Culture – The Architecture of Chandela Rajputs [Khajuraho]

This post is written from the Civil Services Examination point of view.

Chandelas are the Rajputs who built the famous Khajuraho temples. They had built a total of 85 Hindu temples and Jain temples, out of which around 25 are surviving.

Features of the Khajuraho temples:

  • They are built in Shikara Style.
  • They follow the “Panchayatana” system of temple architecture.Panchayatana
    • Panchayatana System include 4 auxiliary or subsidiary shrines apart from the main temple structure, as shown in the above figure (the number 9 in above figure).
    • It has 3 main components:
      • Sanctum – Number 5 in above figure.
      • Assembly Hall – Number 3 in above figure.
      • Entrance Portico – Number 1 in above figure.
    • All the above 3 components have Shikharas on top of them gradually increasing from Portico to the Sanctum. Thus the Shikara on Sanctum will appear like the tallest mountain among other mountains.
    • Sculptures/Carvings:
      • Famous for the erotic carvings of “Mithunas“, which cover over 10% of the carvings.
        • Significance: Tantric cult, presence of LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders) community.Khajuraho-Lakshmana_Temple_erotic_detal1
        • Other carvings represent the daily mundane activities like pottery, farming etc.
          • Significance: Provide the information about the then socio-economic conditions.Khajuraho
          • Carvings can be found both inside as well as outside.
          • These temples have beautifully carved domed ceilings.

Important Hindu Temples:

  1. Kandariya Mahadeva Temple – Lord ShivaKandariyaMahadeva
  2. Lakshman Temple – Lord VishnuLakshmana_temple
  3. Chaturbhuja Temple – Lord Vishnu
  4. Chitragupta Temple – Sun god

Jain Temples:

  1. Adinatha TempleAdinatha
  2. Shantinatha TempleShantinatha
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