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     Khajuraho temples are a World Heritage site. The epochal creations are an unsurpassed Indian contribution to human civilisation. These temples
completed a thousand years of their existence in 1999.

     An architectural marvel, the complex of 85 temples were constructed by the Chandela kings. Of them only 22 survive today. A new one was excavated recently. It is said to be the largest of them all. The temples have sublime and sensuous sculptures, portraying a journey into eternity.

    True to style, there is a legend behind the creation of the temples. The story is that Hemavati, a village belle of Khajuraho, then known as Khajirvahila or Garden of Dates, made love with the moon in the forest pool and a son was born to her who was named Chandravarman. He became the king and founded the Chandela dynasty. May be influenced by the thought of the futility of passions, he built the sensuous sculptures to purge the man of his empty desires - a philosophy that is akin to what Rajneesh preached and practised at his ashram.

     The timeless temples we see today have a unity of structure. The voluptuous sculptures appear to be celestial and alive. The main focus is on woman and varying facets of her life. All the temples have Ardha Mandapa, the entrance, Mandapa, the assembly hall, Garbhagriha and the sanctum sanctorum. The temples are clustered in groups in the west, east and the south. They all have the entrance in their eastern side. The best of the lot is Kandariya Mahadev, in the western group. It has a height of 31 mts. The other temples in the western group are Chaunsat Yogini temple, Devi Jagadambe temple, Chitra Gupta temple, Vishwanath temple, Lakshmana temple, Varaha temple and Matangeswara temple. In the eastern group Parsyanath temple, Ghantai temple and Adinath temple are Jain temples. The Hindu temples in this group are in honour of Brahma, Vamana and Javari. The southern group includes Chaturbhuj temple and Duladeo temple. The picnic sites are Benisagar dam (7 km), Raneh falls (20 km), Ranguan lake (25 km), Rajgarh palace (25 km), Dhubela museum of rare scriptures and paintings, Chitrakoot, birth place of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, and the Majhgawan diamond mine.

How to reach: Khajuraho has an airport that links it with Delhi, Agra, Varanasi and Kathmandu. The nearest railheads are Mahoba (64 km), Harpalpur (94 km), Jhansi (175 km) and Satna (117km). Bus services link Khajuraho with all major towns.




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