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What makes Khajuraho so special is the presence of numerous temples adorned with erotic sculptures. It is probably one of its kind in India and world where you can find the open expression of various forms of life including love and sex. Build centuries ago by the erstwhile Chandela rulers, Khajuraho today is one of the most visited tourist destination and finds mention in UNESCO heritage list. The entire monuments in the area lies in divided into Eastern ,Western and Southern part of the complex. With difference in architecture and style the temples of these three complexes differ from each other lot.
While the western group of temples is the most popular temple complexes in Khajuraho, the eastern group are also abound with some very popular and important temples. About one kilometer east of the western group lies the Khajur Sagar and the old village of Khajuraho. The eastern group of temples is located around this lake and village. Jain temples dominate the temples in this cluster. The sculptures in this cluster bear a similar theme to the western group but derive more from everyday life. There are beautiful sculptures of women writing a letter, a young girl removing a thorn from her foot, musicians playing instruments etc which relate more to the mundane than erotic themes.
Famous Temples of Eastern Complex in Khajuraho
Parsavnatha Temple in Khajuraho
Parsavnatha temple built between 950 AD and 970 AD is the biggest temple in the Eastern cluster. This temple is said to be designed by the master Dhangadeva and was initially dedicated to the first Jain tirthankara, Adinatha. In 1860, the statue of Adinatha was removed and the current one of Parsavnatha was installed and has been known as the Parsavnatha temple since then. This temple is different from the other temples in Khajuraho, where this one if built at a low plinth level as against the high platforms of the other temples, making it easier for visitors to view the sculptures at closer quarters.
Adinath Temple in Khajuraho
This temple is located to the north of the Parsavnath temple. This temple is in a state of disrepair and only the sanctum and the entrance hall exists today. Adinath temple is known for the splendid sculptures involving a string of musicians playing various instruments and sensuous sculptures of dancing apsaras.
Brahma Temple in Khajuraho
Located on the banks of Ninora-
Tal, this temple has a Shikara made of sandstone and a body made of
granite. This temple though called the Brahma temple, is touted to be
dedicated to Lord Vishnu who embraces the major wall of the temple. The
temple is simple in plan and execution and cosists of a pyramidal
Shikara crowned by a prominent bell tower like structure.
Ghantai Temple in Khajuraho
This temple is named after the chain and bell motifs
(Ghanta), which is inscribed into the pillars of this temple. The temple
was conceived in much larger proportions than the Parsavnatha temple,
but today only the Mahamandap and entrance porch supported by four tall
pillars exist. The coffered ceiling of the entrance porch is covered
with exquisite images of dancers and musicians. The door of the temple
bears the figure of a eight armed yakshi Chakresvari, seated on a
garuda. The external wall of the temple has the sculptures of the
sixteen signs that the mother of the holy Jina Mahavira, saw in the
dream during conception.
Vamana and Javeri Temple in Khajuraho
Javeri temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and exhibits one of the most delicate architecture amongst all the temples here. This temple is named after the Jawari millet which grows in this region. It was built between 1075 and 1100 AD.This temple is especially known for the exquisite Makara torana motifs and the soaring Shikara. Another famous Vamana temple dates back to between 1050 and 1075 AD and is dedicated to one of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu, the Vamana avtar. This temple is conspicuous amongst the temples in Khajuraho by the absence of erotic sculptures except in the niches in the pediments. This absence of any erotic or sensuous figures indicates that this temple is later than the Kandariya Mahadev temple though it follows the architectural style and sculptural types.
Hanuman Statue in Khajuraho
This colossal statue of Lord Hanuman is located in a comparatively modern structure half way between the western cluster and the Khajuraho village. This temple is interesting mainly because of the dedicatory inscription on its pedestal dated year 316, possibly belonging to the Harsha era (922AD), being the oldest dated inscription at the place.