WESTERN GROUP OF TEMPLES - The Western Group of Temples, are the most famous temples of Khajuraho, with the mithunas (couples), gandharvas, apsaras, vidyadaras and kinaras. The images of the apsaras are stunning, with their sensuous poses and liquid movements. . The Kandariya Mahadeo is the biggest and most stunning temple, with its 800 statues of gods and goddesses, the marble lingam and the ceiling that rises 31 meters high. It is considered the most evolved example of central Indian temple architecture. This temple is also the largest of Khajuraho’s temples. The Lakshmana Temple has friezes of battle scenes and erotic poses, depicting both sides of the Chandela warriors’ lives. The finely carved inner sanctum has a three-headed idol of Vishnu’s incarnations, Narasimha and Varaha. The Varaha Temple has a 9-feet-high image of the boar incarnation of Vishnu, gorgeously carved with 474 images. The Chitragupta Temple is dedicated to the Sun God, and has many group scenes of royal processions, hunting, and dancing that reflect the lavish lifestyle of the Chandela courts. The Devi Jagdamba Temple has a gorgeous image of Parvati. It is perhaps the most erotic temple of Khajuraho. The temple houses Khajuraho’s most talked-about image, mithuna, and the sensuously carved figures. The Matangesvara Temple has a 2.5-metre-high polished lingam of Shiva. This is the only temple that is actively used for worship. The temple of Vishvanath and Nandi celebrates the marriage of Lord Shiva with Parvati. The temple draws attention by its provocative depiction of women. Chaunsath Yogini is dedicated to goddesses Kali. It is the oldest of the surviving temples of Khajuraho. The only temple in Khajuraho to be built of granite, the name of the temple is derived from the cells of 64 attendants of Goddess Kali (chaunsath: sixty-four).
EASTERN GROUP OF TEMPLES - The Eastern temples are partly Jain and partly Hindu. The most striking is the Parsvanath Temple, with its exquisite sculptures depicting everyday activity. Only a century old, Shantinath is the most recent of all the temples in Khajuraho. Visited by the Digambar Jains, the temple houses a four and a half metre statue of Adinath. The Ghantai Temple, mostly in ruins now, has fine columns and chains and bells, with a figure of a Jain goddess on a garuda. Mainly built of granite and sandstone, the temple of Brahma and Hanuman is one of the oldest temples in Khajuraho.
THE SOUTHERN GROUP OF TEMPLES - The southern group of temples contains only two temples. The Duladeo Temple apparently is newer of the two and was built at a time when the creativity of Khajuraho was well below its peak. The other is the Chaturbhuj Temple, located far from the village.