Posts Tagged ‘Khajuraho’

Khajuraho: A Land Where Human Fantasies are transcribed into Stone Sculptures

Khajuraho Sculptures
Khajuraho Sculptures

The experience of Khajuraho tour always remains close to my heart because it is among the best places, which offers overwhelming glimpses of best of Indian arts and architecture. I love to travel and every month along with some of my friends I usually visit nearby tourist destinations. These short weekend breaks rejuvenate us by breaking the monotony of our life and provide us an opportunity to spend some quality time with our dear ones.

Inspired by the Discovery Channel special program on ‘Temples in Asia’ ,which we saw on Thursday night we decided to go on Khajuraho tour. According to the program the temples of this place are some of the most significant and most stunning of all Indian temples which symbolize the apex of Indian arts and architectures. This approval from the Discovery Channel was enough for us to spend our weekend in Khajuraho.

On Saturday morning I with my two friends boarded the Bhopal Shatabdi Express Train at 6:15 am from Delhi and reached Jhansi at 10:50 am and from there we hired a taxi and reached Kahjuraho around 5 pm. The distance between Jhansi and Khajuraho is 180 km and our taxi took 6 hours to reach this temple city of central India. After such a hectic journey we were completely exhausted and planned to rest the whole night in a hotel itself.

Next day early in the morning we reached the Western Group of Temples. The air was refreshing, the sun was about to rise, chirping of birds mesmerized us and rest of the spell was casted by the magnificent architecture of the Lakhmana Temple. This is a beautiful stone temple which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is among the best known and well preserved attraction of this place which was built by King Yasovarman in the 10th century A.D.

This temple is a five-shrined or panchayatana complex which stands in the centre of a raised platform along with its four subsidiary shrines positioned in the corners. Throughout the platform intricate sculptures depicting scenes of a war, battle, hunting, dances, religious preaching and elixir preparation amidst an orgy mesmerized us the most.

We were completely fascinated by the intricate rock carvings and at some places of this temple we stood still for a long time in order to decipher the hidden meanings behind the sculptures. Some passing by visitors praised these man made wonders while some appreciated their erotic features. But for me it was the best of human creations based on deep insight and complex life philosophy.

This was the supreme place where fantasies of sculptor’s artistic vision are showcased with profound profusion. Every inch of the outer wall of this temple was intricately carved touching various themes. The temple wall is divided into two zones, one zone depicting attractive celestial nymph, apsaras, snake goddesses and griffins, while the other portrays images of the different incarnations of Lord Vishnu. For me the most remarkable sculptures are on the southeast side, one of which depicts two males beatifically dancing with finger cymbals in their hands. This sculpture captivated our attention for long and after that we got involved in a long discussion trying to interpret the meaning behind it.

We stopped for a quick bite and then hurriedly explored Devi Jagdamba Temple, Chitragupta Temple, Chaunsat Yogini and Matanageswara Temple and Kandariya Mahadeo Temple. All these temples are equally impressive and are known for their astonishing beauty and delicate stone carvings.

After spending our evening at the backdrop of Western Group of Khajuraho Temples we returned to our hotel. After having dinner we hired a taxi and headed towards Jhansi.

While returning I was lost in the thoughts of this mystic place. I wish I could stay here for a longer duration. It’s a note for every Khajuraho tourist that at least two days are required in order to explore this land of exquisitely carved temples.

Truly, most of us come here to see eroticism of these temples but when you see the fantastic display of fantasies this feeling of eroticism disappears and you get lost in finding the hidden meaning behind each sculpture. Everyone who visited this land has his/her own interpretations and inspirations which remain in their heart and mind forever.

 

A Celebrated Trip to Khajuraho

Trip to Khajuraho

Trip to Khajuraho

I was quite impressed by E. L. Doctorow’s quote on history, which says,

“History is the present. That’s why every generation writes it anew. But what most people think of as history is its end product, myth”. The best part with this quote was that I could link it with my memorable tour to Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh with my colleagues.

We planned a two day trip to Khajuraho in the mid of August when the city was receiving heavy rainfall. Khajuraho is a city that combines history, architecture, culture and divine greenery with delectable charm. We were booked in Hotel Usha Bundela. After enjoying a refreshing bath in the swimming pool, we headed for the Western Group of Temples. Yogesh, a travel assistant accompanied us throughout the tour. He told us that most of the temples were built between the 9th and 11th centuries by the warrior kings of the Chandela dynasty. We all were completely stunned to see the marvelous structure and exquisite sculptures there.

People believe that these temples were built by the first Chandela raja to atone his mother’s sin, whose consummation with the Moon god heralded the start of the Chandela dynasty. Contrary to this, some believe that the temples were built as wedding chariots for the gods who came to attend the wedding of Lord Shiva, which is celebrated every year on the occasion of Shivaratri. The main temple wonders in the western belt were Chaunsat Yogini (dedicated to goddesses Kali), Kandariya Mahadeo (dedicated to Lord Shiva), Lakshmana Temple, Temple of Vishvanath and Nandi, Temple of Devi Jagdamba and other important temples of Lakshmi and Varaha, Mahadev, Chitragupta, Parvati, and Matangesvara.

We stopped for a quick bite, and then explored the Eastern & Southern Group of Temples, which were equally impressive. The best among those were the temple of Parsvanath, temple of Brahma and Hanuman and Chaturbhuja Temple. We captured the astonishing beauty of these structures in our cameras. In the night, while having dinner, we enjoyed beautiful dance performances that showcase the culture of Madhya Pradesh.

Next morning, we left for excursions. Our first halt was the renowned Raneh Waterfalls in the outskirts of Khajuraho. Yogesh told us that Raneh highlights the best of its beauty during monsoons, and it was really spell binding. We spent a couple of hours there in photography. Later, we also paid a short visit to Benisagar Lake (7 km).

We had never thought that the forested plains of Bundelkhand in the heart of India could be so scenic, and pollution free. My entire team looks for complementary accommodation, food & transport on every trip. But Khajuraho was simply beyond our expectations. Even if it wasn’t a complementary trip, it would have been worth watching architectural wonders of the Bundelkhand region on our own expenses.