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Khajuraho is a town in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, located in Chhatarpur District, about 620 kilometres (385 miles) south-east of New Delhi, the capital city of India.

One of the most popular tourist destinations in India, Khajuraho has the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, famous for their erotic sculpture. The Khajuraho group of monuments has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is considered to be one of the "seven wonders" of India.

The name Khajuraho, ancient "Kharjuravahaka", is derived from the Sanskrit word kharjur meaning date palm.

In the 27th century of the Kali yuga (circa. 500-400 BCE), the Mlechcha invaders, or barbarians, started attacking North India. Some Bargujar Rajputs moved eastward to central India; they ruled over the Northeastern region of Rajasthan, called Dhundhar, and were referred to as Dhundhel or Dhundhela in ancient times, for the region they governed. Later on they called themselves Bundelas and Chandelas; those who were in the ruling class having gotra Kashyap were definitely all Bargujars; they were vassals of the Gurjara - Pratihara empire of North India, which lasted from 500 C.E. to 1300 C.E. and at its peak the major monuments were built. The Bargujars also built the Kalinjar fort and Neelkanth Mahadev temple, similar to one at Sariska National Park, and Baroli, being Shiva worshippers

The city was the cultural capital of Chandela Rajputs, a Hindu dynasty that ruled this part of India from the 10-12th centuries. The political capital of the Chandelas was Kalinjar. The Khajuraho temples were built over a span of 200 years, from 950 to 1150. The Chandela capital was moved to Mahoba after this time, but Khajuraho continued to flourish for some time. Khajuraho has no forts because the Chandel Kings never lived in their cultural capital.

The whole area was enclosed by a wall with eight gates, each flanked by two golden palm trees. There were originally over 80 Hindu temples, of which only 25 now stand in a reasonable state of preservation, scattered over an area of about 20 square kilometres (8 square miles).

Today, the temples serve as fine examples of Indian architectural styles that have gained popularity due to their explicit depiction of sexual life during medieval times. Locals living in the Khajuraho village always knew about and kept up the temples as best as they could. They were pointed out to an Englishman in late 19th century but the jungles had taken a toll on all the monuments.

(Source: Wikipedea)

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5908 W: 61 N: 17012] (76508)
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