Description : Khajuraho, the ancient Kharjjuravahaka, was the principal seat of authority of the Chandella rulers who adorned it with with numerous tanks, scores of lofty temples of sculptural grace and architectural splendour. The local tradition lists eighty-five temples but now only twenty-five are standing examples in various stages of preservation. But for Chausath-Yogini, Brahma and Mahadeva which are of granite, all the other temples are of fine grained sandstone, buff, pink or pale yellow in colour.
Yasovarman (AD 954) built the temple of Vishnu, now famous as Lakshmana temple is an ornate and evolved example of its time proclaiming the prestige of the Chandellas.
The Visvanatha, Parsvanatha and Vaidyanatha temples belong to the time of king Dhanga, the successor of Yasovarman. The Jagadambi, Chitragupta are noteworthy among the western group of royal temples of Khajuraho. The largest and grandest temple of Khajuraho is the immortal Kandariya Mahadeva which is attributed to king Ganda (AD 1017-29). The other examples that followed viz., Vamana, Adinatha, Javari, Chaturbhuj and Duladeo, are smaller but elaborately designed. The Khajuraho group of temples are noted for lofty terraces (jagati) and functionally effective plans. The sculptural embellishments include, besides the cult images; parivara, parsva, avarana devatas, dikpalas, the apsarases and sura-sundaris which win universal adminration for their ornamentation embrace the winsome grace and charm.
The monuments / temples at Khajuraho date from around 1000 AD, when the Chandella Dynasty ruled this area. Originally, there were around 85 temples, but now only 22 temples remain which have been categorized into three distinct groups such as Southern, Western and Eastern and belong to two different religions – Hinduism and Jainism. The temples are beautifully decorated on the outside: bands of sculptures surround the walls. These depict life in the time of the Chandellas. Some of the sculptures are remarkable because of their erotic displayings.
The main part of the temples now lies in a park, within fences. Although it is somewhat out of the way, Khajuraho is an important tourist attraction. It even has its own airstrip.