What you see in Khajuraho is something that you don’t see anywhere!
Temples in Khajuraho are not just places of worship. In today’s time, these temples serve as a medium of learning about ancient India and unique forms of art. Right from different religious aspects to erotic art, these temples are no less than attractive sites for research. Imagine the sculpture of celestial figures, holy animals and human figures with animal heads!
As you witness these sculptures, you are certain to have a bunch of questions about Indian history. Who knows if celestial bodies ever existed in India? Such an intriguing UNESCO World Heritage site is the Khajuraho Group of Monuments in Madhya Pradesh! So, choose one of the Treebo hotels near Khajuraho and explore the places of worship from a distinctive perspective this time.
19 Magnificent Temples in Khajuraho are –
1. Javari Temple
Javari Temple is one of the renowned temples in Khajuraho belonging to the Western group. It is best known for its Nagara-style architecture and unique Khajuraho sculptures. You can walk through the surroundings and watch the beautiful temple art depicting scenes of Ramayana and Mahabharata. While it is a small temple, you can notice dedicated spaces of a mandap, a sanctum and a portico. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, you can also witness a headless idol figure inside the premises.
2. Vamana Temple
Dedicated to Lord Vamana, this temple stands as an epitome of grace and glory. With mesmerizing Khajuraho temple art and famous Khajuraho sculptures, there’s a lot inside Vamana Temple. Belonging to the Chandela dynasty, the Nagara architecture style and idol of Vamana truly give it a unique outlook. If you are interested in archaeology or carving, this temple is perfect for spotting the sculptures of Varaha and Nandi. It is ideal to encapsulate its beauty and also learn about erotic art in India.
3. Ghantai Temple
Temples in Khajuraho indeed have elaborate stories of the bygone eras. However, you can easily make connections between those stories with today’s life and beliefs. Ghantai Temple is one such Jain temple known for its absolute resemblance with mythologies. Even though it is in ruins, the pillars depict important figures of Jainisim including Chakreshvari and Rishabnatha. The architecture matches the famous Parsvanatha Temple which helps reveal the temple’s significance.
4. Brahma Temple
Imagine how every temple in Khajuraho has a story to narrate. Khajuraho temple art can literally be spotted at the Brahma Temple. Did you know that this temple’s name is mistaken and does not belong to Lord Brahma? Yes, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva as it has a four-faced Shiva Lingam inside. Due to confusion by locals, the name remains the same. The temple is made with granite while the figures of Lord Vishnu are made from other materials. It allows you to understand the evolution of construction styles too.
5. Shantinatha Temple
If you are exploring temples in Khajuraho, you simply cannot miss the famous temple of Lord Shantinatha. It is characterized by an ancient sculpture of the lord which is believed to be more than 1000 years old. Apart from Khajuraho temple art, the temple has 18 shrines and various images relating to Jainism. It also has 2 distinct shrines showcasing the Chandella period. Even though it is renovated, you can still find many inscriptions of the past.
6. Adinatha Temple
Belonging to the eastern group, Adinath Temple is one of the iconic places of worship. You can witness a fusion of Hindu sculpture art with that of Jainism influence. While it is a Jain temple, the exterior walls depict different Hindu mythologies. As you move inside, you can notice a statue of Lord Adinath made with basalt. Moreover, various inscriptions are also mentioned below the statue. While it looks similar to the Vamana Temple, it has minor differences with decorative elements on the top. You can also see sculptures of women, mythological figures and animals.
7. Chaturbhuj Temple
Have you ever spotted a combination of a temple, a palace and a fort? One of the temples in Khajuraho is exactly a unique fusion. Yes, Chaturbhuj Temple stands tall as a part of the Khajuraho group of monuments. It has pointed arches on the top and an elevated platform below. The temple was initially built for Lord Rama and the queen back then even sourced the lord’s image to be placed. While she placed it in the mahal due to the temple’s construction, the image could not be moved later. Currently, Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha are worshipped alongside beautiful Khajuraho sculptures.
8. Chausath Yogini Temple
Salute to the unbelievable artistry and architectural knowledge of the humans of the past. Chausath Yogini Temple is one of the must-visit temples in Khajuraho for its unique construction. The temple is in ruins but you can spot an open rectangular courtyard in the center. It is bordered by 64 different rectangular areas for shrines. In today’s time, only 35 cells survive and you get an opportunity to witness them. Interestingly, it is still unknown as to which God or Goddess settled in the central shrine due to its condition.
9. Parsvanatha Temple
The aesthetic beauty of Parsvanatha Temple drives tourists from around the world. Known to be one of the biggest Jain temples in Khajuraho, you get to see a variety of mythological figures and sculptures of Jainism. Surprisingly, the same temple also has a plethora of carvings of the Vaishnava sect. That does sound different! You must click as many pictures as the temple is in good condition with a hall, a sanctum and a grand entrance. Various forms of eroticism can be found in the exteriors.
