Built between 1000 and 1025 A.D. and of similar design to the contemporary Jagadambi Temple , the Chitragupta Temple stands on its own in the north west corner of the western compound at Khajuraho.
This is the only surviving shrine in Khajuraho dedicated to Surya, the sun God. Another famous example is the wonderful Sun Temple at Modhera in Gujarat that I visited back in 2014.
Once again, unsurprisingly, there are excellent carvings on the main temple, with two bands of sculpture consisting of deities, mithunas, apsaras and sardulas.
There’s also a depiction of the eleven headed Vishnu (the original God as well as his ten avatars, animal and human) in the niche of the south wall, which unfortunately I failed to capture :-(.
More than seventy figures are carved on the balcony panels, just as can be found on the Jagadambi Temple. The similarities with this contemporary neighbour doesn’t stop there, the carvings on the northern side of the plinth are almost a carbon copy.
Inside the temple the highlight has to be the icon of Surya, standing over 2m tall wearing an armoured coat and boots. The statue at one time held two lotus flowers, but they have since broken off.
Surya is almost always portrayed riding seven horses, if you look carefully at the base of the statue you can just make out the horses, driven by a charioteer with a whip.
Just 180m north of the Chitragupta Temple, but outside the western compound, is the Chopra Tank. It is widely thought that this step tank was associated with the temple and was for the healing of diseases. If you have time it’s well worth taking a look at the tank, although sadly it is not so well preserved or maintained as the structures you can see within the western complex.
|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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