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zulakitten | profile | all galleries >> Three Weeks in India - Jan. 2005 >> Temples of Khajuraho tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Temples of Khajuraho

We spent two days in Khajuraho, last stop on an intense three week tour of India, in January 2005.
We had heard of the temples here - another UNESCO Heritage Site - and we learned a great deal more about them during our time in this small but pleasant town. The temples are divided into three groups, Western and Eastern, which we visited, and a smaller Southern group. Built by the Chandela Rajput kings in the 10th and 11th centuries, there were originally 85 temples of which only 22 now remain. They were lost to the world outside of this
small village "far from anywhere" as it has been described, and only rediscovered in the 1960's. Since then, Khajuraho has become a "must see"
for anyone interested in unique architecture, intricate stone carvings, and an appreciation for historic erotic art.
The Western Group of temples is the largest, set amongst green lawns, trees and flowering shurbs . .
The Western Group of temples is the largest, set amongst green lawns, trees and flowering shurbs . .
The plaque that states the status of the site
The plaque that states the status of the site
The size of the various temples came as a surprise to most of us . .
The size of the various temples came as a surprise to most of us . .
At ground level, one is first aware of the parade of animals . .
At ground level, one is first aware of the parade of animals . .
This is Ganesh, one of the happier Hindu gods . .
This is Ganesh, one of the happier Hindu gods . .
No two elephants held their trunks in the same position, it seemed . .
No two elephants held their trunks in the same position, it seemed . .
The sense of movment and variety of gestures in every carved panel was amazing . .
The sense of movment and variety of gestures in every carved panel was amazing . .
Studying each detail reveals so much more than one expects . .
Studying each detail reveals so much more than one expects . .
Each temple, often consisting of several parts,  is set upon a high platform . .
Each temple, often consisting of several parts, is set upon a high platform . .
Most of the temples are carved of pink or buff sandstone . .
Most of the temples are carved of pink or buff sandstone . .
The unique style of architecture seems almost modern . .
The unique style of architecture seems almost modern . .
Around the outside walls, small porticos sheltered various gods . .
Around the outside walls, small porticos sheltered various gods . .
This unusual piece was a rain spout, we were told by our guide . .
This unusual piece was a rain spout, we were told by our guide . .
In a long row of identical elephants, this one had turned his head . .
In a long row of identical elephants, this one had turned his head . .
Looking from a temple platform towards the town of Khajuraho outside the walls . .
Looking from a temple platform towards the town of Khajuraho outside the walls . .
Restoration work is going on all the time -
Restoration work is going on all the time -
Here, the temples' size can be appreciated, and their placement on high platforms . .
Here, the temples' size can be appreciated, and their placement on high platforms . .
The spacious grounds around the temples are well kept . .
The spacious grounds around the temples are well kept . .
Name plate for the next temple
Name plate for the next temple
Here, one of those displaced horses we saw earlier has been set in place . .
Here, one of those displaced horses we saw earlier has been set in place . .
It's interesting to note that today's stone carvers are capable of the same intricate work . .
It's interesting to note that today's stone carvers are capable of the same intricate work . .
The curious shape at the top of each temple's tower represents a lotus flower . .
The curious shape at the top of each temple's tower represents a lotus flower . .
A closer look at the detail above
A closer look at the detail above
Constant movement and activity carved in stone . .
Constant movement and activity carved in stone . .
Name plate for the next temple
Name plate for the next temple
Reaching each temple required climbing several flights of steep steps . .
Reaching each temple required climbing several flights of steep steps . .
General view of temple gardens
General view of temple gardens
The variety and detail was truly mesmerizing . .
The variety and detail was truly mesmerizing . .
Incredible to think these originated in the 10th and 11th centuries . .
Incredible to think these originated in the 10th and 11th centuries . .
Impressive and amazing decorations
Impressive and amazing decorations
Three distinct styles of tower on this temple -
Three distinct styles of tower on this temple -
Another view of the three different tower styles . .
Another view of the three different tower styles . .
A colourful variety of gaments on other visitors . .
A colourful variety of gaments on other visitors . .
Outside the Western Temple complex, everyday life goes on . .
Outside the Western Temple complex, everyday life goes on . .
The Eastern Temple complex had its own beauty . .
The Eastern Temple complex had its own beauty . .
Restoration work continues . .
Restoration work continues . .
The temples of the Eastern Group have a unique charm . .
The temples of the Eastern Group have a unique charm . .
Here we found the stone carvers, working as their ancestors must have done . .
Here we found the stone carvers, working as their ancestors must have done . .
Tools and methods have changed very little, over the centuries . .
Tools and methods have changed very little, over the centuries . .
Such an abundance of life, carved in stone
Such an abundance of life, carved in stone
Each  temple's platform provided space to walk around its outside walls . .
Each temple's platform provided space to walk around its outside walls . .
We contantly admired the intricate work of the ancient stone carvers . .
We contantly admired the intricate work of the ancient stone carvers . .
An elaborate portal leading to the inner sanctum of a temple
An elaborate portal leading to the inner sanctum of a temple
Inside the temple, the calm figure of a god  waits . .
Inside the temple, the calm figure of a god waits . .
Another temple's portico in the Eastern Group . .
Another temple's portico in the Eastern Group . .
Looking up inside the temple's portico . .
Looking up inside the temple's portico . .
Beyond the portal is the inner temple . .
Beyond the portal is the inner temple . .
The inner sanctum holds a beautifully carved image . .
The inner sanctum holds a beautifully carved image . .
There are two Jain temples in the Eastern Group . .
There are two Jain temples in the Eastern Group . .
Every panel has a story to tell . .
Every panel has a story to tell . .
A dancing nymph is placing bands of small bells around her ankles .
A dancing nymph is placing bands of small bells around her ankles .
The Jain temples have a timeless beauty . .
The Jain temples have a timeless beauty . .