Structure and Meaning of Khajuraho Temples

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  • Topic: Temple, Kandariya Mahadeva temple, Hinduism
  • Pages : 9 (2521 words )
  • Download(s) : 160
  • Published : April 19, 2006
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS…………………………………………………………….........1

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS………………………………………………………...........3

INTRODUCTION………………………………………………………………………...4

Statement of the Problem………………………………………………………….4

Method of Research……………………………………………………………….4

Importance of the Study…………………………………………………………...4

Delimitations………………………………………………………………………4

HISTORY…………………………………………………………………………………5

STRUCTURE……………………………………………………………………………..6

Height……………………………………………………………………………...6

Parts of a Whole…………………………………………………………………...6

Sculptors…………………………………………………………………………..7

Carving and Figure Anatomy…...…………………………………………………7

SEX………………………………………………………………………………………..9

Rarity of Sex.......……………………………………………………………….....9

Pun……………………………………………………………………………….10

FAITH……………………………………………………………………………………11

Approach…………………………………………………………………………11

How to Enter….………………………………………………………………….11

ILLUSTRATIONS………………………...…………………………………………….12

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS……………………………………………………15

Summary…………………………………………………………………………15

Conclusions………………………………………………………………………15

BIBLIOGRAPHY………………………………………………………………………..16

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Page
Fig. 1, Elevation of the Kandariya Mahadeva………………………………………………12 Fig. 2, Athakambha…………………………………………………………………………..12 Fig. 3, Loose Sculpture of Vishnu with His Wife Lakshmi on the Bird Man……………….12

Fig. 4, Celestial Woman……………………………………………………………………...13 Fig. 5, Kandariya Mahadeva Temple………………………………………………………...13 Fig. 6, Doorway to the Sanctum of a Shiva Temple…………………………………………14
INTRODUCTION

Statement of the Problem. Many people look at the temples of Khajuraho as profane and entirely sexual. Anyone who knows their true meaning knows that is not the case. These temples are sanctuaries and places of worship for the Hindu deities to be taken seriously as beautiful, amazing works of art. Unfortunately, only those who worship there are cultured enough to see them as that. The questions answered in this paper were: What is the structure of the sculptures? How are they sexual? How are they used in faith?

Method of Research. This paper was a library study which was mainly researched by books on Hindu art, journals and online journals on the temples.

Importance of the Study. This study was important because it helped to better understand the culture and why these temples have such an in intense controversy all over the world.

Delimitations. This paper is about the 23 still remaining temples of the similar structured temples of Khajuraho, India and their general idea. Not about any specific one of them.

HISTORY
The temples of Khajuraho were originally built by the Chandellas, a warrior clan who ruled for about 300 years (Clifton, 83). A minor prince of central India adorned his capital, Khajuraho, with what has been described as a "charming, splendid home of Vishnu which rivals the peaks of the mountain of snow." (Schulberg, 108). They were built between 950 and 1050 and "represent the climax of central north Indian temple building" (Alles, 165). There were originally 80 temples; there are now 23 that remain standing.

STRUCTURE
Height. "Walking past one sees the solid base of the building, then a triple row of these waving figures, and then the architecture soaring above" (Langland, 36). The temples were built with cream colored sandstone and they soar to tall heights; each temple is more than 20 feet above ground. There is a lot of stress on the temples, being vertical rather than horizontal (Lee, 203). Domed spires called shikara (Santana, 13) "strain upward like a secession of foothills toward a mountainous main tower" (Schulberg, 108). They "draw the eye heavenward" (Santana, 13) and since they are "surrounded by smaller spires, it suggests a stylized mountain range (Fig. 1) and is meant to symbolize the Himalayas, the legendary abode of the gods" (Santana, 13). The effect is very organic or...
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