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:
- The Kandariya Mahadeva Temple literally means “the Great God of the Cave”.
- The temple was built by the Chandela king Dhangadeva and was completed in 1029 CE.
- The Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is 31 metres (102 ft) in height and is the largest temple amongs all the group of temples at Khajuraho.
- Kandariya Mahadeva Temple uses the 64 pada grid design.
- The temple like all Khajuraho temples faces east ( Except Chattarbhuj temple) and is deidcated to Hindu God Shiva.
- 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.
- The exterior walls of the temples are covered with sculptures in three vertical layers.
- Noteworthy are the sculptures of beautiful women in different postures like doing make up
- 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.
- Khajuraho temples: What could be the reason for erotic sculptures in Khajuraho temples
- Western group of temples, Khajuraho: Lakshmana Temple
- The Southern group of temples, Khajuraho : Chattarbhuj Temple
- Southern group of temples, Khajuraho : Duladeo Temple