In the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, a 10th-century Jain temple at Khajuraho is Parshvanathatemple. Though it was possibly built as an Adinatha shrine during the Chandela period, it is now dedicated to Parshvanatha. Its exterior walls feature Vaishnavaite themes yet the temple’s Jain affiliation. With a most perfect magic square, the entrance has an inscription. It is also part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with other temples.
What is the history behind the temple?
The temple is believed to be constructed by a prominent Jain family, by the realm of the Chandela king Dhanga between 950 and 970 CE. In the temple, there are records of gifts and endowments of gardens by one Pahila and an inscription on the left door jamb. Pahila-vatika, Chandra-vatika, Laghuchandra-vatika, Shankara-vatika, Panchaitala-vatika, Amra-vatika and Dhanga-vadi are the names of the garden. Phila is stated as a devotee of Jinanatha in the inscription and states that was held in great esteem by king Dhana. By the Archaeological Survey of India, as a Monument of National Importance, the temple has been classified.
Art & Architecture
Among the Jain temples of Khajuraho, the Parshvanatha temple is the largest one. With projections at two ends, the temple structure has an oblong architectural plan. Eastern or the front projection forms the entrance porch, western projection is a shrine attached to the sanctum which is in the back. Chain and floral patterns, and a pair of intertwined flying vidyadharas are featured by the ceiling of the entrance porch. In the door-lintel of the mandapa, the sculpture of Adinatha’s attendant-a ten-armed Chakreshvari riding a Garuda is placed.
There are three bands of sculptures on the outer walls. Surasundaris, flying couples, dancers, musicians, and celestial beings are featured by these sculptures. Including sculptures of Hindu gods and their incarnations with their consorts, the outer walls also depict Vaishnavite themes despite the temple’s Jain affiliation. Vishnu-Lakshmi, Rama-Sita, Balarama-Revati, Parashurama, Hanuman, Brahma, and Yamalarjuna legend of Krishna are included there. In modeling, proportions, and poise these sculptures are similar to those of the Lakshmana Temple. although one particular image appears to show a cross-legged apsara masturbating with an object, the Parshvanatha temple doesn’t feature explicit erotic sculptures, unlike the Lakshmana temple.
Que: Who built the Parsvanath temple?
Ans: King Dhanga
Que: Is there any entry fee to the temple?
Ans: No entry fees.
Que: What is the style of the temple?
Ans: Traditional Hindu temple style.
Magic Square of the temple:
“Jaina Square” is an inscription that the temple has also with a magic square. This is one of the most perfect magic squares, as well as one of the oldest known 4×4 magic squares.
All the numbers from 1 to 16 are there in this magic square. The sum of the numbers in every vertical column, horizontal row, and two diagonal row is 34.
How To Reach?
By Rail: The nearest railway station is the Khajuraho railway station in Khajuraho. From the station, one can hire a cab or rickshaw to reach the temple.
By Air: Khajuraho civil erodrome is the nearest airport. From the Airport public and private transports are available through which one can easily reach the temple.