CREATING A PRIMARY ATTRACTION, Khajuraho is known for group of temples located in the Chhatarpur district. Chhattarpur is in Bundelkhand-Baghelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. It has been an ancient pilgrim centre though its tourist potential was discovered lately i.e. in 1950s. The interest of the Government of India in Khajuraho as a place of tourist attraction was ignited by a group of twenty-four temples, dating back to the period 950 A.D.-1050 A.D. These temples, attributed to the Chandela rulers, represent many religions like Hindu, Buddhist and Jain traditions. They contain one of the most exquisite specimens of architecture and sculpture from ancient India. In fact the architecture and the sculpture of these temples are the primary tourist attraction. Khajuraho temples, according to their location, are grouped into three major complexes-the Western, Eastern and the Southern. But the Western constitutes the most important complex. ‘Matangeshwara Temple here also has a religious significance for the local people and devote from surrounding regions.
Khajuraho is a tourist attraction for, the domestic and the foreign tourists. It is, however, to be noted that the duration of visitors stay is very short. Only about 40-59 per cent visitors make an overnight stay. A large number of domestic traveler visit the Khajuraho for a day only, especially on holidays like Sundays. The climatic geography of the place is such that the tourist season stays only from October to about the mid March. The summer months are intolerable hot and the tourist traffic becomes almost zero then. The host or local residential consists primarily of people engaged in agricultural activities. Most of them are illiterate or uncivilized and do not relate much to the artistic excellence of the temples. For them the temples, like the Matangeshwara temple, have only for religious activities and for worshipping. The local community however celebrates several cultural festivals on occasions like Basant Panchami and Shivraratri. These festivals are attended by a large number of visitors from surrounding villages.
CREATING A SECONDARY ATTRACTION for visitors, The Khajuraho Festival may be considered as an great attempt to create secondary tourist attraction by using the temples. The Festival is an annual aspect of dance and music held in the month of March. Artists of national eminence are invited’ to perform in Khajuraho. Originally appreciated by the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation, the Festival was first organized in year 1975 to concur with the India Tourism Year. It marked the beginning of an experiment in organized planning and integrated development of Khajuraho as a tourist resort.
Since Khajuraho Festival is an overdone tourist product, it is organized to overcome the twin limitations of Khajuraho. As mentioned earlier, the tourists’ duration of stay in Khajuraho is very short and so also is the tourist season. The tourist traffic begins to take a downward turn by mid-March. It was, therefore, thought that a cultural spectacular in March might help improve tourist arrivals in the lean period, prolong their duration of stay and, in general, provide a boost to tourism development here. Secondly, Khajuraho does not have any surviving culture of performing arts with which the temples as primary tourist attraction can be associated for tourism purposes. Thus, the staging of a festival of dance and music is aimed at improve the value of temples as a place of tourist attraction.
History of Khajuraho
Khajuraho is a place known for its untrue and unique temples and their beautiful artifacts. Khajuraho is settled in Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh. The UNESCO declared Khajuraho as World Heritage Site on 15 October 1982. By Archeological Survey of India, this place has been described as the Best Preserved Monument. This one thousand year old place was earlier known as Khajurpura or Khajurawahika. As we all know from its name Khajuraho, it’s is a name derived from date palm.
If we talk about the history of this place, then there has been the rule of prominent Chandel kings. The grand temples here are also built by the Chandel kings. If the myths were to be believed, then Chandravarman, the king of the Chandel dynasty, was himself the son of Moon. The story of his valor can often be heard from the people of Bundelkhand. According to stories, Chandravarman was so powerful in his childhood that animals like lions and tigers can beaten without any help or without any weapon. Seeing his bravery, his mother Hemavati performed a Yagya, on the Yagya, she got a stone of Paras, due to which Chandravarman could become the king of the Karinjar. Chandravarman started building these temples from the Karingar Fort, and then King Yashovarman and Raja Dong took the responsibility of building the temples. Between 9th century and 12th century Chandel descendants built 85 such temples.
It is said
that Khajuraho, 35 miles away from Mahoba, used to be the capital of the
Chandel dynasty. Even after suffering the invasions of people like Qutubuddin
Aibak and Sikandar Lodhi. 24 of these 85 temples still remain here.
These temples remained hidden under anonymity for 400 years; they are rediscovered in 1830 by the British explorer Tus Cork. There are not only Hindu temples here, but also a large number of Jain temples. If their texture is seen, then their texture is completely cut with stones.
The temples of Khajuraho are different from other temples in India, there are Shiva Vishnu and Jain temples here, but many of them are decorated with Rotec sculpture. The design of these temples is a statement of open thinking about Rotec and Intimacy. This temple is not only very beautiful but it looks very futuristic along with it. But most people would not know that this is just 10% coverage of the group of temples. This temple group actually represents 4 Hindu Purushartha (masculine) Dharma (Religion), Artha (Meaning), Kama (work) and Moksha (Salvation). Mandla Regime is prominent inside these temples; this accent can be kept in the pride of every temple. The design of these temples is different from the modern sculpture pattern, these temples were not glued with cement with today’s techniques rather they were placed one on top of the other like puzzle.
If you look at these temples carefully, we will see a common style. Entry walls in these temples are called half-circles, where you enter and see the pavilion i.e. hall. A little more inside the Maha Mandap is found, then there is an interval, after an interval one gets a pride which is the center of attraction of the temple. After this, we can go towards the concept from the center of circumambulation. The outer side of the temple has a platform-like place, known as Jagriti. With this, these temples are surrounded by 4 small temples, which is why these temples are also called Panchayatan.
It is not very difficult to reach this Khajuraho of population about 24000 people; it has the facility of both railways and airways. Every artwork of these temples may hide a new attraction.
Do you know that by coming to Khajuraho, you get to see something new.
Author: Apoorva Verma