Chitragupta Temple :
The Chitragupta temple is an 11th-century temple of Surya (sun god) in the Khajuraho town of Madhya Pradesh, India. Architecturally, it is very similar to the nearby Jagadambi temple.
Based on the epigraphic evidence, the construction of the temple can be dated to 1020-1025 CE. It was probably consecrated on 23 February 1023 CE, on the occasion of Shivaratri. The temple has been classified as a Monument of National Importance by the Archaeological Survey of India.
The Chitragupta temple is very similar to the nearby Jagadambi temple. It has a sanctum with a circumambulatory path, a vestibule, a maha-mandapa (large hall) with transepts, and an entrance porch. The large hall has an octagonal ceiling, which is more ornate than the corresponding ceiling in the Jagadambi temple. This suggests that the Chitragupta temple was constructed slightly later than the Jagadambi temple. The building has two balconies, and the ascending scale of the roof is not as impressive as that of the larger temples in Khajuraho.
The temple’s sanctum has a partially broken 2.1 metres (6.9 ft) tall statue of Surya riding a chariot of seven horses. He is shown standing, dressed in an armoured coat and boots, and holding lotus flowers. The door lintel of the sanctum also features three similar, but smaller, images of Surya.
The exterior walls of the temple are covered with erotic couples, surasundari, and various gods, including an 11-headed Vishnu. The Vishnu sculpture shows the god in his para rupa (supreme form) with his 10 incarnations: this rare representation is not seen anywhere else, and does not find a mention in any historical text. Other sculptures include figures of couples engaged in mithuna, and the apsaras showing their yoni by holding their garments lower. There is also a sculpture of Shiva’s attendant Nandi, who is shown with a human body and a bull’s head.
Khajuraho Group Of Monuments :
The Khajuraho Group of Monuments is a group of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples in Madhya Pradesh, India, about 175 kilometres southeast of Jhansi. They are one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. The temples are famous for their nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures.
Most Khajuraho temples were built between 950 and 1050 by the Chandela Rajput dynasty. Historical records note that the Khajuraho temple site had 85 temples by the 12th century, spread over 20 square kilometers Of these, only about 25 temples have survived, spread over 6 square kilometers. Of the various surviving temples, the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is decorated with a profusion of sculptures with intricate details, symbolism and expressiveness of ancient Indian art.
The Khajuraho group of temples were built together but were dedicated to two religions, Hinduism and Jainism, suggesting a tradition of acceptance and respect for diverse religious views among Hindus and Jains in the region.
More photos of Khajuraho Monuments here.
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