The temples in Khajuraho were built during the Chandella dynasty, reaching its peak between 950 and 1050. Only about 20 temples remain; They divide into three distinct groups and belong to two different religions – Hinduism and Jainism. They strike the perfect balance between architecture and sculpture. The Kandariya Temple is decorated with countless sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art.
Accreditation year: 1986
Madhya Pradesh State
Outstanding global value
The Khajuraho group of temples exemplifies the pinnacle of northern Indian temple art and architecture of the Chandella dynasty that ruled the area in the 10th and 11th centuries AD. Distributed over an area of 6 square kilometers in a picturesque landscape, the 23 temples (including a partially excavated structure) forming the western, eastern and southern clusters of the Khajuraho Group of Monuments are the rare surviving example demonstrating the uniqueness and high quality of Nagara style temple architecture.
The Khajuraho Group of Monuments, embodied in layout and material form, is the culmination of the development of temple architecture in northern India. Built of sandstone, each temple is elevated above its surroundings by an ornate pedestal, or jagati, on which stands a monument, or jangha, place of worship. There is a stupa, or shikhara, of a kind unique to Nagara, at the top. The verticality of the main spire atop the cathedral is highlighted by a series of small minarets surrounding it, each representing Mount Kailasa, the abode of the gods.
Diagrams of temples showing the spatial hierarchy of axially connected spaces. The temples are entered through an ornate entrance gate (ardhamandapa), which leads to the main hall (mandapa), through which one enters the vestibule (antarala) before reaching the sanctuary (garbhagriha). The main halls of temples are often accompanied by passageways with protruding windows as well as a path that goes around the sanctuary. The larger temples have an additional pair of horizontal gates and are accompanied by sub-temples at the four corners of its jagati.
The temples in Khajuraho are known for their harmonious combination of sculptures with their architecture. All surfaces are meticulously carved with anthropomorphic and dehumanizing motifs depicting sacred and secular themes. The sculptures depict cult practices, clans and minor deities, and paired couples, all of which reflect the sacred belief system. Other themes reflect social life through depictions of indoor scenes, teachers and students, dancers and musicians, and amorous couples. The composition and ingenuity achieved by master craftsmen give the stone surfaces of Khajuraho temples a rare vibrancy and sensitivity to the warmth of human emotion.
Criterion (i): The Khajuraho complex presents a unique artistic creation, both in its highly original architecture and in high-quality sculptural decoration made up of a mythological treasure of many Play scenes include scenes that are easily construed in various ways, sacred or obscene.
Criterion (iii): The temples of Khajuraho are exceptional testimony to the Chandella culture, which flourished in central India before the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate in the early 13th century AD.
The Khajuraho Group of Monuments includes all the elements needed to manifest its Outstanding Universal Value, consisting of 23 temples that together embody the uniqueness and high quality achieved in temple architecture Nagara style in northern India. The property is properly sized to ensure full representation of features and processes that communicate the importance of the property and is not subject to the adverse effects of development and/or neglect.
To protect the temples in their landscape context, the western, eastern and southern clusters are all fenced off, thus delineating the protected boundaries. This limited the spread of settlements that once comprised part of the Chandella Empire. Potential threats that have been identified to the integrity of the property include nearby Khajuraho Airport, in the form of possible vibrations, increased dust particle volumes, etc.
The property is completely authentic in terms of location and context, form and design as well as materials and materials. Its historical position has not changed. Forms, designs and materials realistically illustrate elements of the mature form of northern Indian temple architecture, including the incorporation of saptaratha plan topped by a stand-alone form of shikhara unique of Nagara style. Set in a picturesque setting, these temples represent a celebration of Chandella’s culture and power.
Protection and management requirements
The Khajuraho group of monuments is owned by the Government of India and is managed by the Archaeological Survey of India through the Antiquities and Monuments and Archaeological Sites Act (AMASR) (1958) and the Its Rules (1959), Amendment (1992), and Amendment and Confirmation Act (2010). The AMASR Act also delineates prohibited and regulated areas extending 100 m and 200 m from the designated monument, respectively. The land adjacent to the monuments is jointly managed by the Revenue official (i.e. District Tax Collector, Madhya Pradesh State government) and the Archaeological Survey of India, then responsible for final approval. In addition to the above protection designations, the rural landscape is managed by the Nagar panchayat (town level government) through the Madhya Pradesh Bhumi Vikas Rule (1984), which can regulate and protect the heritage sites. Paragraph 17 of Section 49 of the Madhya Pradesh Panchayati Rajya Adhiniyam Act (1993) includes a provision on the preservation and maintenance of monuments.
The Archaeological Survey of India reviews and strategizes the allocation of resources in accordance with identified needs. Issues such as intervention, training, research and access are identified annually on the basis of site inspections and assessments. These actions form an integral part of the operational management mechanism, supplemented by specialists as needed. The Archaeological Survey of India reviews and strategizes the allocation of resources in accordance with identified needs. Issues such as intervention, training, research and access are identified annually on the basis of site inspections and assessments. These actions form an integral part of the operational management mechanism, supplemented by specialists as needed. The Archaeological Survey of India reviews and strategizes the allocation of resources in accordance with identified needs. Issues such as intervention, training, research and access are identified annually on the basis of site inspections and assessments. These actions form an integral part of the operational management mechanism, supplemented by specialists as needed.
Maintaining the site’s Outstanding Universal Value over time will require continued protection and control of the area immediately surrounding the site and monitoring of the situation at the nearby airport to identify and remove any impacts. negatively affect the value, integrity or authenticity of the estate.
Map of Khajuraho . Monument Complex
Video about Khajuraho . Monument Complex
See also: UNESCO World Cultural/Natural Heritage Sites