Khajuraho – Some Lesser Known Facts
The Khajuraho Temple are always a great topic to research. So, they depict erotica in their sculptures, but is this all we know of them? Let’s find out other lesser known facts! Apart from the beautifully carved sculptures of Khajuraho, there is also a fascinating history about these temples. For instance, do you know who built these temples and why sexual poses were carved into the stones here?
These temples were built by the Chandella ruler between AD 900 and 1130. This was the golden time of the Chandella dynasty, when every single ruler would build a temple as part of a tradition they followed.
The first record that is available on Khajuraho goes back to AD 1022 in the accounts of Abu Rihan al Biruni and later, the Arab traveller, Ibn Battuta, in AD 1335. According to these records, Khajuraho consists of 85 temples, out of which only 25 temples are surviving after various stages of preservation and care. All these temples are scattered over an area of about nine square miles.
The Chandella rulers had enclosed the whole Khajuraho by a wall, with about eight gates being used for entry or exit.
The Khajuraho group of temples were built together but were dedicated to two religions – Hinduism and Jainism – suggesting a tradition of acceptance and respect for diverse religious views among the Hindus and Jains. After the fall of the Chandella dynasty and the rise of the Mughal empire from 13th century through the 18th century, many temples were destroyed and many more were left in neglect. It was the remoteness and isolation of Khajuraho that protected its total destruction. However, because it was neglected, over the centuries, vegetation and forests overgrew, taking over the temples. It was later re-discovered by British engineer T S Burt. On its re-discovery, it was found that yogis would secretly come to Khajuraho and many Hindus too came for pilgrimage.