Lakshmana Temple. Temple in India, Asia

Lakshmana Temple

Temple in India, Asia

Lakshmana Temple Photo © Antoine Taveneaux

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Lakshmana Temple

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	Lakshmana Temple
Lakshmana Temple. Photo by unknown
The Lakshmana Temple, Khajuraho is one among the twenty surviving Hindu and Jain temples in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India. The temples of both the schools, Jainism, and Hinduism were built between the mid-10th century and the mid-11th century, the Lakshamana Temple being among one of the earliest built during the reign of Yasovarman. Located in the Western Complex of the Khajuraho temples, the Lakshmana Temple was built during the reign of the Chandela (Wikipedia Article) ruler, King Yasovaram, and dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temples are spread over an area of 6 square kilometers. It is believed that in the 12th century there were around 85 temples covering an area of 20 square kilometers.

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	Temple
Lakshmana Temple. Photo by unknown

Architecture and Sculptures

The temple is among the most ornate and exquisitely decorated temples. Like all the other temples, except one among the group, the main shrine of the temple faces east, or towards sunrise. In the typical Vastu-purusha-mandala design of all Hindu temples, and has an ardh-mandapa (entrance porch), a Maha-Mandapa (a larger space in which the devotees can sit), the Antarala (a narrow passage leading to the inner sanctum), and the Garbhagriha (inner sanctum). Within the Garbhagriha is the tri-headed, sculptured idol of Vaikuntha (Vishnu), believed to have been brought all the way from Tibet. The central head of the idol is human while on either side is the head of a boar and that of a lion, two of the several incarnations of Vishnu. Around the Garbhagriha is a circular passage that the pilgrims and devotees circumambulate the deity in a pradakshina (walking around the deity or the temple clockwise in a circle).

Built entirely of red sandstone, with mortoise and tenon joints and without mortar, the temple rests on a platform with a flight of steps leading to the entrance porch. The temple is about 30 meters long and is equally high. Around the base are rows of elephant statues, symbolically carrying the weight of the temple. Above the temple is a Nagara-style Shikara (a crown depicting a mountain), with its four sides carved with the images of about 600 deities and their escorts. On the southeast side of the Shikara are sculptures demonstrating explicit acts of sex, including sex with animals.

Sculpture details -
	Lakshmana Temple
Sculpture details - Lakshmana Temple. Photo by unknown

Visiting Khajuraho

The Khajuraho airport is well-connected to major cities in India and around the world. It is about 400 kilometers away from the state's capital city of Bhopal, and 620 kilometers away from the national capital city, Delhi. There are many hotels in Khajuraho, only a few kilometers away from the temple site. There is accommodation in Khajuraho, one of the most popular tourist destinations in India, to suit all budgets from budget hotels to luxurious retreats. Among the best budget hotels in Khajuraho are Hotel Harmony, Zen Hotel, Hotel Isabel Palace, and Hotel Harmony. The Lalit Temple View Hotel, Radisson Hotel Khajuraho, Khajuraho Resorts, and Hotel Shri Krishna Jungle Resort are popular luxurious accommodations. The summer months from November to March are the best time to visit Khajuraho. The months of April through to July can be stiflingly hot and it rains during the rest of the year.

A visit to the temples will cost an Indian national ₨ 10 ($0.16). A foreign national will have to pay $ 10 USD ( ₨ 600 ($9.60)). The temples are open for visiting from 8 AM to 6 PM. Light and sound shows are held at the temple sites in both English and Hindi, starting from 6:30 PM. Tickets to the shows cost $ 6.00 USD for foreigners and half that price for a child.

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Author: jackmartis. Last updated: Dec 13, 2014

Pictures of Lakshmana Temple

Lakshmana Temple
Lakshmana Temple. Photo by unknown

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