This is one of those monuments that is missed by almost all visitors to Khajuraho. Although it is just 180m north of the Chitragupta Temple, it lies outside the western group of temples complex.
To find it, turn left immediately after leaving the Western Temples complex and continue along the Rajnagar Road for about 300m. Then take the first left along Lalguwan Road for further 300m. Chopra Tank lies in the middle of waste land to your right, enclosed by a wire fence, with only a couple of rather bored looking guards for company. The location is marked on Google Maps as “Chopra Tank Unesco”
The Chopra Tank is a three storied stepped tank, square in plan, dating to around the 11th century A.D. Sadly it is very much in a ruined condition today. I very much felt like it’s an abandoned orphan, detached from its more glamorous counterparts, and I can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen to this monument if the neglect continues.
The location of this tank so close to the Chitragupta Temple is considered significant. Being the only Surya (Sun) temple in the complex and contemporary with the Chopra Tank, it’s widely thought that this tank was associated with the healing of diseases.
Be careful if you decide to give the Chopra Tank a closer inspection, the loose rubble on the steep slopes leading down makes it a precarious venture. I suspect over the years this tank must be slowly filling up with all the debris.
In 2009 the A.S.I. did perform some scientific clearance of Chopra Tank, clearing it of debris, analysing its architecture and current structural predicament, and retrieving several architectural members that had been found within the tank. You can find a report of those efforts here.
It’s interesting to compare their photos of the cleared site and the ones I took in Feb 2018, just nine years later. It may of course have been cleared on a more regular basis, but whatever the case it demonstrates just how much this monument is at risk, and how long it takes the powers that be to do anything about it !
If you’re visiting the western group of temples at Khajuraho, it’s well worth the ~30 minute excursion on foot to see the Chopra Tank and get a slightly more broader view of the overall context of these monuments within the landscape.
|Western||Lakshmana ♦ Varaha ♦ Kandariya Mahadeva ♦ Mahadeva Shrine ♦ Jagadambi ♦ Chitragupta ♦ Parvati ♦ Vishvanatha ♦ Nandi ♦ Pratapeshwar ♦ Bhairava Statue ♦ Matangeshvara ♦ Chausath Yogini ♦ Lalguan Mahadeva ♦ Chopra Tank|
|Eastern||Hanuman ♦ Brahma ♦ Vamana ♦ Javari ♦ Ghantai ♦ Adinatha ♦ Parshvanatha ♦ Shantinatha|
|Southern||Duladeo ♦ Chaturbhuj ♦ Bijamandal|
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