Kandariya Temple
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Architect unknown
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Location Khajuraho, India   map
Date 1030   timeline
Building Type temple
 Construction System masonry, cut stone
Climate desert
Style Hindu
Notes Profiled as Mt. Meru, of the gods. Carved with lush erotic relief. "Kandariya Mahadeva Temple".






Plan Drawing

Discussion Kandariya Temple Commentary

"The Kandariya Temple epitomizes India's glorious period of religious building, an era which in north central India spanned the eleventh and twelfth centuries...The Kandariya's scale buildup, superb profile, and ferment of sculpted surfaces establish it in a very special niche."

"Resting on an elevated podium, the temple proceeds to establish a crisscross of interwoven horizontals and verticals. The lower part consists of lateral bands, few of them the same height, stepping back as they rise and with proper profile, to provide a base for the temple itself. Vertical clusters of figures stand at angles to this base to probe upward, eventually melding with the stepped 'pyramids' at the top. The temple culminates in the well-scaled shikara (tower), its profile recalling Mount Meru, the home of the gods. It is building become sculpture."

"The famous erotic panels of the Khajuraho temples—there are over a dozen major ones—attain an ultimate at the Kandariya."

— G. E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. p42.

Sources on Kandariya Temple

Mario Bussagli. Oriental Architecture/1. translated by John Shepley. New York: Electra/Rizzoli, 1989. exterior color photo, plateIX. exterior photo, f129, p97.

G. E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3556-2. LC 90-30728. NA200.S57 1990. discussion p42. overview photo, p42. close-up of relief carving, p43. — Available at

Henri Stierlin. Comprendre L'Architecture Universelle. Paris: Office du Livre S.A. Fribourg (suisse), 1977. side elevation drawing, p279. front elevation drawing, p278. plan drawing, p278.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Kandariya Temple


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