Khajuraho – Mahadeva Shrine


Situated between the Kandariya Mahadev and Jagadambi temples and sharing the same platform, this structure now known simply as Mahadeva, is a much smaller and ruined Siva shrine.


All that remains of the temple today is the portico, the sanctum has completely disappeared. Placed in the middle of the portico is a Sardula (or Vyala).

This is a popular motif and a favourite theme in Chandella and Rajput art. The Sardula consists of a composite leonine creature with the head of a tiger, elephant, bird, or other animal, frequently shown in combat with humans. Here we have a warrior cowering beneath the lion-like monster.


Although now considered a Shiva shrine, it’s thought that originally this may have been a temple to Shiva’s consort, Parvati. This is suggested by its close positioning to the Kandariya Mahadev Temple, and can be considered as an integral part of the same temple-complex.



Group Khajuraho Monuments
Western Lakshmana Varaha Kandariya Mahadeva Mahadeva Shrine ♦ Jagadambi Chitragupta Parvati Vishvanatha Nandi Pratapeshwar Bhairava Statue MatangeshvaraChausath YoginiLalguan Mahadeva Chopra Tank
Eastern Hanuman  Brahma  Vamana  Javari  Ghantai  Adinatha  Parshvanatha  Shantinatha
Southern Duladeo  Chaturbhuj Bijamandal




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3 replies »

  1. The cowering warrior seems to be a female…because of the hair bun at the back. Would really love to know the story behind the exquisite figures. I had gone to Khajuraho many years ago. But hadn’t learn much about the statues. Amazing posts Kevin!

    Liked by 1 person

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