Duladeo Temple. Temple in India, Asia

Duladeo Temple

Temple in India, Asia

India - Madhya Pradesh - Khajuraho - Duladeo Temple - 3 Photo © Manfred Sommer

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Duladeo Temple

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	Duladeo Temple
Duladeo Temple. Photo by unknown
Duladeo Temple is one of the 20 surviving temples of the schools of Hinduism and Jainism in the village of Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, India. Also called the Kunwarnath Math, Duladeo means the ‘holy bridegroom’, and the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Among the most important of the Khajuraho temples, it is famous all over the world.


The Khajuraho temples were built during the two-century reign of the Chandela (Wikipedia Article) dynasty from 950 AD to 1150 AD. It is believed that there were more than eighty temples originally of which only a score have survived. Of the surviving temples, seventeen are dedicated to Hindu deities and 3 to Jain Tirthankara (Wikipedia Article)s. The temples are spread over an area of twenty square kilometers and are divided into three major groups; the Western, the Southern, and the Eastern group. T. S. Burt, a captain in British Army, rediscovered the temples in 1838. Since then many of the temples have been restored.

The Duladeo Temple is in the Southern group of temples, about 5 kilometers from the village of Khajuraho. The temple had probably been built during the reign of King Madanaverman who ruled from 1128 t0 1165, one of the last rulers of the Chandela dynasty and is considered to be one of the last temples to be built in Khajuraho. The word ‘Vasala’ appears in several places in the temple as well as in the other temple leading to the general belief that Vasala was the chief architect. There are others who think that ‘Vasala’ was the mark of masons. In 1986 all the temples taken together were declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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	Daludeo Temple - Duladeo Temple
Details - Daludeo Temple - Duladeo Temple. Photo by unknown

Architecture and Construction

Situated on the banks of the Khodar River, the Duladeo Temple is constructed from fine grained sandstone like most of the others. It is constructed in a style that resembles Mount Kailash, the abode of the principal diety, Lord Shiva. Unlike other temples, the Duladeo Temple does not have a Pradakshina or a circumambulatory around the inner sanctum. The Shikara, the main pinnacle of the temple above the Garbhagriha (inner sanctum) is preceded by a row of smaller shikaras .

The ceiling of the large Mahamandapa, the main hall, is carved with figures of celestial females or Apsaras in dancing and erotic postures. Sculpture of Lord Shiva and his consort, Parvati, in erotic postures can be seen all over the temple. An exquisite figure of Shiva is carved at the entrance to the inner sanctum. In general, the figures sculptured on the walls of the temple are so well proportioned that they appear real at the first glance.

 - Duladeo
Duladeo Temple. Photo by unknown
Like all the temples in Khajuraho except one, the entrance of the temple faces east or towards sunrise. Inside the inner sanctum is a Shiva Linga (symbol of Lord Shiva). The Linga has been installed later as the original linga could not be traced. The linga has 999 smaller lingas carved on it. Worshipers believe that one circumambulation of the main linga is the equivalent of one thousand circumambulations. Older photographs show that the Shikara of the temple and the roof of the Mahamandapa were severely damaged. The lighter color of the sandstone and the lack of any carvings, in contrast to the rest of the temple, indicate the areas that were restored.

Visiting the Temple

The temples are open to visitors from 8AM to 6PM. The entry fee for Indian visitors is ₨ 10 ($0.16) while foreigners will have to pay a fee of $ 10 USD in equivalent value in Indian rupees. Sound and light shows are conducted daily in English at 6.30 PM to 7.25 PM. There is a show in Hindi thereafter. Entry fees for the shows are ₨ 75 ($1.20) for an Indian adult and ₨ 25 ($0.40) for a child, while a foreign adult will have to pay ₨ 300 ($4.80) and a child ₨ 150 ($2.40).

 - Duladeo
Duladeo Temple. Photo by unknown
Khajuraho is 625 kilometers south of Delhi, the Indian capital and 200 kilometers away from the city of Jhansi (Wikipedia Article), the monuments can be reached by road from most of the surroundings cities and towns by road. Khajuraho is connected by air to Mumbai, Delhi, and Varanasi from the airport located five kilometers away from the village. The Khajuraho railway station is connected by direct trains to Delhi, Varanasi, Agra, and Jhansi. But tickets from Khajuraho by train will have to be purchased at the main bus station.

Accommodation is available for all budgets starting from budget hotels like Isabel Palace, Hotel Harmony, and Hotel Surya to the luxurious Taj Hotel Chandela, and Radisson Jass. The months between November and March are the best time to visit the monuments as the climate is cool and pleasant.

Other Places of Interest

There are nineteen other fabulous temples to see around Khajuraho other than the Duladeo Temple, among them the Lakshmana Temple, the Adinath Jain Temple, and the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, the largest of them all. Within a radius of 300 kilometers are the holy city of Varanasi and the Gwalior Fort.

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Author: jackmartis. Last updated: Dec 11, 2014

Pictures of Duladeo Temple

Duladeo Temple
Duladeo Temple. Photo by unknown


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