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Notes on the Geography of Northern India: Khajuraho Details 2

The interior of the temples is ornately decorated except for the sanctuary, which, contrary to Western equivalents, is austere.

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Northern India: Khajuraho Details 2 picture 1

This is the entrance to the Lakshmana vestibule, showing the temple's pyramidal roof (the jagamohan or phamsana) and a pair of flamboyant makaras. Makaras are aquatic monsters compounded of crocodile, fish, and elephant trunk but symbolizing water.

Northern India: Khajuraho Details 2 picture 2

A close-up of the makara gate or torana.  The disgorging of vegetation suggests the riot of unconfined nature.

Northern India: Khajuraho Details 2 picture 3

Inside the mandapa of the Lakshmana Temple, with the doorway (dvara-sakha) into the garbhagriya.

Northern India: Khajuraho Details 2 picture 4

Vishnu as Vaikunt in the garbhagriya of the Lakshmana Temple. Vaikunt is another name of Vishnu but also the name of his heavenly domain.

Northern India: Khajuraho Details 2 picture 5

The makara torana at Mahadeva.

Northern India: Khajuraho Details 2 picture 6

A lotus or padma sill at Mahadeva.

Northern India: Khajuraho Details 2 picture 7

Pillar in the mandapa.

Northern India: Khajuraho Details 2 picture 8

Coffered ceiling of the mandapa of the Javari Temple.

Northern India: Khajuraho Details 2 picture 9

Lotus steps to the Mahadeva sanctum.

Northern India: Khajuraho Details 2 picture 10

The austere sanctuary, empty except for a Shiva lingam, of the Mahadeva Temple.

Northern India: Khajuraho Details 2 picture 11

Closeup of the lingam or sign or emblem of Shiva--too potent to need ornament. It symbolizes not only the god but the energy driving creation.


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