The temples of Khajuraho are world famous. Not only is the architecture spectacular but the erotic sculptures are intricate and it is a must visit place for anyone who loves art.
The name Khajuraho (Kharjuravahaka), is derived from ancient Sanskrit and according to legends the temples used to have two golden date-palm trees as their gate.
The Hindu temples and their art
Khandarya Mahadeva (Shiva temple) and Chaturbhuja and Ramachandra temples (Vaishnav temples) are not only beautiful but are also architectural wonders as no mortar was used to join the sandstones. Among the artwork, some are erotic and experts suggest that the reason for erotic art in temples are depictions of Tantric sexual practices. Others suggest that this was the king's way of inspiring people to be involved in family life. They are the main attraction of the temple cluster.
The Jain temples which are located on southeast region of the Khajuraho monuments were made for the flourishing Jain communities, during the Chandela rule. The temples have sprawling architecture mimicking the main temple structures. But the subject of the sculptures are adapted to the Jain sensibilities.
Sound and Light
The main temple complex offers a sound and light show every evening in both English and Hindi. Held in the open lawns the show is informative as well as entertaining. The history of Khajuraho is briefly told in the show and it is voiced by none other than Amitabh Bachchan.
Every February The Khajuraho Dance Festival is held in the town featuring various Indian classical dance forms. Imagine dancers performing their art against the backdrop of the Chitragupta or Vishwanath Temples, almost as if the Apsaras of heaven have descended on earth to enchant the mortals.
The food in Khajuraho will surprise many. Most hotels offer and Bed & Breakfast and most of it will have an American or European cuisine on their menus. There are beautiful roof top restaurants that offer pastas and pizzas that can give any big hotel in metropolitans a run for their money. There are bakeries and sandwich shops scattered all around. But all this does not mean that Khajuraho does not have Indian cuisine on its platter. Many a restaurants will offer delectable Indian cuisine as well.
Pic Duladeo Temple
Pic Courtesy - Wikipedia
(This article first appeared on Zeenews.com )