Group of Temples in Khajuraho
India, Khajuraho

The group of temples in Khajuraho, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a magnificent example of the art and temple architecture of medieval India. The temple complex is located in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, in the small town of Khajuraho. The temples were built in the years 950-1050, during the reign of the powerful Chandela dynasty in Central India. Khajuraho was considered the cultural and religious capital of the state, 85 temples were erected in the city for 100 years, only 22 have survived to the present day. After the sunset of the Chandel dynasty in the 13th century, Khajuraho seemed to have disappeared from the face of the earth, and the majestic temple complex was swallowed up by the jungle. Only in 1838, Khajuraho was rediscovered by British military engineer Bert, who explored this area. Khajuraho temples are built next to each other, but represent two different religions - Brahmanism (an early form of Hinduism) and Jainism, symbolizing the tradition of accepting and respecting various religious views among Hindus and Jains. The complex is divided into three zones - western, eastern and southern. The most representative and well-preserved is the Western group (temples of Lakshmana, Varaha, Lakshmi, Kandaria Mahadeva, Jagadambi, Chitragupta (god of the Sun), Viswanatha and the sanctuary of Nadi). Closer to the lake is the eastern group (the Hindu temples of Brahma, Vamana and Javari and the three Jain temples of Ghantai, Adinath and Parshvanatha). The southern group consists of two temples - Duladeo and Chaturbhuja. The temples are made of granite and sandstone, no mortars were used during the construction, the blocks were laid one on top of the other and connected using grooves and ledges. Each temple stands on a high stone platform-terrace and is oriented to the cardinal points. Along the perimeter of the platform and above the central sanctuary are tall pyramidal shikhara towers. Their "piling up" creates the illusion of the mountain range of Western Tibet and the sacred mountain Kailash - the abode of Shiva and other gods. Shikharas and temple walls are decorated with many bas-reliefs and sculptures depicting scenes of everyday life, war, ritual processions and erotic scenes. Despite the fact that the Khajuraho temples gained world fame thanks to images of scenes of carnal love, in fact their share does not exceed 10% of all reliefs. Kajuraho can be called a kind of stone encyclopedia of medieval Indian society and the teachings of Tantra. In Ivan Efremov’s famous novel “Razor Blade”, many enthusiastic words are devoted to the description of temples: “Inexplicable excitement swept the artist at the sight of high Sikhars - towers above the sanctuaries, gathered in groups against the blue table-shaped mountains in a dusty haze of hot air floating over the gray plain" and " You can show a woman completely naked and at the same time crystal clear and noble beautiful.You can portray a passion so that there is nothing immoral in it, but look at the same sculptures of K adzhuraho ".

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