Khajuraho was the Chandela capital for only a brief period; they ruled for the most part from Kalinjar and other parts of the Bundelkhand region, with Khajuraho remaining their religious center. The most important aspect of the temples is the abundance of sculptures that decorate the facades and interiors of the shrines. In this profusion of images attention has understandably been paid to divinities, less Understandably to celestial beauties and the female form in general and, controversially, to graphic sexual representations.
Over the years a number of explanations have been forthcoming for the presence of erotic sculptures at what was essentially a religious centre; no single theory, however, has been able to justify their profuse expression. Were these temple centres of tantrik mysticism, which cites sex as an important component of human development towards the Absolute or were they merely a reactionary swing away from the austerities preached by the Buddha? Perhaps the answer can be found as excavations in the region continue, but this much is certain: Buddhism did at one time have a strong presence here, just as tantric rituals enjoyed a wide adulation during the medieval period.
Khajuraho Temples History :
Madhya Pradesh is land of great antiquity. Madhya Pradesh is the home of monuments representative of various periods of history. Among most popular world heritage sites of Central India like Rock paintings, Buddhist Stupas and Temples, Khajuraho is known for its ornate temples that are spectacular piece of human imagination, artistic creativity, magnificent architectural work and deriving spiritual peace through eroticism.
Khajuraho Temples are among the most beautiful medieval monuments in the country. These temples were built by the Chandella ruler between AD 900 and 1130. It was the golden period of Chandella rulers. It is presumed that it was every Chandella ruler has built atleast one temple in his lifetime. So all Khajuraho Temples are not constructed by any single Chandella ruler but Temple building was a tradition of Chandella rulers and followed by almost all rulers of Chandella dynasty.
The first recorded mention of the Khajuraho temples is in the accounts of Abu Rihan al Biruni in AD 1022 and the Arab traveler Ibn Battuta in AD 1335. Local tradition lists 85 temples in Khajuraho out of which only 25 temples are surviving after various stages of preservation and care. All these temples are scattered over an area of about 9 square miles.
Khajuraho is believed to be the religious capital of Chandellas. Chandella rulers had tried to discriminate politics from religious & cultural activities, so they established their political capital in Mahoba which is about 60km. away from Khajuraho and religious/cultural capital in Khajuraho. Whole Khajuraho was enclosed by a wall with about 8 gates used for entry/exit. It is believed that each gate is flanked by two date/palm trees. Due to these date trees present Khajuraho get its name Khajura-vahika.
Once a great Chandela capital, Khajuraho is now a quiet village in Madhya Pradesh which is fast metamorphosing into a tourist town. Essentially a small hamlet with about 12000 residents, the place has been drawing a number of foreign tourists to it since the last two decades. The temples are well preserved and have not been destroyed by invaders like other temoples in northern India.
The tiny village of Khajuraho shot to fame on the international tourist circuit after its erotic sculptures were discovered in 1838. Some believe them to be physical embodiments of the greatest treatise on love- The Kama Sutra. The name Khajuraho is derived from the Khajur (Date Palm) trees that line the borders of the village.
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