Side Trips from Delhi Sights

Lakshmana Temple

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 04/06/2017

Fodor's Review

Across from the Varaha Temple stands this temple dedicated to Vishnu. It is the only complete temple remaining. Along with Kandariya Mahadeva and Vishvanath, this edifice represents the peak of achievement in North Indian temple architecture. All three temples were built in the early to mid-10th century, face east, and follow an elaborate plan resembling a double cross, with three tiers of exterior sculpture on high platforms. The ceiling of the portico is carved with shell and floral motifs. The support beam over the entrance to the main shrine shows Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and consort of Vishnu, with Brahma, Lord of Creation, on her left and Shiva, Lord of Destruction, on her right. Around the exterior base are some of Khajuraho's most famous sculptures, with gods and goddesses on the protruding corners, erotic couples or groups in the recesses, and apsaras and sur-sundaris (apsaras performing everyday activities) in between. Along the sides of the tall platform beneath the

temple, carvings depict social life, including battle scenes, festivals, and more X-rated pursuits. According to the inscription on the Lakshmana Temple, it was built by King Yasovarman. The whole temple was built to house an image of Vishnu given him by his Pratihara overlord, Devapala. This image (it can still be seen here) was originally brought over from Tibet.

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Sight Information


Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, 471606, India

Published 04/06/2017


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