The Greatest Temples of the World

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Khajuraho Temple of Love

The name Khajuraho may be derived from khajura (date palm), which grows freely in the area and perhaps because there were two golden khajura trees on a carved gate here. The old name was Kharjuravahaka (scorpion bearer), the scorpion symbolizing poisonous lust. The temples were built under the late Chandela kings between 950 and 1050 AD in a truly inspired burst of creativity. With the fading of Chandela fortunes, the importance of Khajuraho waned but temple building continued until the 12th century at a much reduced pace. Far removed from the political centres of the kingdom, the location of Khajuraho minimized the danger of external attack and symbolized its role as a celestial refuge. Khajuraho’s temples were ‘lost’ for centuries until they were accidentally ‘discovered’ by a British army engineer in 1839. Of the original 85 temples, the 20 surviving are among the finest in India

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