Matangeshwar Temple, Khajuraho
Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh is widely known for some of the most beautiful architectural monuments. The temples at Khajuraho also have some such temples that are considered extremely pious for varied reasons. One such temple is Matangeshwar Temple. Even at times, the city Khajuraho is also known by the name, the city of Matangeshwar. The temple is situated among the Southern temples of Khajuraho and just beside Lakshmana Temple.
History of Matangeshwar Temple
The Matangeshwar Temple is considered one of the most pious temples of Khajuraho for a number of reasons. The very first reason is that it is constructed in the respect of sage Matang, who is considered one of the incarnations of Lord Shiva. Thus, inspired by the name Matang, this temple is provided the name Matangeshwar.
Matangeshwar Temple is also called the name of Mrityunjaya Mahadeo Temple because Lord Shiva is also known to be the Hindu god who has control over death.
Construction and Architecture of Matangeshwar Temple
This ancient temple was constructed in the 10th century AD by Chandra Dev, the ruler of the Chandela dynasty. Not only is Matangeshwar Temple one of the oldest temples in Madhya Pradesh but also it is the only temple left out from the Chandela era where even today devotees visit for the purpose of praying.
Matangeshwar Temple is not just known for its ancient history but also for its architecture and unique features. The temple has a Shiv Linga that is made up of yellow limestone and has a height of about 8 feet. Apart from the Shiv Linga, the temple also has a structure of Lord Ganesha, a goddess, and a few other deities.
The architecture of Matangeshwar Temple is much different from the other temples in Khajuraho. While you will find carvings on the walls of other temples of Khajuraho, there is no such carvings on the walls of Matangeshwar Temple. But as you enter the temple, you will find some carving work on the ceiling of the temple.
Also, there is an open-air exhibition hall towards the south of the temple where you can find several structures of different deities. It is due to the ancient construction and importance of the temple that Matangeshwar Temple has been considered a heritage site by UNESCO.
Festivities at Matangeshwar Temple
Usually, the Brahmins at the temple follow the traditional ritual of bathing the Shiva Linga with milk, honey, and water every day morning and then offering flowers and other elements that are known to be favourites of Lord Shiva.
Devotees arriving at the temple also are allowed to offer milk and sweets on the Shiv Linga.
While the traditional ritual is followed every single day followed by morning arti and then evening arti, there are special festivities and arrangements on special days of the year such as Holi, Diwali, and others. The enthusiasm reaches an ultimate level during Shiv Ratri, the day when it is said that Lord Shiva got married to Devi Parvati. On this day, the deity is decorated in the form of a bridegroom and devotees come up to get a glance.
On the occasion of Shiv Ratri, also there is a fair organized every year that lasts for almost 10 days at a stretch. A large number of traders, folk artists, and others participate in this fair that is visited by devotees from different parts of the country.
Entry at Matangeshwar Temple
The temple is open only for 12 hours and you need to be aware of the timings in order to complete your puja at the temple.
Opening Time – 6 am
Closing Time – 6 pm
There is a fee of Rs. 10/- for entering the temple for Indians while the entry fee is higher for international visitors.
Photography or videography is not allowed inside the temple and the management is quite strict regarding this rule.
Reaching Matangeshwar Temple
There are a number of ways through which you can reach Matangeshwar Temple in Khajuraho with ease.
Airways – Khajuraho airport is just 2 km away from the location of the temple that you can cover by getting a cab.
Railways – Similar to the airport, the nearest railway station Rajnagar is also at a distance of just 3 km.
Roadways – Khajuraho is also quite conveniently accessible through roadways such as regular bus services from various nearby spots such as Koda.