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Khajuraho Tourism

Jain Group of Temples, Khajuraho



INTRODUCTION

Jain temples in Khajuraho The Jain Community of Khajuraho city was the wealthiest community in India. The Jain legacy here includes one of the finest collections of temples in Madhya Pradesh together with more than dozen Hindu temples. At South east of Khajuraho village, the road ends in front of the complex of jain temples. On the way to the Jain complex, at the southern edge of the village and barely visible from the road are the ruins of the Ghantai Temple. All that remain are pillars, some with bells ( ghanti, hence the name) dangling on chains all carved in stone. There are three main Jain temples the Parshvanath Temple and the Adinath Temple, which both date to the middle Ages; and the Shantinath Temple, a more recent building that was constructed from the remains of other temples. Cunningham discovered the only Buddhist statue to be found in khajuraho in the vicinity of the Ghantai temple. The Jain temple complex was recently developed, with shops and a small museum displaying Jain images salvaged from the vicinity. Together these make Khajuraho one of the most important Jain sites in India. One other temple is also there called as Ghantai Temple. It is also belongs to Jain community.

Khajuraho has been recognized by UNESCO as a place of world heritage on account of its magnificent temples. There is no doubt that Khajuraho is one of the most prominent international tourist centers of India. It was widely known as the religious capital of mighty Chandela rulers in the medieval period (9th to 13th Century AD). The temples of Khajuraho are generally divided into three groups: Western, Eastern and Northern. The Eastern group is mainly consisting of Jain temples. There are 34 (Thirty Four) Jain Temples in total in the Khajuraho city. But from architectural point of view the Parsvanath, the Adinath and the Shantinath temples are relatively more important and noteworthy. These temples are unique examples of religious harmony and spirit of accommodation. Atishay (Miracle), The Shantinath Temple is famous for its 14 feet high standing idol, the 16th jain tirthankar. According to an inscription on it, it is installed in Vikrama-Samvat 1085 (1028 AD). This idol is full of miracle. About 400 years ago, while invaders (idol breakers) came here and applied hammer to the little finger to break the idol, flow of milk started from it and at the same time dense flock of honey bees attached on invaders and pushed them to run away. Desires of devotees are fulfilled here after prayer and worship full of faith.

JAIN TEMPLES HISTORY

There are some places in India where Hindus and Jains seem to have gotten along better than in the city of Khajuraho. The two groups apparently lived here side by side since at least the 9th century. During the 10th century, a new regional power raise in Central India, the Chandela. The Chandela emerged in the vicinity of Khajuraho, and it became one of the major cities of the kingdom. The Chandela kingdom survived in one ruler form or another for the better part of the next four hundred years, during this time they develop Khajuraho as a major urban and religious center. From the 10th through the 12th centuries Chandels sponsored the construction of dozens of major temples in the city, including both religion Jain and Hindu shrines.

The main Jain temples includes the Parshvanath Temple around 954 AD, the Ghantai Temple around 960 AD, and the Adinath Temple around 1027 AD. As many as eighty other temples of both religions were also constructed in Khajuraho at this time. Khajuraho was a major Jain center throughout the period of Chandela rule. After the Muslim conquest of the region in the 13th century, many of Khajuraho's temples were destroyed, while others were neglected and ultimately abandoned over time. They were rediscovered by British explorers in the 19th century. Most of those that survived have since been restored. One new temple, the Shantinath Temple, was constructed from the ruins of other temples during the colonial era.

ART & SCULPTURE

The Jain temple complex was recently developed, with shops and a small museum displaying Jain images salvaged from the vicinity. A gateway leads into the enclosed complex, to one side of which is the Dharamshala, the hostel for visiting devotees. To the left is a temple that is in worship, called the shantinath. This temple is an assemblage of the fragments, pillars and images from older temples and is built around a courtyard. In the central niche is the tall (4.5 metre) image of Adhinath. The path leads to another enclosure within which are two interesting temples. The main temples of the Jain group of temples in khajuraho are: The Parshavnath Temple, Shantinath Temple and Adinath Temple. There are 31 (Thirty one) Jain Temples in total. But from architectural point of view the Parsvanath, the Adinath and the Shantinath temples are relatively more important and noteworthy. These temples are unique examples of religious harmony and spirit of accommodation. Atishay (Miracle), The Shantinath Temple is famous for its 14 feet high standing idol, the 16th jain tirthankara. According to an inscription on it, it is installed in Vikrama-Samvat 1085 (1028 AD). This idol is full of miracle. Shri 1008 Lord Shantinath temple is the main temple with 4 ft. high colossus in the standing posture, the highest idol of all idols (deity images) of Khajuraho. This temple contains a large number of remarkably gracious images of Tirthankaras. This temple also contains a picture-gallery, which exhibits photos of prominent Jain monuments of India as a whole, in a chronological manner. Shantinath Temple is a modern composite structure that incorporates sections of several temples. It has several shrines. The main section has a 12 feet tall idol of Lord Shantinath with an inscription of Sam. 1085. The Parsvanath temple is famous in the world as it contains some of the most excellent sculptures of Khajuraho e.g. figures of Lakshmi- Narain, Balram-Reoti, eight Dikpalas (i.e. Indra, Agni, Yama, Nirriti, Varuna, Vayu, Kuber and Isan), Ambika, Kamdev-Rati, Ram-Sita along with Hanuman. This temple is also privileged to possess the best art pieces of Sura-Sundaris (Divine Nymphs) in various attractive postures.

LOCATION

Shri Digamber Atishay Kshetra, Khajuraho is located at Village Khajuraho, Taluka Rajnagar, District Chatarpur (M. P.). Khajuraho is 60 km from Mahoba, 152 km from Satna and 13 km from Jhansi. Road from Satna to Khajuraho, passes through rivers and valleys, full of very beautiful natural scenario. Khajuraho has been recognized by UNESCO as a place of world heritage on account of its magnificent temples. The temples of Khajuraho are generally divided into three groups: Western, Eastern and Northern. The Eastern group is mainly consisting of Jain temples. Many Jain inscriptions from the Chandella period can be seen at Khajuraho

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Khajuraho can be visited anytime between the months of July to March. The city of Madhya Pradesh is a treasure house of ancient cave temples. The best time to explore these prized beauties is the pleasant months. Summers in the city are warm days. Heated weather does not let you enjoy the sights. Monsoon in the city are a pleasant time. Moderate rains are available for few days in the season. The lovely months of October to February are the best time as crowds from all over the world visit. The Khajuraho Dance Festival held every year in February is the best time to plan your trip. At the marvelous backdrop enjoy the rare classical dances of the country.

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