Western group of temples, Khajuraho: Kandariya Mahadeva Temple

The visit to Khajuraho temples will be incomplete without the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple. It is the largest and most grandest Hindu temple amongst the  temples at Khajuraho and portrays the pinnacle of Chandela dynasty’s temple construction.

The existence of temples belonging to Vaishnavism sect of Hinduism, Shaiva sect  of Hinduism and Jainism demonstrates the tolerance and respect for different religious under Chandela dynasty.

Some interesting things to know:

  1. The Kandariya Mahadeva Temple literally means “the Great God of the Cave”.
  2. The temple was  built by the Chandela king Dhangadeva and was completed in 1029 CE.
  3. The Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is 31 metres (102 ft) in height and is the largest temple amongs all the group of temples at Khajuraho.
  4. Kandariya Mahadeva Temple uses the 64 pada grid design.
  5. The temple like all Khajuraho temples faces east ( Except Chattarbhuj temple) and is deidcated to Hindu God Shiva.
  6. The superstructure is built in a the shape of a mountain representing Mount Meru which is said to be the mythical source of creation of the world.  The main temple tower has  84 miniature spires which rise in a grand form terminating in the shikara.
  7. The exterior walls of the temples are  covered with sculptures in three vertical layers.
  8. Noteworthy are the sculptures of beautiful women in different postures like doing make up
  9. There are some erotic sculptures in the exterior walls engrossed in love depicting the mithuna ritual of the Tantric cult i.e. the union of male and female). One set of sculpture shows the complete mithuna (love making act) in 3 steps.


Picture Gallery:


Front view of Kandariya Mahadeva temple


Side view of Kandariya Mahadeva temple


Main temple tower with 84 miniature spires


Shiva linga inside the temple


Shiva sculpture


Sculpture depicting beauty of women



Depiction of Mithuna ( lover making ) in 3 steps


Erotic sculptures of couples engrossed in love


Erotic sculpture of couple in Mithuna ( love making)

Related posts:

  1. Khajuraho temples: What could be the reason for erotic sculptures in Khajuraho temples
  2. Western group of temples, Khajuraho: Lakshmana Temple
  3. The Southern group of temples, Khajuraho : Chattarbhuj Temple
  4. Southern group of temples, Khajuraho : Duladeo Temple



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