Duladeo Temple - The Youngest Temple in Khajuraho
The Khajuraho Group of Monuments are famous for their temple architecture and erotic sculptures. Tourists, travellers and even researchers visit this place to know more about these stunning pieces of architecture.
PC: Marcin Białek
When many would have heard about Kandariya Mahadeva Temple at Khajuraho, the Duladeo Temple is not among the popular temples of the place. Let us get to know more about this beautiful work of art!
The Duladeo Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is worshipped in the form of a shivalinga here. The temple is believed to be the youngest of the Khajuraho temples, and the last temple built during the reign of Chandela dynasty. Built between 1000 and 1150 AD, Duladeo Temple is not as ornate as the Khajuraho temples that were built earlier.
Architecture of Duladeo Temple
The temple is categorised as a 'norandhara' temple, which means it is a temple with no ambulatory path. Duladeo temple is built using Nagara style of architecture, representing Mount Kailash which is the abode of Lord Shiva.
The main hall of the temple is huge and is in the shape of an octagon.. The ceiling is carved with elegant images of apsaras (celestial dancers). The pillars and walls of the temple have figures and sculptures of women in erotic poses, and of damsels dancing around the trees. The Duladeo temple is believed to be the "last glow of Khajuraho's architectural and sculptural mastery".
An interesting feature of the temple is that it has 999 lingas carved on the surface of the shivalinga that is sanctified. Taking a pradakshina (circumambulation) of the shivalinga is believed to be equal to 1000 circumambulations.
Apart from the shivalinga, the temple has idols of other Gods and Goddesses like Lord Ganesha, Goddess Parvati and Goddess Ganga. The word 'Vasala'is inscribed on various parts of the temple. This is believed to be the name of the chief sculptor of the temple.
The temple has faced destruction during the course of history, and several parts of the temple have been restored later. The restored parts of the temple are lighter in colour and have nothing carved on them. Today, this monument is among the World Heritages Sites in India.