Khajuraho, The Eternal Expression of Love
Built in the 10th century by the Chandela kings, the temples of Khajuraho are engulfed in mystery about the reason of their creation. Out of the total 85 temples only 22 remain, but offer a beautiful and extravagant ode to human life. The temples dedicated to the other Hindu deities have a typical Hindu architecture. The sculptures carved outside on façade of the temple walls are intricately carved with minutest of details. The bulk of them appeared in a single sudden burst of creative and religious energy. Why was Khajuraho chosen as the site or why was it deserted is not known. But the sculptures remain to attract thousands till date. But the reason for their creation has always remained a matter of discussion since they were rediscovered by Captain T. S. Burt of the British army in 1838.
There are many stories about the birth of these temples and the reason behind building them. The most famous amongst them is that once a young girl was bathing in a pond on moonlit night. The Moon God who saw her bathing was enthralled with her beauty and taking a human form landed in front of her. Their union produced a son who eventually became to be known as Chandravarman, the founder of the Chandela dynasty. But earlier, his mother had to face the wrath of people and society. Thus after becoming King he decided to build temples which reveal human passions, and in doing so bring about a realization of the void that human desires have. Apart from the mythological aspect the story might be true. Thus the temples tell the truth of life.
Today the temples are portrayed as near to pornographic architecture and many go with the same expectation. The sculptures on these temples are a creed apart and excellence par beyond their imagination. Khajuraho is not a place for the thrill seeking voyeur. It is a place having a remarkable symphony in stone erected in praise of love, life and women. Most tourists are disappointed for they do not get what they had expected. The temples of Khajuraho suggest a simple Hindu theory; to attain salvation one should cross the barriers of all that lures you. Purification of soul and mind is more important than that of body, to be nearer to God. A human has to lead a life with all the good or bad, but the ultimate pleasure is at the feet of the almighty.
The sculptures' themes are varied and all are beautifully carved exhibiting the zenith the art had reached during the reign of the Chandela. Some show animals, some show wars, some show couples in the most erotic form, but most of them show women. Women in their various moods and various ways. Women writing letters, women in seductive poses, women as mothers and women as home makers. It is an ode to woman hood, an ode to fertility, the form of birth and an ode to greatest form of life. The notable thing is that all these sculptures are on the outer portion of the temple walls and not in the inner sanctum. The Hindus pray and worship their deity and then go in circumambulation around and again come to offer their last prayers. It has the essence of Hindu spirituality of tolerance, incorporation and integration and it only denotes that life has everything good and bad, pleasure and displeasure but the ultimate truth is the almighty.
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