Kandariya Mahadev Temple 1/undefined by Tripoto
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
6:00 AM- 6:00 PM
history tours
Rs 10 for Indians and Rs 250 for foreigners
September - May
Couples, Friends, Families
2 out of 41 attractions in Khajuraho

Kandariya Mahadev Temple

The largest and the grandest of all temples in this complex, this temple was dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. The design and architecture is similar to that of the Lakshmana Temple but there is also a lot of difference. This is adjacent to the Devi Jagadambi temple which is much smaller than this. As you stand in front of this temple you are bound to think about the people with such expert hands in art and carving. It is said that no other man had the guts or talent to build something so grand and thus, the Kandariya Mahadev Temple became the largest of all time here. The form of Shiva worshipped here was the Lord Virbhadra and the temple theme is the destruction of evil forces. The main carvings on the temple walls are of snakes, serpents and serpent kings and queens. Like most of the other temples in this temple complex, you will also find smaller idols of other Hindu gods and goddesses here.
Prashant Srivastava
The outer walls are decorated with sculptures in three vertical layers. The sculptures include heavenly bodies such as 'Apsara' and their male counterparts, the 'Gandharva', in various courses of life. In between, the erotic sculptures are beautifully arranged. All these sculptures are brilliantly carved and are in coitus postures with maidens and musicians flanking the couple. This temple has the maximum number of feminine beauty and erotic acrobatics. There are nearly 872 statues in total. Contrary to the general belief; the erotic sculptures account for only 10% of total sculptures of Khajuraho temples. The researchers have discovered all together over eighty, all different, depictions of copulation. On the other hand, most of the sculptures depict everyday life scenes depicting gods and goddesses, mother and son, wives/lovers waiting for their husbands/lovers, musicians, war, playing games, dancing, hunting, journeys, processions, elephants and other creatures.
Prashant Srivastava
As you enter the premises through gates, there in front of you stands the largest temple among all the three groups of Khajuraho complex, the Kandariya Mahadev temple with all its grandeur. This temple is 102 ft in height from ground to Kalash (the top most point) and 66 ft wide. Plinth of the temple itself is 13 ft high. Lord Shiva is the main deity of this temple. The structure of this temple resembles of a mountain, comprising of a series of 'shikharas' of varying heights in ascending order. The word Kandariya originated from 'Kandara', which means cave. So Kandariya Mahadev means 'Lord Shiv who lives in cave' and this is somewhat reflected from the architecture of the temple. Various windows resemble like openings of the cave.