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Khajuraho Tourism

Varaha Mandap , Khajuraho

varaha-mandap-khajurahoVARAHA MANDAP : This open pavilion stands to the south of the Devi shrine on a high platform. The mandap stands elevated above the ground with 14 short pillars that support the high pyramidal roof capped with an amalaka and kalash.

As you ascend the stairs and enter, the beauty of this little pavilion become evident. A low parapet wall forms the side of the mandap, and here you can sit on the soft smoothened stone and admire the image of Varaha. Directly under the pyramidal roof stands an enormous monolithic image of the Varaha, the boar incarnation of Vishnu, lord of preservation. The image is made out of a single block of sandstone that measures 2.6 metres long and 1.7 metres high. The stone shines like burnished metal and is one of the most unusual sculptures of Khajuraho. According to Hindu mythology there was a time when the earth was engulfed by primeval floods. Vishnu assumed the form of gigantic cosmic boar and divided the waters and lifted the earth goddess Bhudevi out of their foreboding depths. As Varaha carried the gentle earth out of the waters, on his triumphant back rode the pantheon of gods celebrating the return of the earth to safety. This powerful image of Varaha represents this cosmic event. Varaha stands firm on all four feet, and near his front feet are the remains of a lovely pair of female feet where once stood the figure of the graceful earth goddess.

of the Khajuraho temple design. The Vishvanath Temple profile reveals that the purpose of the balconies is to create a double cross and an undulating ground plan that does not even hint at monotony. The balconies also provide light and ventilation to the inner mandaps. From the outside, as light streams through the balcony openings, they appear to hoist the upper levels, the roofs and shikhara, off the base, making the whole temple seem weightless as if it were floating in space.
Another remarkable architectural achievement of the design is the interplay of opposites. There is a balance achieved in the play of macro and the micro, the monumental and the subtlest detail, of light and shadows, of horizontals and verticals. The sculptural bands accentuate the earth-bound horizontals of the building while the recesses and projections steer the temple skyward. In bringing together these opposites the artists have succeeded in creating a sense of perfect balance, controlled equilibrium and creative harmony. This harmony is one of the highest canons of art and has been fully realized in the architecture and sculpture of Khajuraho.

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