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All About Kandariya Mahadev Temple in Khajuraho

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Published: Monday, August 1, 2016, 10:30 [IST]
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Khajuraho Group of Monuments is famous for their exquisite sculptures and intricate carvings that depict various aspects of life. Out of these stunning temples, Kandariya Mahadev Temple is one of the most popular one. Let's take a temple tour of this architectural wonder!

Kandariya Mahadev Temple is the largest, tallest and the most ornate temple of the surviving temples at Khajuraho. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This stunning temple is around 31m tall, and is one of the western group of temples, apart from Matangeswara and Vishwanatha temples.

Kandariya Mahadev Temple

Architecture of Khajuraho temple
Photo Courtesy: Tangopaso 

Constructed on a plinth of 4m height, this tall structure is built in the shape of a mountain, which is symbolic of Mount Meru which is believed to be the mythical source of creation of the world.

The temple faces the East and is built on a raised platform that can be reached by steps. The temple has many interconnected chambers which can be visited in sequence. Ardhamandapa, the rectangular entrance hall leads to a central pillared hall called mandapa. The mandapa leads to a dark area called garbhagraha.

Kandariya Mahadev Temple

Carvings at the temple
Photo Courtesy: Ramón

The main tower and spire are above garbhagraha. Inside garbhagraha you can find the marble linga denoting Lord Shiva. Around 900 sculptures are carved into this sandstone temple built on granite foundation.

Kandariya Mahadev Temple

The stunning architecture of the temple
Photo Courtesy: Ramón

The temple is known for its exquisite carvings on the walls, ceilings and pillars. The carvings depict all the four necessary pursuits of life - kama, artha, dharma and moksha. The sculptures include that of animals and human beings that denote various aspects of life like musicians composing music, farmers at work, etc.

Here are some interesting facts about the temple:

  • The temple is open from 6am to 10pm. 
  • Prasad is available here from 12pm to 2pm on all days of the week. 
  • Foreigners are charged a nominal amount to enter the temple.
  • Devotees are allowed to offer sweets and dry fruits to the deity. 
  • Khajuraho Dance Festival is celebrated here annually in the last week of February till March.
  • Mahashivratri is also one of the major festivals here.

To know how to reach Khajuraho, click here.

Kandariya Mahadev Temple

Description at the temple
Photo Courtesy: Conor

Places to Stay in Khajuraho

Hotel Surya, Hotel Ramada, Zen Hotel, Hotel Casa De William and the Lalit Temple View are some of the good hotels near the Khajuraho temples.

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