Stunning Jain Temples of Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh || Temples where active worship and prayers are still conducted

On the Eastern side of Khajuraho, at about 2 kilometers from the Western Group of Temples, are the magnificent Jain temples, where unlike in other temples, active prayers and worship are still conducted. These temples are a part of the Eastern Group of Temples of Khajuraho. Like other temples of the area, you can also spot some erotic sculptures here, but many of them feature one mythical beast known as Shardul. We will talk about this entity later.

On the Eastern side of Khajuraho, at about 2 kilometers from the Western Group of Temples, are the magnificent Jain temples, where unlike in other temples, active prayers and worship are still conducted. These temples are a part of the Eastern Group of Temples of Khajuraho. Like other temples of the area, you can also spot some erotic sculptures here, but many of them feature one mythical beast known as Shardul. We will talk about this entity later. 

During the Chandela period, Khajuraho seems to have had a thriving Jain population and they were probably settled in the Eastern Part of the city. There are several Jain temples in various states of disrepair in this region. However, most the active ones are concentrated in a walled complex, the outer wall of which was constructed in the 19th century.   Related Blogpost - Raneh Falls - A preserved area with Magnificent Waterfall around underrated Canyon with colourful rocks and lush green Forest with active wildlife around Ken river in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh

During the Chandela period, Khajuraho seems to have had a thriving Jain population and they were probably settled in the Eastern Part of the city. There are several Jain temples in various states of disrepair in this region. However, most the active ones are concentrated in a walled complex, the outer wall of which was constructed in the 19th century. 


The temple complex also boasts of a museum that displays Jain artifacts from the Chandela period. The complex also has provisions of preaching, studying, and boarding for Digambar monks. The complex therefore looks much more "alive" than the complex of the Western Group of Temples.   Related Blogpost - Beautiful and Unique Laxmi Temple in Orchha, Madhya Pradesh || Witness history through the fresco-laden walls of a beautiful temple

The temple complex also boasts of a museum that displays Jain artifacts from the Chandela period. The complex also has provisions of preaching, studying, and boarding for Digambar monks. The complex therefore looks much more "alive" than the complex of the Western Group of Temples. 


The complex actually has several corners where you can witness its trysts with the nature that tries to reclaim what belonged to it once. Temples of Khajuraho were all at one time hidden in wilderness and that also saved them from being destroyed by the plunderers.    Related Blogpost - Orchha, Madhya Pradesh || The hidden land that adopted Lord Ram as their King in the 16th Century

The complex actually has several corners where you can witness its trysts with the nature that tries to reclaim what belonged to it once. Temples of Khajuraho were all at one time hidden in wilderness and that also saved them from being destroyed by the plunderers.  


Actually the yellow temple walls look very pretty against the blue sky and the surrounding green landscape. Surreal and mystic are the two words that perfectly describe this area. And this brings me back to "Shardul". If you look up the meaning of the word, online dictionaries seem to oversimplify it. They say that this work means "Lion or Tiger", whereas that's far from being all that it is.    Related Blogpost - Khajuraho one day Itinerary - How to spend a day around this World Heritage City of Madhya Pradesh in best way ?

Actually the yellow temple walls look very pretty against the blue sky and the surrounding green landscape. Surreal and mystic are the two words that perfectly describe this area. And this brings me back to "Shardul". If you look up the meaning of the word, online dictionaries seem to oversimplify it. They say that this work means "Lion or Tiger", whereas that's far from being all that it is.  


A "Shardul" is actually a mythical beast with the head of a lion and the body of a horse, but the significance goes much beyond the anatomy and physiology. You find the Shardul in many sculptures at Khajuraho. A Shardul, as per one of the guides in the Jain temple, was the representation of our worldly desires and the human figures in these sculptures are often seen trying to fight or tame "Sharduls". If the guide's interpretation is correct, then indeed these sculptures carry a very deep meaning.   Related blogpost - The Marvels of the Orchha Palace Complex || A Stunning, Solid & Complex Architectural masterpiece that came up over the centuries

A "Shardul" is actually a mythical beast with the head of a lion and the body of a horse, but the significance goes much beyond the anatomy and physiology. You find the Shardul in many sculptures at Khajuraho. A Shardul, as per one of the guides in the Jain temple, was the representation of our worldly desires and the human figures in these sculptures are often seen trying to fight or tame "Sharduls". If the guide's interpretation is correct, then indeed these sculptures carry a very deep meaning. 

 
One of the temples within the complex is the Lord Adinath Temple. This temple contains an idol with an inscription dated to year 1027 during the rule of Chandella king Madanavarman. The sculpture features Adinatha with an ushnisha on his head and dharmachakra with a small bull figure.  Related Blogpost - Khajuraho Light and Sound show || A spellbinding and informative opportunity to learn about the history of the temples and that of the Chandela Dynasty

One of the temples within the complex is the Lord Adinath Temple. This temple contains an idol with an inscription dated to year 1027 during the rule of Chandella king Madanavarman. The sculpture features Adinatha with an ushnisha on his head and dharmachakra with a small bull figure.


One of the temples in the complex is that of Lord Shantinath. This is a modern composite structure that has several shrines. The main shrine has a 15-feet idol of Lord Shantinath. The temple incorporates sections of several structures.   Related Blogpost - Raja Cafe, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh || Enjoy great views of the Western Group of Temples while munching on awesome food and chilled beer

One of the temples in the complex is that of Lord Shantinath. This is a modern composite structure that has several shrines. The main shrine has a 15-feet idol of Lord Shantinath. The temple incorporates sections of several structures. 


The largest temple in the complex is the Parshwanath temple. Even though the temple is affiliated to Jain faith, the sculptures on the exteriors of the temple also feature Vaishnav themes. It dates back to the 10th century CE and is thought to have been built by a prominent Jain family of that time.   Related Blogpost - A Pleasant, Standardised stay at Golden Tulip, Khajuraho || A hotel at walking distance from famous Western Group of Temples

The largest temple in the complex is the Parshwanath temple. Even though the temple is affiliated to Jain faith, the sculptures on the exteriors of the temple also feature Vaishnav themes. It dates back to the 10th century CE and is thought to have been built by a prominent Jain family of that time. 

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