Lakshmana Temple, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
The Lakshmana Temple is a 10th-century Hindu temple in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh. It was built by Yashovarman, the ruler of Chandela dynasty ruling over Jejakabhukti region (Bundelkhand in present-day Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh). His son Dhangadeva consecrated the temple in AD 954.
Lakshmana temple enshrines the mystic form of Sri Vishnu called Vaikuntha, which is 1.3 m. (4 ft.) high with three faces of the Lion, Man, and Boar. The temple was affiliated to the Vaishnavite Pancharatra sect of the Kashmir school, which worshipped Vishnu in this composite form.
The Lakshmana temple has five-shrines or Panchayatana complex and stands in the centre of a high platform along with its four subsidiary shrines in the corners. The structure consists of all the elements of Hindu temple architecture. It has entrance porch (ardh-mandapa), Mandapa, Maha-Mandapa, Antarala and Garbhagriha. All along the platform, a continuous sculptural pathway depicts scenes of everyday life, a royal hunt, battle, traders, dancers and musicians, dancer conversing with a religious teacher and elixir preparation amidst an orgy.
The exterior wall of the main temple is divided into two zones of sculptures depicting graceful apsaras, snake goddesses, griffins, and couples in the recesses. The upper zone carries the images of the different forms of Vishnu while Lord Shiva occupies a significant position on the lower zone. One of the more noteworthy sculptures on the southeast side is that of two males ecstatically dancing with castanets in their hands. The front facade of the temple has an image of the Sun god holding two lotuses.
- The architect of Lakshmana temple was the first to place erotic groups on the juncture wall of the mahamandapa and the sanctum. This is the only temple in Khajuraho that depicts the avatars of Sri Vishnu on its jambs, pairing Matsya (Fish), Varaha, and Vamana Avtar on the left jamb with Kurma (Tortoise), Narasimha, and Par