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Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Khajuraho

Kandariya Mahadev Temple Overview

This temple dedicated to Shiva is the largest in Khajuraho dating back to the 11th century. The sanctum sanctorum enshrines a lingam. Particularly noteworthy are the entrances arc, the ceilings and pillars of the interior compartments. The sculptures on this temple are conspicuously slender and tall. There are about 900 statues. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it soars 31 m high. The main shrine is ornately carved and depicts various gods, goddesses, apsaras (heavenly maidens) in elaborate detail. The entrance arch, the massive pillars and ceilings are adorned with exquisite carvings that leave the visitor spellbound. Beyond the archway of the Kandariya Mahadev, lie the six interior compartments; the portico, main hall, transept, vestibule, sanctum and ambulatory. The transept's outer walls have three horizontal panels showing deities of the Hindu pantheon, and groups of lovers, a pageant of sensuousness, vibrantly alive. The very stone seems to have taken on the living, breathing quality of the carved figures.

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