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Matangeswara Temple, Khajuraho

Known for its ornate temples, Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh has won international acclaim as it is featured in the World Heritage List of UNESCO. The temples here were built during the reign of the Chandella rulers who ruled the region between 900 and 1130 AD. Originally there were 85 temples in Khajuraho. Only 25 of them survive now.

The Matangeswara temple belonging to the western group of temples is considered to be the holiest of the temples in Khajuraho. Thousands throng this temple on the annual Shiva Rathri festivities. The main deity here is a massive Shiva Linga, with a height of 2.5 meters and a metre in diameter. On the auspicious day of Shiva Rathri, the image is decorated with flowers and sandal paste.

Made of sandstone, the temple has plain pillars and capitals. The ceiling, formed of overlapping concentric courses, shows elementary ornaments of cusps and floral cusps. Both the exterior and the interior of the temple are devoid of exuberant ornamentation and hence it is believed that the temple is one of the earliest temples of Khajuraho and is assignable to AD 900- 925.