Chitragupta temple in Khajuraho is an 11th-century temple of Surya (sun god). Architecturally similar to the nearby Jagadambi temple.

Chitragupta Temple, Khajuraho – Sun Temple of Khajuraho

The Chitragupta temple is an 11th-century temple of Surya (sun god) in the Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India. Architecturally, it is very similar to the nearby Jagadambi temple.

History

Based on epigraphic evidence, the construction of the temple can be dated to 1020-1025 CE. Probably, it was consecrated on 23 February 1023 CE, on the occasion of Shivaratri.

The temple has been classified as a Monument of National Importance by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Architecture

The Chitragupta temple of Khajuraho is very similar to the nearby Jagadambi temple. It has a sanctum with a circumambulatory path, a vestibule, a mahamandapa (large hall) with transepts, and an entrance porch. 

The large hall has an octagonal ceiling, which is more elegant than the similar ceiling in the Jagadambi temple. This implies that the Chitragupta temple was built slightly later than the Jagadambi temple. The building has two balconies, and the ascending scale of the roof is not as impressive as that of the larger temples in Khajuraho.

Sculptures

The Chitragupta temple is very similar to the nearby Jagadambi temple. It has a sanctum with a circumambulatory path, a vestibule, a maha-mandapa (large hall) with transepts, and an entrance porch. 

The temple’s sanctum has a partially broken 2.1 meters (6.9 ft) tall statue of Surya riding a chariot of seven horses. He is shown standing, dressed in an armored coat and boots, and holding lotus flowers. The door lintel of the sanctum also features three similar, but smaller, images of Surya.

The outer walls of the temple are covered with erotic couples, Surasundari, and various gods, including an 11-headed Vishnu. The Vishnu sculpture shows the god in his para rupa (supreme form) with his 10 incarnations: this rare representation is not seen anywhere else, and does not find a mention in any historical text.

Other sculptures include figures of couples engaged in Mithuna, and the apsaras showing their yoni by holding their garments lower. There is also a sculpture of Shiva’s attendant Nandi, who is shown with a human body and a bull’s head.

These sculptures (and those in the Jagadambi temple) can be dated after the Vishvanatha sculptures, and before the Kandariya Mahadeva sculpture.

RECOMMENDED READS

>>> Nagara Style of Temple Architecture in India

>>> Vishnupad Temple, Gaya – Footprint of Lord Vishnu

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

>>> Khajuraho – A Legacy in Stone: Buy Now

>>> Xplore Khajuraho : Buy Now

>>> Temple and Erotic Art of Khajuraho: Buy Now

Related Posts

2 thoughts on “Chitragupta Temple, Khajuraho – Sun Temple of Khajuraho

Leave a Reply