Kandariya Mahadeo Temple, Khajuraho
The majestic sculptures of the temples at Khajuraho are widely popular throughout the world now. Each year, tourists from different corners of the world visit Khajuraho to witness the epic architecture and carvings on the Khajuraho temples. One such temple that also has a religious belief here is the Kandariya Mahadeo Temple in Khajuraho.
About the Temple
Kandariya Mahadeo Temple is one of the most popular temples of Khajuraho. Not just famous, this temple is also the largest one in the entire vicinity. The temple dates back to ancient history and was earlier known by the name of Shivalaya.
The ruler of the Chandel Dynasty, King Vidyadhar constructed the temple between the time period of 1025 AD to 1050 AD. The locals have interesting folklore to narrate that describes the reason to construct the Kandariya Mahadeo Temple.
According to the local folklore, Mahmud Ghaznavi attacked the fort of King Vidyadhar in 1022 AD but he was not able to capture it and returned with his failure. King Vidyadhar considered this victory as the blessing of Lord Shiva and in gratitude decided to construct the Kandariya Mahadeo Temple.
It was in the year 1986 when UNESCO considered the temple in the list of World Heritage Sites.
The Architecture of Kandariya Mahadeo Temple
Kandariya Mahadeo Temple has a height of about 31m and it stands on a base that is again 4m high. The temple is also known as the Chaturbhuj temple as the dimension of the temple is based on a quadrilateral shape. The outer part of the temple has 84 parts that are all equal in size.
Sandstone and granite are used for the construction of the temple and there are several beautiful carvings on the walls that depict different stories. The architecture of the temple is considered one of the epitome of Hindu art even today. Historians mention that the architecture of all the temples in Khajuraho is based on the Nagara style that dates back to the Gupta period.
The sculptures on the walls of the temple are still a subject of study for many historians. There are carvings of lotus, chariots, animals, human figures, and many others depicting different tales. Some historians have mentioned that the erotic human figures found in some sculptures are either the Tantric symbols or the chapters of Kamasutra.
The Vastu of Kandariya Mahadeo Temple
Similar to architecture, Kandariya Mahadeo Temple has the most perfect Vastu design too. When you have an aerial view of the temple, you may feel it in the form of a Shiv Linga.
The main Shiva Linga for prayer is kept in the central part of the temple which is known as the Garbha Griha. Around the Garbha Griha, the parikrama area is kept quite ventilated. The embellished balconies, the ventilated corners, and every part of the temple are perfect examples that Kandariya Mahadeo Temple stands on the best Vastu design of all time.
Festivities in Kandariya Mahadeo Temple
The temple is open for visits throughout the year. But if you are interested in witnessing the real glory of the temple, you should visit this place by the last week of February. The Khajuraho Dance Festival is organized during that time that lasts till the month of March each year.
Dancers from different parts of the world arrive at this festival to participate and you will be able to experience a beautiful moment of Indian cultural dance forms.
Apart from the Dance Festival, Shiv Ratri is another festival that attracts a huge crowd of devotees each year who come here to offer prayer to Lord Shiva. Devotees are allowed to offer sweets and fruits to Lord Shiva in the temple.
If you are interested in visiting the temple, you should be aware of the times when the temple remains open.
Morning Visit – 5am – 12noon
Evening Visit – 4pm – 9pm
Prasad Collection – 12noon – 2pm
Also, you have to pay an entry fee and it varies depending on whether you are a domestic or international visitor.
For Domestic Visitor – Rs 10/-
For International Visitor – Rs. 250/-
Nearby Places to Visit
Once you have paid a visit to Kandariya Mahadeo Temple, you may also wish to visit the nearby attractions as well. Some of the nearby places that you can visit are:
- Lakshmana Temple
- The Javari Temple
- The Chausath Yogini Temple
- Vishvanath Temple
Reaching Kandariya Mahadeo Temple
Kandariya Mahadeo Temple in Khajuraho is well-connected to different parts of the country through different means of transport.
Railways: Mahoba is the nearest railway station that is about 63 km away from Khajuraho.
Airways: Khajuraho airport is well-connected to major airports of the country now.
Roadways: There are bus services to Khajuraho from different parts of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Apart from this, one can always take cab services to reach Khajuraho from their locations.