Saturday, October 15, 2011

Kandarya Mahadeva

The Kendarya Mahadeva (Lord of Lords) temple, located in Khajuraho, is a beautifully designed structure that exemplifies the northern Hindu style of temple architecture. Unlike the southern temples, the northern style is much more tightly compact and in many cases more of a single structure rather than multiple structures combined to create a single complex. The design of Kendarya Mahadeva temple is an elongated double crucifix and rests on a single platform. The spires are of a design meant to resemble that of the peaks of the Himalayas, home of the Gods. Like many other temples Kendarya Mahadeva temple was originally whitewashed to further resemble the snowy peaks of the mountains but over time has weathered away to reveal the base sandstone that the temple consists of.
  The lines contained in the design of the spires is used to point upwards towards the Heavens. The compact design combined with the repetitive patterns create a sense of energy within the structure which is further strengthened by the arching spire walls. Although the northern temples are much smaller than most of the southern design, Kandarya Mahadeva appears to be much larger than it is because of its high platform and cluster of spires. The steps lead visitors into a large sanctuary containing a Shiva Lingam. The Shiva Lingam is a stone that represents the infinite nature of Shiva and is utilized for prayer and worship within the temple.  
(Image from hartjeff12, Flickr. Source of factual information Art Beyond the West second edition by Kampen O'Riley)

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