Parshvanath Temple

Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh

#Historical and Heritage #Pilgrimage




Parshvanatha temple is a 10th-century Jain temple at Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, India. It is now dedicated to Parshvanatha, although it was probably built as an Adinatha shrine during the Chandela period. Despite the temple's Jain affiliation, its exterior walls feature Vaishnavaite themes. The entrance has an inscription with a most-perfect magic square. It is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with other temples in the Khajuraho Group of Monuments.

The Parshvanatha temple is the largest among the Jain temples of Khajuraho. It has an entrance porch, a small hall, a large hall (mandapa), a vestibule, and a sanctum. The temple structure has an oblong architectural plan with projections at two ends. The front (eastern) projection forms the entrance porch, the back (western) projection is a shrine attached to the sanctum.

The ceiling of the entrance porch features chain and floral patterns, and a pair of intertwined flying vidyadharas. The door-lintel of the mandapa has the sculpture of Adinatha's attendant: a ten-armed Chakreshvari riding a Garuda. The sanctum features sculptures of the Jinas.

The outer walls have three bands of sculptures. These sculptures feature surasundaris (graceful women), flying couples, dancers, musicians, and celestial beings. Despite the temple's Jain affiliation, the outer walls also depict Vaishnavite themes including sculptures of Hindu gods and their incarnations with their consorts. These include Vishnu-Lakshmi, Rama-Sita, Balarama-Revati, Parashurama, Hanuman, Brahma and Yamalarjuna legend of Krishna. These sculptures are similar to those of the Lakshmana Temple in modeling, proportions and poise. Unlike the Lakshmana temple, the Parshvanatha temple doesn't feature explicit erotic sculptures, although one particular image appears to show a cross-legged apsara masturbating with an object.


Magic Square

The temple has an inscription with a magic square, called the "Jaina square". This is one of the oldest known 4×4 magic squares, as well as one of the oldest known most-perfect magic squares.

This magic square contains all the numbers from 1 to 16. The sum of the numbers in every horizontal row, every vertical column and the two diagonal rows is 34.


24.844878, 79.936571