From Corbett, we headed back to Delhi as the next leg of our journey was in the other direction. We took the night train from Delhi to Khajuraho, went to a property near the station – Pace Resorts to freshen up before heading out to explore the town…
We decided to spend some time soaking in the temples in the western side, there are about 11 temples within one campus here.. Bought the entrance ticket and then came the ordeal of dealing with a guy who badgered us about hiring him as a guide. He would not let go, so much so that after about 20mins, one of the girls said “chalo, lets ask him to take us around and then pay him what we think is fair”… The architecture, the intricate carvings and of course the grandeur of the place is what catches your eye as you step into the gates…
Even though Khajuraho is known for the erotic sculptures, there is more to the place and even the erotic pieces tell quite a few stories… Since it is an ASI property, it is well maintained, with manicured gardens and plenty of benches to rest on, along with a small tea shop to refresh yourself.
LAKSHMAN TEMPLE : This striking temple stands facing the giant Varaha Mandap. It is one of the three largest temples of Khajuraho and the western group of temples and is considered to be the earliest ( c.AD 954 ) built by the Chandella rulers. The temples faces the east and is dedeicated to vishnu, though it goes by a rather inappropriate name of Lakshman, the brother of Ram, the hero.. The temple faces the east and is dedicated to Vishnu, by a rather inappropriate name of Lakshman, the brother of Ram, the hero king of Ramayana. The temple is as tall as it is long, measuring approximately 25.9 metres in length. lt sits on a high platform which also has some interesting sculptures (royal processions, Court scenes) that you can see before ascending the temple stairs.
KANDARIYA MAHADEV TEMPLE : While you may think all temples look the same, they store something that surprises you… This Temple is quite large and I would say magnificent, when looking at the details.. There is a small Mahadev shrine and the medium – sized Devi Jagdambi Temple, thereby accentuating its height and grandeur.
DEVI MANDAP : Opposite the large Lakshman Temple are two small shrines. The one directly opposite is called Devi Mandap… The structure and cemented roof tells us it might be one of the newer ones..
VARAHA MANDAP : This Mandap stands on a tall platform, with a roof that is pyramid in shape capped with an amalaka and kalasha
DEVI JAGADAMBI TEMPLE : One of the smaller temples in the campus, this one has a set of balconies, but only one mandap and no inner pradakshina path. Shorter in height, this and the Chitragupta Temples are quite obviously all about honouring love and conjugal harmony, with erotic sculptures of the divine couples and others depicting every mood of love.
MAHADEV SHRINE : Between the Kandariya and the Devi jagdambi Temples is a small shrine called the Mahadev Shrine and consists of a small open – pillared porch and sanctum. A figure of the rampant lion fighting with a kneeling figure [the lion looks very different], presumed to be the emblem of the Chandellas, has some reason been installed in the porch. there are two similar rampant lion figures on the platform of the Kandariya Madadev and Devi temples.