Major Temples in India
It is the second largest tourist attraction in India after the Taj Mahal and an impressive testimony to the North Indian architecture of the 10th and 11th centuries. The temple city of Khajuraho, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and is one of the highlights of any trip to the region.
History of the Temple District
Of the original 80 sandstone temple buildings, which were scattered over an area of a good 20 square kilometers, around a quarter is still preserved today. Most of them were built by the rulers of the Chandella dynasty between 950 and 1120 and were left to nature after their decline in the 12th century. The once important place Khajuraho was so off the beaten track that the temples were only rediscovered by the British in the 19th century. A little later, they began to be systematically restored. The majority of the buildings are dedicated to the main gods of Hinduism, a few to the Tirthankaras (the spiritual leaders of Jainism).
Eroticism carved in stone
According to topschoolsintheusa, Khajuraho is world famous because of the detailed sculptures, from which the up to 30 meter high outer walls of the temples are almost littered. In addition to scenes from daily life with elephants, gods and demons, it is above all the numerous erotic representations that cast a spell on the visitor. It looks as if the Kamasutra (the book of love art) served as a template for these works, but their meaning goes far deeper: In the mythology of Hinduism, the act of procreation also stands for the creation of the world by the gods, and its representation serves in their honor. Under this aspect, eroticism becomes a cultural asset and definitely has its place in the program of a study trip.
One of the largest of the remaining buildings in the Khajuraho district is the Lakshmana Temple. He is consecrated to the god Vishnu as the Lord of Paradise.
Cave temple in the north of Maharashtra
The state of Maharashtra on the west coast of India is a popular destination for tourists from home and abroad. If you are traveling in the north of the Indian state, you should definitely take a look at the famous cave temples in the small village of Ellora near the megacity of Aurangabad. Not only adventurers get their money’s worth in the more than 30 cave temples. The entire complex, which was built between the 5th and 11th centuries, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983.
In the center of this impressive complex is the Kailasa Temple, the largest cave temple in India, which was completely carved into a natural rock ledge. Not far from Ellora, in the remote village of Ajanta, there is another large complex with a total of 29 cave temples from the 2nd to 6th centuries. The interior of the cave temples of Ajanta is mainly characterized by paintings that are several thousand years old. The temples of Ellora are especially famous for their numerous large statues. Tourists often visit the temples, which are famous far beyond the Indian borders, as part of a tour. The Ellora Cave Temples can be visited every day except Tuesdays. The temple complex in Ajanta is closed on Mondays.
The Red Fort in India – steeped in history and impressive
The Red Fort, a fortress and palace complex in northern India, exists twice: in the metropolis of Delhi and in the city of Agra, about 200 km further south. The latter was built first (around 1571). After an assassination attempt on a Mongul emperor in Agra, the Red Fort in Delhi was built almost identically between 1639 and 1648. At that time rulers lived in the fort and spoke to the people from one of the balconies; In addition, clergymen met here to exchange ideas and judgments were made. Today the Red Fort in Delhi or in Agra, not far from the Taj Mahal, is a tourist attraction that can be visited (for the most part) for 100 rupees.
Imposing color and size
The 2.4 km long and 18 to 34 meter high walls made of red sandstone are characteristic and striking. As the largest structures in both cities, the facilities are a good 900 meters long and a good 500 meters wide. The Red Fort in Agra is particularly easy to spot on Google Maps. The basic shape is – typical for Islamic buildings – octagonal.
In the fort you can marvel at former palaces, mighty gates, a bathhouse, an audience hall and a mosque. Today one can only imagine how splendid the rooms and halls must have been before the looting. Even today you can find white marble, which still adorns many rooms. Occasionally you can see gilding, large columns and interesting paintings.
Today the buildings are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are closely guarded. In the evening there is traditionally a sound and light show for tourists.