Kandariya Mahadev temple, Khajuraho- The Grandeur of carvings and divinity!

Posted on February 28, 2021 by

Madhya Pradesh pertains to the treasure of many temples and architectures that hold historic significance and architectural excellence! If you visit Khajuraho, the Kandariya Mahadev temple must be on your itinerary due to its traces from medieval times. Kandariya Mahadev Temple in Khajuraho, earlier known as Shivalaya, has a glorious past since 999 AD. This temple’s dimensions are 102′ in length, 6′ in width, and 101′ in height. Locals of this region describe that the name Kandariya is also another name for Lord Shiva. And this is how the Kandarpi evolved and came into existence. 

Temple History

If you sneak out on the most famous Khajuraho complex temples, Kandariya is amongst the most recognizable names. Known for its impeccable architectural excellence, this is also the largest temple in that vicinity. King Vidyadhar from the Chandel Dynasty constructed this beautiful Mahadev Temple between 1025- 1050 AD. It is also well-known for the artistic sculptures, and tall designs are known as the ‘Chaturbhuj Temple.’ The jaw-dropping artistry seems like someone has artistically carved an era on the stones of this temple. Kandariya Mahadev Temple also got the position amongst UNESCO World Heritage sites for its stunning carved works and writings in the year 1986. 

A Muslim historian Ibn-Al-Athir mentioned the power and galore of King Vidydhar, who constructed the Kandariya Mahadev temple in those times. He also fought with the Mahmud Ghaznavi, following which the Ghaznavi returned. Again he tried to attack his fort in 1022 but failed the attempt. As a symbol of his victory then, Vidyadhar constructed the Kandariya Mahadev temple dedicated to the supreme power, Lord Shiva. 

The architecture of Kandariya Mahadev Temple!

For travelers who are keen to learn about the hidden wonders of Khajuraho architecture, this place is undoubtedly a blissful location. The temple’s outer shape comprises 84 equal parts along with unique high peaks and horns on it. It looks like the temple has ornamentation on it, and the carvings follow a distinct rhythm. 

Kandariya Mahadev Temple also gained popularity due to its grand architecture and exquisite craftsmanship, and unmatchable architectural designs. There is a central pavilion leading to the maha mandapa, and then it follows the form, base plan, lift, and height for further ornamentation. The breathtaking temple shrine projects on both sides of the Jagati as well. Made from granite stone and sandstone rocks, Kandariya Mahadev Temple embellished lotus flowers, Kumbha and Jalaya Plaques, and tamal papers. The decorated idols carved in various postures add prominence and grandeur to the temple. 

Right from the eye-catchy female erosion structure, you can see the idols of horses, warriors, madaris, elephants, dancers, musicians, and devotees. And every idol bespoke its marvel and majesty! 

Kandariya Mahadev Temple is also well-known for its most diverse ornamentation and rhythmic trajectories, along with gigantic chariots that can immerse you in its beautification. 

Vaastu of Kandariya Mahadev Temple

If you glance at this historic temple’s structural plan, it complies with the Vaastu from every angle. And the top view might make it appear as a Shiv Ling to you. Starting from the intricately carved entranceway that dates back to the Panchayatan style is undoubtedly a stunner. Moving to the parikrama area or the ventilation in maha mandap, every bit of Vastu goes in rhythm with it. The sturdy temple structure, embellished balconies, and the well-ventilated regions of the garbagriha make it an epitome of perfect architecture. And it is also crowned with the Sanctorum located at the top position of the temple. 


Festivals and celebrations

Every year in the last week of February to March, the temple celebrates the Khajuraho dance festival. Top-notch dancers from all across the world participate in the celebrations here and perform over the Open-Air-Corridors from the Khajuraho group of temples. If you visit here during the festival, it is a sheer getaway to distinct dance forms such as Odissi, Kathak, Manipuri, Bharatnatyam, and Kuchipudi. 

Maha Shivratri parv celebration here is also noticeable as people from far distances visit here to seek the mighty lord’s blessings. 

How to Reach?

Reaching Kandariya Mahadev Temple is simple as it has excellent connectivity through air and roads. There is also a railway station which is well-connected from all prime cities of the country. 

By Flight- You can visit here through the Khajuraho airport and connects well with all major airports like Bhopal and New Delhi. 

By Train- Kandariya Mahadev Temple is at a distance of 5 km from the central city of Khajuraho. 

By Road- Reaching Khajuraho, this holy place is possible through roadways with bus services and taxis or cabs. It also has good connectivity with Satna and Jhansi. 

What is the best time to visit Kandariya Mahadeva Temple?

Although Khajuraho gives pleasant weather to its tourists and makes it a perfect destination for visitors from October to February. Winters are a good option if you wish to go sightseeing. To enjoy every bit of this historical temple, you need to avoid the scorching summers so that you can capture the marvelous temple shrine.

Kandariya Mahadev Temple timing is from 5 am to 12 noon, and in the evenings, it opens up from 4 pm to 9 pm. The entrance fee here is Rs.10, and foreigners need to take a ticket of Rs.250. There are also ample accommodation facilities available nearby. Visitors can also enjoy the exotic meals of Khajuraho, such as samosa, poha, jalebi, and the authentic thali here. 

So, plan your visit to this fantastic Kandariya Mahadev temple and pay a visit to nearby famous temples such as the Lakshmana temple, The Chausath Yogini temple, The Javari temple. Vishvanath and Nandi temple!

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