10. Dulhadev Shiva Temple
Popularly known as Duladeo temple, this is one of the distinctive temples in Khajuraho. Do you know it is the Khajuraho temple art in Dulhadev Shiva Temple that makes it unique? While other temples have mythological figures, this temple has celestial figures with their soft expressions. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva built by the Chandera rulers. Located in the southern group, it has sculptures of Lord Shiva, Nandi and celestial dancers. You can easily connect the Nagara architectural style with that of Mount Kailash where Lord Shiva resides mythologically.
11. Matangesvara Temple
You are now stepping into the zone of love as this temple is known for it! Matangesvara temple is an active temple where you can find devotees offering their prayers to the lord. While the legend says that a sage manifested himself in the form of Shiva Lingam, it is believed that he controls the God of love. The temple features an idol of Lord Ganesha at the entrance and Lord Shiva on the inside. You can also visit Shivratri for an elaborate 3-day festival to celebrate the lord’s marriage.
12. Lalguan Mahadeva
As the name suggests, the Lalguan Mahadeva Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. You must visit one of the oldest temples in Khajuraho to witness the real evolution in construction and architectural styles. Lalguan Mahadeva Temple does not consist of intricately carved sculptures or unique features. Since it was constructed earlier than other temples, the design is subtle with the usage of granite. The pyramid roof gives it a similar appearance to the Brahma temple.
13. Varaha Temple
Temples in Khajuraho have many associated legends that are certain to astonish you! Varaha temple is not dedicated to any specific but a boar. Yes, it is believed that Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of a boar to defeat Hiranyaksha who took the Earth. It was Varaha who used his tusks to bring Earth back and that’s how a temple is dedicated to this holy animal. While there is no specific Khajuraho temple art, you can still witness the descending tiers on the pyramidal top.
14. Kandariya Mahadev
Kandariya Mahadev is one of the popular temples in Khajuraho! Tourists often love to check out the intricate Khajuraho temple sculptures and carvings here. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has a distinctive architecture. The spacious place of worship has two halls, a vestibule, an entrance, a shrine area and a long tower on the top. It belongs to the Chandela dynasty and you can witness its culture through this temple. The exteriors of the temple are renowned for finely carved erotic sculptures and use of sandstone. You can also spot a plethora of mythological animals, dancers, gods and goddesses.
15. Lakshmana Temple
Known to be one of the first temples built by the Chandela rulers, Lakshmana Temple holds a special place for tourism. The huge complex consists of 2 halls, an entrance, balconied windows and intricate tops. As you walk through the temple, you can find mesmerizing sculptures depicting erotic art, Indian culture and everyday life back then. It is truly a blissful feeling to watch the ancient stories through Khajuraho temple sculptures. The main idol is a three-headed and four-armed form of Vaikuntha Vishnu. It is best to have a good amount of time to fully explore this place.
16. Chitragupta Temple
Chitragupta temple in Khajuraho is yet another popular spot for witnessing ancient architecture. This beautiful place of worship is dedicated to Lord Chitragupta and Lord Surya. Its architecture is similar to a nearby temple named Jagdambi. You can notice various sculptures depicting different forms of women. Moreover, efforts have been made to preserve the originality of temple sculptures. The Garbha Gruha is well maintained and you can check the sculpture of Lord Surya inside the temple.
17. Devi Jagdambi Temple
Devi Jagdambi temple is located close to the Chitragupta temple. Both temples in Khajuraho have a similar architectural style and intrication. Dedicated to Goddess Jagdambika, the temple is still worshipped by many locals. If you are lucky, you can attend some of the grand festivals celebrated in this temple. As you proceed inside, you can notice an image of Goddess Parvati. Moreover, various other Goddesses and Gods can be easily spotted in different areas of the temple.
18. Vishwanath Temple
Built during the reign of Chandela, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. With its intricate temple carvings and sculptures, it stands strong today. As per the legend, two different Shiva lingams were constructed defining different forces of the lord. You can also see the inscriptions that talk about Dhanga’s (rulers of the Chandela dynasty) death in the holy waters. This Nagara-style architecture has 2 halls, a vestibule, a roof tower, an entrance and a garbha griha.
19. Nandi Temple
Nandi, the holy animal of Lord Shiva, is often seen in various temples in Khajuraho. However, Nandi Temple is specially dedicated to the holy cow. This small temple premise is situated within the areas of the Vishwanath temple. Strong pillars and a towered rooftop have enabled the temple to remain intact to date. In the center is the elaborate sculpture of the holy animal. Since it is a small temple, you can easily check out in a few minutes and go to the next one.
Temples in Khajuraho are the living stories of ancient India and its culture. As you walk through the UNESCO Khajuraho group of monuments, know that you are literally walking through the land of Gods, Goddesses and probably, celestial bodies.