedicated to the Hindu Gods including Shiva, Ganesha and Vishnu, as well as to the Jain Tirthankars.

Archeological Museum Khajuraho

The Archeological Museum Khajuraho is a treasure-trove of the culture and heritage of this unique city. Established in 1967, the museum is home to a whopping 2000 sculptures from the Hindu, Jain and Buddhist faiths. Most of the antiques date between the 9th and the 12th century and throw light on the rich culture and heritage of the region.

Jain Museum

Jain Museum is another place where you can catch a glimpse of the unique culture of Khajuraho. Established in 1987 and located among the Eastern Group of Temples, the museum mainly stocks Jain artefacts. Here you will come across Yakshis sculptures, Makara Toranas, and the figures of Jain sages including the statues of the 24 Tirthankaras.

Khajuraho is a popular tourist destination and accommodation is pretty easy to get as there are a number of hotels here including the famous The LaLiT Temple View Khajuraho, which provide affordable Khajuraho hotel packages.


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Written by Anjali Dixit

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  1. Wow, this would be a great treasure throve to visit just as good as the Maya or Inca temples of South America or the various castles of Europe etc. I am not that familiar with Hindu history but their culture and art fascinates me.
    Thank you for this post and showing off that beautiful bas relief.

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