A UNESCO world heritage site in central India, Khajuraho is a famous tourist and archaeological site known for its sculptured temples dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, and Jain patriarchs. Khajuraho was one of the capitals of the Chandela kings, who from the 9th to the 11th century CE developed a large realm, which at its height included almost all of what is now Madhya Pradesh state. Khajuraho extended over 21 sq. km and contained about 85 temples built by multiple rulers from about 950 to 1050. In the late 11th century the Chandela, in a period of chaos and decline, moved to hill forts elsewhere. Khajuraho continued its religious importance until the 14th century (Ibn Batuta was impressed by it) but was afterwards largely forgotten; its remoteness probably saved it from the desecration that Muslim conquerors generally inflicted on Hindu monuments. In 1838 a British army captain, TS Burt, employed by the Asiatic Society in Calcutta, came upon information that led him to the rediscovery of the complex of temples in the jungle in Khajuraho.
Of the 85 original temples-most constructed of hard river sandstone-about 20 are still reasonably well preserved. Both internally and externally the temples are richly carved with excellent sculptures that are frequently sensual and, at times, sexually explicit. The temples are divided into three complexes-the western is the largest and best known, containing the magnificent Shaivite temple Kandariya Mahadev, a 31m high agglomeration of porches and turrets culminating in a spire. Modern Khajuraho is a small village, serving the tourist trade with hotels and an airport. Khajuraho's name derives from the prevalence of khajur, or date palms, in the area.
THE KHAJURAHO TEMPLE
Right through the Mughal invasion and the early British forays into India, Khajuraho temples in India remained unknown. Rediscovered in this century, they are fine reminders of India's glorious past.
To some, Khajuraho Temples are the most graphic, erotic and sensuous sculptures of India, the world has ever known. But Khajuraho has not received the attention it deserves for its significant contribution to the religious art of India – there are literally hundreds of exquisite images on the interior and exterior walls of the shrines.
Architecturally these temples are unique. While each temple in Khajuraho has a distinct plan and design, several features are common to all. They are all built on high platforms, several metres off the ground, either in granite or a combination of light sandstone and granite. Each of these temples has an entrance hall or mandapa, and a sanctum sanctorum or garbha griha. The roofs of these various sections have a distinct form. The porch and hall have pyramidal roofs made of several horizontal layers. The inner sanctum's roof is a conical tower - a colossal pile of stone (often 30m high) made of an arrangement of miniature towers called shikharas.
The famous Western group of temples are designated as the World Heritage Site and is enclosed within a beautifully laid out park. The Lakshmana and Vishwanath Temples to the front and The Kandriya Mahadev, Jagadami and Chitragupta Temples displays the best craftmanship of Khajuraho
Stamp Issue Date : 06/03/1999 Postage Stamp Dinomination :1500 Postal Stamp Serial Number : 1842Postal Stamp Name :
MILLENARY OF THE KHAJURAHO TEMPLE
Stamp Currency : P Stamp Type : COMMEMORATIVE Stamp Language :English