• Vishnu

Lakshmana Temple

Overview


The Lakshmana Temple is located in Khajuraho and is dedicated to God Vishnu. In design it is similar to the Kandriya Mahadeva and Vishvanath temples. It is one of the earliest of the western enclosure temples, dating from around 930 to 950 A.D., and is also one of the best preserved, with a full five-part floor plan and four subsidiary shrines.


About The Temple


The temple faces the east and is dedicated to Vishnu, by a rather inappropriate name of Lakshman, the brother of Ram, the hero king of the epic poem Ramayana. The temple is as tall as it is long, measuring approximately 25.9 metres in lengtlh. lt is raised on a high platform which also has some interesting sculptures (royal processions, Court scenes) that you can see before ascending the temple stairs. Moving always around a temple in a clockwise direction (in pradakshina with the right shoulder nearest the temple wall), the band of sculptures unfold like a never-ending picture scroll. Along the narrow southeast side passage are erotic panels of sexual rituals: of a man engaged in intercourse with a horse, a regal lord being fanned by a female attendant and other court scenes. There is a lively scene of musicians, a child dancing before the king, a hunting incident in which a wounded deer is being mourned by its fawn as the hunter kneels with his bow and arrow, one of a hunter on horseback pursuing his hapless prey. The remainder of the panel, as it waves around the Lakshman Temple, depicts caparisoned horses and riders, warring elephant and processions of soldiers.


About the deity


The central deity at the Lakshmana temple is an image of Vishnu in his three-headed form known as Vaikuntha who sits inside the temple’s inner womb chamber also known as garba griha (above)—an architectural feature at the heart of all Hindu temples regardless of size or location. The womb chamber is the symbolic and physical core of the temple’s shrine. It is dark, windowless, and designed for intimate, individualized worship of the divine—quite different from large congregational worshipping spaces that characterize many Christian churches and Muslim mosques.


Legends and Stories


The lakshman Temple stands like a gaint mountain of stone at the centre, and is unique in khajuraho for its four subsidiary shrines at the four corners of its rectangular platform. Each Subsidairy shrine has a little porch, band of scultpure along the exterior walls. Once gain one must walk in pradakshina around the Lakshman Temple to see the abundance of sculptural masterpieces on its outer walls. Starting on the south side one will see that the exterior temple wall is divided into several bands, the lowest, the adhishthana, is the base of the temple. The Lakshan Temple is the only one with a row of elephants that peep out of the base as if they are carrying the weight of the stone universe on their stable shoulders. Between the elephants are warriors protecting the temple: on the north side one elephant has forsaken his duty and naughtily gazes at a couple making love. Above the elephants, the moulded adhishthana has flower and leaf motifs, a narrow panel depicting court life and erotic scenes. This tall base of the temple is punctuated by ornamental niches, with an adorable figure of dancing Ganesh in the first followed by images of the seven principal male deities of the Hindu Pantheon and ending on the north side with a gorgeous image of the goddess.



Above the adhishthana are two bands of figurative sculptures that wind in and around the projections and corners of the temple. lt is estimated that there are over 230 figurative sculptures on these bands and each band is about a metre high. There are images of the dikhpalas placed at and facing the ditections that they protect. One band has figures of Vishnu Rhile another has those of Shiva. Beside the deities are the voluptuous figures of women, each engaged in some worldly activity before she realizes the presence of the divine surrounding Her. These figures, which have earned Khajuraho its fame, are exquisite portrayals of women attired in traditional costume, flinsy fine textiles wound around the waist while the torso and arms and neck are adorned only in jewellery. There are ladies applying make-up, taking off their clothes, gazing into a lnirror. On the Western corner, before you turn north, is a seductive woman scrubbing her arched back . Beside her are two women with their backs turned to the audience watering a holy plant, at the corner is an elegant young woman who has lifted up her foot, that is being inspected by an attendant carrying a satchel.



The large erotic sculptures adorning the main body of the temple are placed, as in all the other temples in Khajuraho, on the south and north sides, between the two balconies. On the south side (also seen from the staircase of the Matangeshvar Temple) the top panel depicts a bearded god, identified as Agni; beneath is the figure of the divine bridegroom walking in procession accompanied by musicians. Belo, on the lower panel is Shiva with his top-knot still secure, embracing his wife Parvati and sharing a passionate kiss that has lasted a thousand god years!



The temple has only one entrance on the east side, Set at the top of the stairs. The porch has a pretty toran or stone garland above the entrance. Cemented along the porch wall is the Challdella stone inscription found in the vicinity of tlhe temple. The inscription, written in AD 954, records that Yashovarman, the seventh Chandella ruler, constructed a temple to Vishnu and was succeeded by his son Dhangadeva. It is therefore assumed that Lakshman Temple was built just before AD 954


How To Reach Khajuraho


Khajuraho city is very well connected by Jhansi, Orchha, Satna, Katni, Bandhavgarh, Chattarpur etc. Usually tourists arrive at Jhansi Railway Station by train and take taxi car to travel to Khajuraho, via Orchha or directly. From Jhansi, Khajuraho is just 200kms.04:00hrs. Similarly those who are arriving at Satna railway station can hire taxi from here to reach Khajuraho by road. Similarly those who want to reach Khajuraho from Bandhavgarh, they can travel by road via Katni-Pawai-Amanganj-Panna of 240km/05:00hrs. The nearest railway station to Lakshmana Temple is Khajuraho Railway Station. It is located at 5 Km from Khajuraho town. The nearest airport to Lakshmana Temple is Khajuraho domestic airport. It is located at 2 Km south of Khajuraho town.


Temple Address


Lakshmana Temple,
Rajnagar Road,
Sewagram,
Khajuraho,
Madhya Pradesh - 471606.

Significance

Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-

  • Peace of mind
Shlokas

Achutham Keyshavam Rama Narayanam Krishna Damodaram Vasudevam Harim Shridharam Madhavam Gopika Vallabham Janaki Nayakam Ramachandram Bhajey

Meaning -Oh Lord who cannot be perished, who also has names like Keshava, Rama, Damodara, Narayana, Sridhara, Madhava, Krishna, Ramachandra the beloved of Janaki, let me say your name regularly.

Vasudeva Sutham Devam Kamsa Chanoora Mardhanam Devaki Paramanandham Krishnam Vande Jagathgurum

Meaning -I bow to you O Krishna, the ultimate guru, Devaki and Vasudeva's son, and the destroyer of Kamsa and Chanur.

Adharam Madhuram Vadanam Madhuram Nayanam Madhuram Hasitam Madhuram Hridayam Madhuram Gamanam Madhuram Mathuraa Dhipate Rakhilam Madhuram

Meaning -Meaning - Sweet are Your lips, sweet is Your face, sweet are Your eyes, sweet is Your smile, sweet is Your heart, sweet is Your gait, O Lord of Mathura, everything about You is sweet.

Alokya Mathur Mukha Madarena Sthanyam Pibantham Saraseeruhaksham Sachinmayam Devam Anantha Roopam Balam Mukundam Manasa Smarami

Meaning -I think of this Balamukundan as the one who looks lovingly at his mother's face while taking milk from her, who has eyes similar to the red lotus, who is the embodiment of truth and intelligence and other forms.

Timings

Morning 6 AM to Evening 9 PM.

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