Kandariya Mahadeva Temple

Kandariya Mahadeva temple sits just to the west of Lakshmana temple. Built in 1025-1050 AD, it is 30 meters tall and the largest in the Khajuraho complex. It is dedicated to Shiva and its name consists of the word "cave" (Kandariya) and Mahadeva, another name by which Shiva is known. The temple is considered to be the most impressive and refined in the Khajuraho complex, with over 900 sculptures carved into sandstone stacked without mortar. The vibrantly carved exterior contrasts with a very plain interior space that houses a Shiva lingam in the womb, or 'griha', of the temple located beneath the main 'shikhara' (spire).
The temple takes its name from kandara or cave and Mahadeva, another name for Shiva. Like many other temples in the Khajuraho complex, it has a linear series of access-steps facing the east-west directions. Other features are columned halls with balconies, an entrance porch, and the inner sanctum. Decorating the sides of the temple are over 646 statues. At the top of the shikhara is the amalaka, a circular ring motif common in North Indian temple architecture. The erotic figures do not span the whole temple and are not to be found among the 226 found inside. The temple includes some of the most energetic eroticism to be seen at khajuraho.

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