Khajuraho is an amazingly beautiful temple complex, discovered almost 200 years ago in the central part of India. Architectural monuments are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
History of the rise and fall of Khajuraho
Historians say that in the Middle Ages, this place was the capital of the Chandella dynasty, whose name Khajuraho in Sanskrit means date palm. The city is mentioned in the records of the famous Arab al-Biruni in the 11th century. It is believed that 85 temples, of which only 25 have survived, were built between 950 and 1050. Judging by this, the city was the cultural and religious center of the medieval dynasty.
The city of Khajuraho suffered catastrophically during the Muslim invasions from 1100 to 1400. The consequences of the conquests were so devastating that the dynasty disappeared, and the beautiful city with amazing temples overgrown for many centuries and got lost in the impenetrable forest. The temples were practically invisible to people for 700 years, until they were found only in 1838.
Unique architects and sculptors
Since the 19th century, the Khajuraho temple complex has been constantly restored, and every tourist who finds himself in India can admire the unique structures made of golden sandstone, reminiscent of the Himalayan mountains with grandeur and grandeur.
But these huge structures were made without the use of mortar. Ancient builders created them by connecting huge megaliths using grooves and ledges. Interestingly, the weight of some blocks reached 20 tons. According to the researchers, the temple complex testifies to the maturity and self-sufficiency of that ancient civilization, in which the necessary number of builders and sculptors were found to build such unique and grandiose temples. They are also famous for their unique sculptural groups. The walls are almost completely covered with images of gods, animals, musicians. Tourists are most interested in erotic scenes from the Kama Sutra, which are a kind of hallmark of Khajuraho. Sensual love from the point of view of the ancient sculptors is not a sin. Many sculptures are dedicated to beautiful women.
The legend of love
It tells that Khajuraho was built by King Chandravarman, the son of the moon god Chandra and the beautiful Hemavati, the daughter of a royal priest. Late one evening she was bathing in the river, and she was so beautiful that the moon god came down to earth and united with her in loving ecstasy. As a result, the unfortunate woman became pregnant. In order not to embarrass her family, she ran away from home and then gave birth to a child in the abandoned village of Khajuraho. Chandra predicted that when his son grows up, he will become a king and build 85 temples covered with amazing images of beautiful women and scenes of happy love. Only in this way can he atone for the involuntary sin of his mother. When the child grew up, he founded the famous dynasty and built the magnificent temples of Khajuraho, glorifying the greatness of love and the beauty of a woman.