Brief Note on Khajuraho Temple Architecture
The shrines at Khajuraho are strongly individual in character and are different from those in any other part of India. Each temple stands on a high and solid masonry terrace. The customary enclosure wall is absent.
All the parts of a temple form a compact architectural synthesis. The successive mandapas (assembly halls) leading to the cella, where the main idol is installed, share a common high base and their roofs, which are domical in contour, give the appearance of successive mountain peaks.
They culminate in a graceful shikhara (spire) crowning the cella. ‘Sikhara’ means ‘mountain peak’. It represents the mountain abode of the gods. Shiva, for instance, lives on the top of Mount Kailas in the Himalayas.
The Khajuraho temples are famed not only for their beauty of outline but also for the lively texture of their surface decoration. Many temples have two or three bands of sculptures running all around the exterior of walls and outside the sanctum. The principal gods and goddesses are portrayed, as also celestial beauties, Mithunas (couples), nagas (serpents), sardulas (leogriffs) and salabhanjikas (woman sporting with trees).