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Photography - Sun God Temple - Khajuraho Monuments 049

Chitragupta, The Sun God Temple :

The Chitragupta or the Sun God temple is an 11th-century temple dedicated to Surya the Sun God in the Khajuraho town of Madhya Pradesh, India. Architecturally, similar to the nearby Jagadambi temple but this temple does not have the Kamasutra reliefs. This photo shows the front entrance of this majestic temple. Unfortunately, if you noticed the right pillars of the temple could not be fully reconstructed due to missing stone blocks.

The construction of the temple dates to 1020-1025 CE and most probably consecrated on 23 February 1023 CE, on the day of Shivaratri. This temple is classified as a Monument of National Importance by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Chitragupta temple has a sanctum with a circumambulatory path, a vestibule, a maha-mandapa (large hall) with transepts, and an entrance porch. There’s an octagonal ceiling in the large hall, more ornate than the ceiling of the Jagadambi temple. This shows that the Chitragupta temple construction started slightly later than the Jagadambi temple. There are two balconies, but the ascending scale of the roof is not as impressive as that of the larger temples in Khajuraho.

The sanctum has a partially broken 2.1 metres (6.9 ft) tall statue of Surya riding a chariot of seven horses. He is standing, fully armoured, wearing armour coat and boots, and holding lotus flowers. The door lintel of the sanctum also features three similar, but a smaller scale of Surya.

The exterior walls of the temple are covered with surasundari, and various gods, including an 11-headed Vishnu. The Vishnu sculpture is in the form of para rupa (supreme form) with his 10 incarnations. This is a very rare representation and its not seen anywhere else or even mentioned in any historical text. There are also sculptures of couples engaged in mithuna, and yoni showing apsaras by holding their garments lower. There is also a sculpture of Nandi, who is shown with a human body and a bull’s head.

Khajuraho Group Of Monuments :

The Khajuraho Group of Monuments in Madhya Pradesh, India is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located about 175 kilometres southeast of Jhansi. It’s a group of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples. These temples are famous for their nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic Kamasutra sculptures.

Most of these temples were built between 950 and 1050 by the Chandela Rajput dynasty. According to historical records the Khajuraho Group of Monuments site had 85 temples by the 12th century, spread over 20 square kilometres and today only about 25 temples survived, spread over 6 square kilometres.

These temples were built together but were dedicated to two different religions that are Hinduism and Jainism. This suggests a tradition of acceptance and respect for diverse religious views among Hindus and Jains in the region.

More photos of Khajuraho Monuments here.

Our group trip photos on Instagram.

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