Chandella Temples

Trip Start May 31, 2008
Trip End Jun 01, 2009

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Flag of India  , Madhya Pradesh,
Thursday, December 18, 2008

Khajuraho was definitely worth the awful bus ride yesterday!

The Chandella dynasty built 85 exquisite temples between the 10th and 11th centuries.  The legend has it that Chandra, the moon god, seduced a young (and of course extremely beautiful maiden) when she was bathing one night.  He told her that their son would become a great ruler, and build temples to commemorate their love in Khajuraho.  There are about 25 well preserved temples now, and the Western Group has the grandest of the lot.  We got an audio guide, which was a great help in leading us around the temples, and pointing us to some of the most interesting temple carvings.  We also got to explore at our own pace this way!

The temples are well known for the hundreds of very detailed carvings (mostly of women) along their outer walls.  The carvings also depict war scenes (reminding us that the Chandella's were fighting a lot of wars during their rule), and woman doing everyday activities (checking their reflections in mirrors, bathing, picking up children, applying eyeliner, and twisting their curvy bodies so it looks like the figures are actually coming out of the temple!).

That evening we saw the Sound and Light Show at the temples.  The show was actually very good - great music, the lighting made the temples look even more majestic, and gave us an overview of the Chandella period, and the importance of the temples during that time.  It was even narrated by Amitah Bachan (the Big B) - a very famous Indian actor here.  The narration was on tape, not live, though.

We went to the Eastern Group and Jain temples the next day.  The temples weren't as spectacular as the Western group, but gave us a chance to wander through some little towns and the outskirts of Khajuraho .  And well, they were still pretty spectacular!

We spent an extra day in Khajuraho to unwind, eat great food, and take in some classic "India moments".  My favourite are the bulls who just wander around the town without a care in the world. 
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