The ruined Ghantai Temple is 350m south-east of the Brahma Temple in the southern part of Khajuraho village, on the road towards the cluster of Jain temples. All around this temple are suspicious mounds, probably containing the remains of other structures.
Dated to around 995 A.D. during the reign of the Chandela king Dhanga, this Jain temple is named after ‘Ghanta’ (meaning ‘bell’), as many of the pillars are carved with hanging bell and chain motifs.
Its plan is similar to the Parshvanatha Temple, but the walls have collapsed and only the hall and porch pillars have survived along with a wonderfully ornate ceiling and doorway.
When Alexander Cunningham first visited Ghantai he found an inscribed Buddha image (now in the site museum) and wrongly assumed the temple was a Buddhist shrine. He subsequently returned and excavated the area, uncovering numerous Jain images that led him to rethink his initial findings.
We now know that many of the temple carvings relate to Jain imagery. The center of the main lintel showcases the Jain Goddess Chakreshwari riding a Garuda, which implies the shrine was dedicated to Adinatha.
Many experts agree that these pillars are among the finest of medieval India, it’s such a shame all that remains now is the bare skeleton of this temple. In all probability if this structure had remained more intact, it would be considered one of the grandest monuments of Khajuraho.
|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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