Kandariya Mahadeva Temple

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Kandariya Mahadeva Temple
Coordinates: 24°51′11″N 79°55′10″E / 24.85306°N 79.91944°E / 24.85306; 79.91944
Proper name: Kandariya Mahadeva
Location: Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India
Architecture and culture
Primary deity: Mahadeva
Architectural styles: North Indian
Date built:
(Current structure)
circa 1050
Creator: King Dhangadeva of the Chandela dynasty

The Kandariyâ Mahâdeva Temple (Devanagari: कंदरिया महादेव, IAST: Kandariyā Mahādeva) is the largest and most ornate Hindu temple in the medieval temple group found at Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, India. It is considered one of the best examples of temples preserved from the medieval period in India.[2] Khajuraho was once the religious capital of the Chandela Rajputs and today is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. The Kandariya Mahadeva temple is the largest of the Western group of temples and was built by king Dhangadeva[citation needed], arguably one of the greatest Chandela kings. The temple was built around 1050 on Hindu beliefs dating back to 1000 BC; The main spire or sikhara rises 31 m to depict Mount Kailash, the Himalayan mountain abode of Shiva and is surrounded by 84 miniature spires (or Urushringas). Inside the sanctum is a marble linga representing Shiva.[3] The Archaeological Survey of India protects the temple, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site at Khajuraho.[citation needed]


Features of the temple
Simplified map of the temple

The temple takes its name from kandara or cave and Mahadeva, another name for Shiva. Like many other temples in the Khajuraho complex, it has a linear series of access-steps facing the east-west directions. Other features are columned halls with balconies, an entrance porch, and the inner sanctum. Decorating the sides of the temple are over 646 statues. At the top of the shikhara is the amalaka, a circular ring motif common in North Indian temple architecture. The erotic figures do not span the whole temple and are not to be found among the 226 found inside.The temple includes some of the most energetic eroticism to be seen at khajuraho.


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