Dulhadev Shiva Temple

Dulhadev Shiva Temple-Khajuraho: A Charming Temple of the Southern Group

The Dulhadev Shiva Temple is a Hindu temple in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India. It is situated on the banks of the Khodar River and is one of the most beautiful shrines of the southern group. The temple is dedicated to Shiva, the destroyer and the transformer, in the form of a linga, which is deified in the sanctum. The temple is also known as “Kunwar Math” or the “Holy Bridegroom Temple”. As part of the Khajuraho Group of Monuments, the temple was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1986. Visit during One day Khajuraho Local Sightseeing by Private cab.

Overview of Dulhadev Shiva Temple

Dulhadev Shiva Temple
Dulhadev Shiva Temple

The Dulhadev Shiva Temple is one of the last temples that were built by the Chandela kings in the 12th century CE. The temple is a smaller and simpler version of the other temples in the western and eastern groups, but it still displays the exquisite art and architecture of the Chandela period. The temple has a sanctum (garbhagriha), a vestibule (antarala), a hall (mandapa), and a porch (ardhamandapa). The temple stands on a low platform (jagati) and is surrounded by a wall with niches. Top 11 Places To Visit in Khajuraho

The temple has a single tower (shikhara) over the sanctum, which has clusters of smaller towers (urushringas) on its sides. The temple has a stone image of Nandi, the bull mount of Shiva, facing the entrance. The temple has sculptures of various deities, such as Vishnu, Ganesha, Kartikeya, and Durga, as well as scenes from the Hindu epics, such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

The temple is famous for its erotic sculptures, which depict various aspects of human life and spirituality. The temple is a symbol of the Chandela culture, which was open and liberal about sexuality and spirituality.

Location of Dulhadev Shiva Temple

Dulhadev Shiva Temple

The Dulhadev Shiva Temple is located in the southern group of the Khajuraho Group of temples in Khajuraho village in an area spread over 6 square kilometres (2.3 square miles). It is 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) away from the Khajuraho village and close to the Jain enclosure.

Timing/Entry Fees Dulhadev Shiva Temple

Dulhadev Shiva Temple

The Dulhadev Shiva Temple is open for visitors from sunrise to sunset, every day of the week. The entry fee for Indian nationals is Rs. 40 per person, while for foreign nationals it is Rs. 600 per person. Children below the age of 15 years are allowed free entry. There is also a light and sound show in the evening, narrated by the Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan, that showcases the history and significance of the Khajuraho temples. The show timings are 6:30 pm to 7:25 pm in Hindi and 7:40 pm to 8:35 pm in English. The ticket price for the show is Rs. 250 for adults and Rs. 150 for children.

How to Reach Dulhadev Shiva Temple

Khajuraho is well connected by road, rail, and air to major cities in India.

  • The nearest airport is the Khajuraho Airport, which is about 9 kilometres (5.6 miles) from the town. There are regular flights from Delhi, Varanasi, and Agra to Khajuraho.
  • The nearest railway station is the Khajuraho Railway Station, which is about 8 kilometres (5 miles) from the town. There are trains from Delhi, Agra, Jhansi, Bhopal, and Udaipur to Khajuraho.
  • The nearest bus stand is the Khajuraho Bus Stand, which is about 1 kilometre (0.6 miles) from the town. There are buses from Chhatarpur, Jhansi, Satna, and Panna to Khajuraho.
  • One can also hire a taxi, auto-rickshaw, or cycle-rickshaw to reach the Dulhadev Shiva Temple from the town.

Things to Do Dulhadev Shiva Temple

The Dulhadev Shiva Temple offers a lot of things to do for the visitors, apart from admiring the stunning architecture and sculptures. Some of the things to do are:

  • Visit the Archaeological Museum, which is located near the Western group of temples. The museum displays a collection of sculptures, inscriptions, architectural fragments, and other artefacts from the Khajuraho temples. The museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm, except on Fridays. The entry fee is Rs. 10 per person.
  • Enjoy a boat ride on the Khajur Sagar, a lake that lies adjacent to the Southern group of temples. The lake offers a scenic view of the temples and the surrounding landscape. The boat ride costs Rs. 50 per person for 30 minutes.
  • Explore the nearby attractions, such as the Raneh Falls, a natural waterfall that is about 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Khajuraho. The falls are formed by the Ken River and have a series of rock formations that create a canyon-like effect. The falls are best visited during the monsoon season, when the water level is high.
  • Experience the local culture and cuisine, by visiting the Khajuraho Dance Festival, an annual event that is held in February or March. The festival showcases the classical dance forms of India, such as Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Odissi, Kuchipudi, and Manipuri. The festival is held in the open-air auditorium near the Chitragupta Temple and attracts performers and spectators from all over the world. The local cuisine of Khajuraho is influenced by the Bundelkhand region and consists of dishes such as bafla, dal, kusli, lavang lata, and mawa bati.

