In the state of Madhya Pradesh in India, Khajuraho is a small village. It is located in the Chhatarpur district. This is one of the famous tourist spots in India, which is visited by tourists from different parts of the world. Khajuraho – the tourist spot has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main attractions of this tourist spot in India are the Jain and Hindu temples built during the medieval age.
hajuraho once happened to be the capital city of Chandela Rajputs. The temples of Khajuraho were constructed for a long span of time during the rule of this Hindu Dynasty. Approximately during 9th century the constructional work of the temples started and it continued till about 12th century. These temples are exemplary evidences of Indian architecture. These temples were discovered only in 19th century by T.S. Burt, a British engineer. But General Alexander Cunningham’s reports in Survey of India brought this place to limelight.
The architectural works of Khajuraho temples is steeped with passion and erotica. The sculptures in different erotic poses have been etched on the walls of the temples. Other fine arts like dance, music and other creative arts are portrayed through the sculptures of Khajuraho temples.
Initially there were 85 temples in Khajuraho. The north Indian style of architecture known as Nagara inspired the sculptors of these temples. But out of 85 temples, only 20 temples have survived till now. Most of the temples were mainly built from sandstone and thus all of them could not survive the test of time.
Some of the Khajuraho temples belong to the sects of Shiva, some to the Vaishnava sect and some to the Jaina sects. But these temples were built in the medieval times not for the purpose of worshipping deities or as center of religion.
The name of the Khajuraho temples in Madhya Pradesh is believed to be derived from Khajur tree, which means tree of palm date. This name might have given to the temples as numerous date palm trees grow in the locality.
As the ancient legends about Chandela Dynasty goes, it is said that Chandravarman, who founded the dynasty ordered to build the temples of Khajuraho. In a dream he saw his mother asking him to construct these temples. Chandravarman was the son of a Brahmin girl called Hemvati who was seduced by the Moon God.
Another popular belief goes with the purpose of construction of the Khajuraho temples. During those times, the boys were supposed to spend the life of hermits during their youth. Later when they became adults and were able to take responsibilities of family and home, they had to take up the new role of the householder following the Hindu decorum. Then they could study the erotic sculptures of the Khajuraho temples and attain knowledge about passions and desires associated with the earthly existence.