The Southern Group of Temples

The Southern Group of monuments comprises the Duladeo and Chaturbhuja temples.

By: Ganesh Dutt

Posted on: 28/9/2020 View : 52

The Southern Group of Temples

The Southern Group of monuments comprises the Duladeo and Chaturbhuja temples.

Duladeo Temple

Duladeo Temple, also called Kunwar-Math, is situated south of Ghantai Temple and is the latest temple of Khajuraho. Dedicated to Siva, it is a nirandhara temple and consists of a sanctum, vestibule, maha-mandapa and porch. On plan and in design, it has some features common with the developed medieval temples of the Deccan and western India, though its scheme of ornamentation is typical of Khajuraho. 

While its sikhara, clustered round by three rows of minor sikharas, is of the usual developed form, its maha-mandapa shows some peculiarities of design and decoration. The maha-mandapa hall is remarkably large and octagonal, with a corbelled, circular ceiling.

Even in respect of plastic style and decoration, the Duladeo has many individual features that distinguish it from the rest of the Khajuraho temples. While the dancing apsaras of its interior and the flying vidyadharas on the top row of its facade show dynamic movement, its sculptures are generally stereotyped and overburdened with ornamentation. 

This is best illustrated by the elaboratelycrowned and heavilyornamented apsaras inside the porch, and by the river-goddesses of the doorway, standing under umbrellas decorated with pompons. The iconography of this temple shows some distinctive, almost stereotypical traits. The Ashtavasu figures are invariably depicted here with a crocodile-mount in place of the usual bull, while Yama and Nirriti, two of the dikpalas, wear their raised curls in a stylised fan shape. The facade carries tedious repetitions of the images of standing Siva and Siva-Parvati with identical attributes, displaying a poverty of ideas and an artistic degeneration.

Thus, plastically and iconographically, the temple marks the exhaustion of the remarkable vitality for which the Khajuraho sculptures are justly famed. These considerations, combined with the advanced proto-Nagari characters of its graffiti, indicate that it is assignable to c.1100- 50. 

Chaturbhuja Temple 

This is the farthest temple, situated about 3 kms south of Khajuraho and 600 metres south-west of Jatkari village. Chaturbhuja is a nirandhara temple of a modest size, similar to Javari, and consists of a sanctum carrying a simple sikhara of heavy proportions, a vestibule, mandapa and porch. The temple shows some notable features.