Significance of Dulhadev Shiva Temple

The Dulhadev Shiva Temple is significant for various reasons, such as:

  • It represents the late phase of the Chandela art and architecture, which was influenced by the Gupta and the Pratihara styles. The temple is built of sandstone, without any mortar, and has intricate carvings and sculptures that cover the walls, pillars, ceilings, and roofs. The temple has a simple plan, consisting of a sanctum (garbhagriha), a vestibule (antarala), a hall (mandapa), and a porch (ardhamandapa). The sanctum is surmounted by a single tower (shikhara), which has clusters of smaller towers (urushringas) on its sides. The temple also has a stone image of Nandi, the bull mount of Shiva, facing the entrance.
  • It reflects the religious tolerance and diversity of the Chandela society, which patronized both Hinduism and Jainism. The temple is dedicated to Shiva, the destroyer and the transformer, in the form of a linga, which is deified in the sanctum. The temple also depicts scenes from the Hindu epics, such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, as well as the Jain legends, such as the life of Mahavira. The temple also has images of various gods and goddesses, celestial beings, mythical creatures, animals, birds, and plants.
  • It expresses the philosophy and worldview of the Chandela culture, which celebrated life and its various aspects. The temple is famous for its erotic sculptures, which constitute about 10% of the total sculptures. These sculptures depict various forms of love, such as romantic, erotic, maternal, and spiritual. The sculptures also illustrate the four goals of life in Hinduism, namely dharma (duty), artha (wealth), kama (pleasure), and moksha (liberation). The sculptures also symbolize the union of the male and female principles, which is the essence of creation.

FAQ’s

Some of the frequently asked questions about the Dulhadev Shiva Temple are:

Q: Why is the Dulhadev Shiva Temple also known as the “Holy Bridegroom Temple”?

A: The Dulhadev Shiva Temple is also known as the “Holy Bridegroom Temple” because of a local legend that says that the temple was built on the spot where a newly married bridegroom was miraculously cured of his illness by praying to the Shiva linga in the temple. The temple is also called “Kunwar Math” or the “Prince’s Shrine” because of this legend.

Q: What is the significance of the Nandi image in the Dulhadev Shiva Temple?

A: The Nandi image in the Dulhadev Shiva Temple is a large and finely carved stone sculpture of the bull mount of Shiva. The Nandi image is placed facing the entrance of the temple, as a sign of respect and devotion to Shiva. The Nandi image also symbolizes the strength and fertility of Shiva, as well as the loyalty and service of his devotees.

Q: What are the erotic sculptures on the Dulhadev Shiva Temple?

A: The erotic sculptures on the Dulhadev Shiva Temple are part of the artistic expression of the Chandela culture, which celebrated life and its various aspects. The erotic sculptures depict various forms of love, such as romantic, erotic, maternal, and spiritual. The erotic sculptures also illustrate the four goals of life in Hinduism, namely dharma (duty), artha (wealth), kama (pleasure), and moksha (liberation). The erotic sculptures also symbolize the union of the male and female principles, which is the essence of creation.

Conclusion

The Dulhadev Shiva Temple is a charming temple of the southern group of Khajuraho, that showcases the late phase of the Chandela art and architecture. The temple is a smaller and simpler version of the other temples in the western and eastern groups, but it still displays the exquisite carvings and sculptures of the Chandela period. The temple is dedicated to Shiva, the destroyer and the transformer, in the form of a linga, which is deified in the sanctum.

The temple also has a stone image of Nandi, the bull mount of Shiva, facing the entrance. The temple has sculptures of various deities, such as Vishnu, Ganesha, Kartikeya, and Durga, as well as scenes from the Hindu epics, such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The temple is famous for its erotic sculptures, which depict various aspects of human life and spirituality. The temple is a must-visit for anyone who wants to witness the beauty and charm of ancient Indian civilization.

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