“History is a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man” – Percy Bysshe Shelley
The Indian subcontinent is the home to some of the marvelous architectural structures and designs world has ever seen. Right from the Laal Quila in Delhi to Victoria memorial in Kolkata, from Sanchi Stupa in Madhya Pradesh to Sun Temple in Odisha, from Nankana Sahib in Punjab district of Pakistan to Moti Masjid in Lahore, this subcontinent and this country in particular has some of the finest monuments this world has ever seen. There is no other place in the entire world than Indian subcontinent which is so culturally and religiously rich.
Such culturally rich, historically significant and religiously important place is
KHAJURAHO GROUP OF TEMPLES.
Khajuraho Group of Temples are present in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They’re Hindu and Jain temples famous for nagara style architecture and erotic sculptures. Originally built were about 85 temples but about only 22 or 25 of them survived the test of time and are still standing strong and are spread over 6 sq km area.
The word Khajuraho is derived from sanskrit word ‘Kharjuravahaka’ which is a combination of two different words – ‘Kharjur’ which means date palm and ‘Vahaka’ meaning bearer. The temples were constructed between AD 930 and AD 1130 a period known as the golden period of Chandela dynasty. The Chandela rulers always kept their religious and political views separate from each other and that’s why Khajuraho became their religious capital and Mahoba became their political capital.
The very first mention about the marvels of Khajuraho are found in records of Al Biruni in AD 1022 and traveler Ibn Batutta in AD 1335.
There exist a fable about Khajuraho and the origin of Chandela Dynasty in local circles around the district and state. It goes like:
“It was a beautiful full moon night when far far away in Kashi the daughter of a royal priest decided to bath in a pond full of lotus. Her beauty and her youth was so enchanting and mesmerizing that even moon couldn’t stop himself and descended on earth to meet her. Both the moon and the girl instantly fell in love with each other and did what lovers do.
Soon came the time for moon to leave and it made the girl worried for how will she bear their love child alone? That is when the moon told her to leave Kashi and go to the forest of Khajuraho and bring up their son who would in future become one of the most celebrated ruler and his rule would continue till 100 years.
The girl did as told and soon born was Chandravarman who became a valiant, strong and powerful king and established a dynasty which ruled for 100 years. It is said that each ruler of the Chandela dynasty constructed at least one temple in their entire lifetime.
With time this glorious monument and its history got lost only to be discovered, excavated and restored by a British surveyer T.S. Burt in 1838.
IT IS TRULY AN ARCHITECTURAL MARVEL OF MANKIND.