Photographer's Note

Laxman Temple

One of the most magnificent temples of Khajuraho, the Lakshmana Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is also called as Ramchandra or Chaturbhuja temple. Measuring 29.9m (98 ft.) by 13.8 m (45 ft. 3 in.). It has four subordinate shrines at eh four corners of the platform terrace. The direction of all the five temples is arranged in such a manner that a devotee ascending the stairs of the terrace will face the doors of all the five temples. The plan of this temple is the 'perfected Khajuraho' design of he sandhar type with two pairs of transepts. The five components that complete the architectural scheme of Khajuraho's greater temples are present in this one.

There is an extremely decorated doorway leading into the main sanctum. The lintel over the entrance shows Lakshm, the Goddess of wealth and the wife of Vishnu, with Brahma, the lord of Creation on her left and Shiva, the Lord of Destruction on her right. The nine planets are also depicted on this frieze above the lintel. On the doorway is a relief picturing the churning of the ocean by the ogds and the demosn to obtain the devine nector, amrit, which conferred immortality on those who drank it. The ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu is depicted on another relief on the doorway.

In this temple the carving everywhere is very elegant. One encounter an ex2uisite toran 'arch ' at the entrance porch and the other splendid one framing the 1.2 m high idol of the deity. The ceiling of the mandapa is an excellent piece of art with its cusped and concentric sculptural circles, "carved internally to represent the mystic lotus." The ubiquitous women brackets and the shardual capital are 'master pieces of plastic modeling.' Apart from its rich inside, its platform moldings and friezes on the outside a re excellent. Its great friezes, present a panoramic pageant of scenes of very sort, that is, of hunting, of battle, or processions of elephants and horses and other miscellaneous representations pertaining to domestic life and erotic activity.

Some of the erotic friezes of this temple are notoriously naughty. Many lovely females adorn the walls including Lakshmi the spouse of Vishnu, who is the incarnation of beauty. The outer walls have only two bands of sculptures unlike the three in other temples. The image of Vishnu, which is four armed (chaturbhuj) was obtained from Devpal, the Pratihar ruler of Kannauj. It originally belongs to Tibet. The central head of the image is that of a man, while the other two represent Narsinghamanlion, and Varaha-bear incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple was built between 930 to 950 A.D. by king Yasho-varman.

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Additional Photos by pankaj bajpai (pankajbajpai) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 87 W: 3 N: 84] (376)
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