I have a feeling of considerable satisfaction to bring out on behalf of the Archaeological Survey of India this monograph on Khajuraho Temples by Shri Krishna Deva, a former Director of the Archaeological Survey of India and a distinguished archaeologist and art-historian. The field work on the subject was mainly done by Shri Deva between 1956 and 1962 while he headed the Temple Survey Project (Norhern Region). This field survey involved a critical study on the history and chronology of the temples and a complete documentation by photographs and drawings of their exterior and interior.
The manuscript was made ready in the 70s but for some reason or the other it could not be published. The delay in the publication has not been without a silver lining in that Sri Deva has revised his own manuscript and incorporated his mature aesthetic judgement and perception, gained through a life-long intensive study of Indian art. The author has recorded in this monograph each constituent of the plan and design of the Khajuraho temples and described all the images and sculptures with which they are richly laden. A more significant contribution is the revised chronology which the author has propounded placing the beginning of the earliest Khajuraho temple in c. A.D. 900 and the latest in c. A.D. 1150 in place of the shorter chronology, accepted earlier, of a hundred years (c. 950-1050).
This monograph from the erudite pen of the eminence of Shri Deva , who has the distinction of mastering more than one area of Indian archaeology, will remain a standard work of reference and prove a veritable mine of information for scholars of Indian art and culture in general and of Indian architecture and iconography in particular.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sarvashri K.N. Dikshit, Director(Publication), J.C. Gupta, Production Officer and K.P. Padhy, Senior Technical Assistant and also M/s. Vap Enterprises, New Delhi for publishing this volume in time.
The Khajuraho temples, combining architectural grandeur with sculptural exuberance, are among the most picturesque and best preserved monuments of India and represent the zenith of her architectural genius. Marking one of the perfect moments of India's aesthetic sensibility, these temples provide a visual record of the medieval Indian world-view which revelled as much in religious symbolism as in the courtly preoccupations with embellishment of temples, war and hunting and festivities and pageantry.
A comprehensive study of the Khajuraho temples was undertaken by me as Office-in-Charge of the Temple Survey Project (North) of the Archaeological Survey of India between 1956 and 1962. The study involved a detailed documentation by photographs of the exterior and interior of the temples and measured drawings of the plan and section of all the existing temples and elevation of the more significant ones. During the course of this survey I published in 1959 an article highlighting the special features of the art and architecture of these temples in their historical and cultural perspective in the Ancient India (Bulletin of the Archaeological Survey) No. 15. Which was shortly followed by a somewhat detailed account of these in my Guide to Khajuraho, also published by the Survey, and in my Temples of North India, published by the National Book Trust of India. Because of their popularity, these hand-books continue to be in demand and have undergone several editions and reprints. I also authored a more detailed and better illustrated book on Khajuraho published in 1987 by Brijbasi Printers, Delhi.
The present monograph is a more comprehensive scientific treatise critically examining and evaluating all aspects of the art and architecture of Khajuraho. Thus it deals with each moulding and features of all the standing temples and describes each of the thousands of images and sculptures with which these monuments are adorned.
The attributes of the multi-armed images have been described clockwise beginning from the lower right hand and ending with the lower left hand. Right and left directions are the proper right and left of the figure itself and not of the viewer. The mutilated or broken hand-attributes are briefly indicated as "holding mutilated or broken" and the hand stretched in alingana is described "holding or carrying allingana (embrace)."
I must here express gratitude to the late Mr. A. ghosh who as Director General of Archaeology provided me with unstinted facilities to undertake the survey of the Khajuraho temples and to write the book. I am also beholden to Shri J.P. Joshi, the present Director General, Shri M.C. Joshi, Addi. Director General, and Shri K.N. Dikshit, Director (publication), who have taken keen interest to get the work printed. Thanks are also due to Shri K.P. Padhy, Sr. Technical Assistant, and Shri J.C. Gupta, Production Officer, of the Survey for willing help and cooperation in seeing the book through the press. Finally I shall be failing in my duty if I do not record my deep appreciation of the personal interest taken by Shri P. Mehta, the dynamic proprietor of VAP Enterprises, for the quality printing and production of the monograph.
LIST OF FIGURES
Subsidiary shrines of Lakshmana Temple
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