Chitragupta Temple, Khajuraho

The Chitragupta temple is an 11th-century temple dedicated to Lord Chitragupt and Lord Surya (sun god) in the Khajuraho town of Madhya Pradesh, India. Architecturally, it is very similar to the nearby Jagadambi temple.

Chitragupta temple
चित्रगुप्त मन्दिर
Khajuraho India, Chitragupta Temple.JPG
StateMadhya Pradesh
Chitragupta Temple, Khajuraho is located in Madhya Pradesh
Chitragupta Temple, Khajuraho
Location in Madhya Pradesh, India
Chitragupta Temple, Khajuraho is located in India
Chitragupta Temple, Khajuraho
Chitragupta Temple, Khajuraho (India)
Geographic coordinates24°51′16″N 79°55′12″E / 24.8544234°N 79.9200664°E / 24.8544234; 79.9200664Coordinates: 24°51′16″N 79°55′12″E / 24.8544234°N 79.9200664°E / 24.8544234; 79.9200664
Date established11th century CE


Based on the epigraphic evidence, the construction of the temple can be dated to 1020-1025 CE. It was probably consecrated on 23 February 1023 CE, on the occasion of Shivaratri.[1]

The temple has been classified as a Monument of National Importance by the Archaeological Survey of India.[2]


The Chitragupta temple is very similar to the nearby Jagadambi temple. It has a sanctum with a circumambulatory path, a vestibule, a maha-mandapa (large hall) with transepts, and an entrance porch. The large hall has an octagonal ceiling, which is more ornate than the corresponding ceiling in the Jagadambi temple. This suggests that the Chitragupta temple was constructed slightly later than the Jagadambi temple.[3] The building has two balconies, and the ascending scale of the roof is not as impressive as that of the larger temples in Khajuraho.[4]


The temple's sanctum has a partially broken 2.1 metres (6.9 ft) tall statue of Surya riding a chariot of seven horses. He is shown standing, dressed in an armoured coat and boots, and holding lotus flowers. The door lintel of the sanctum also features three similar, but smaller, images of Surya.[5][3]

The exterior walls of the temple are covered with erotic couples, surasundari, and various gods, including an 11-headed Vishnu.[3] The Vishnu sculpture shows the god in his para rupa (supreme form) with his 10 incarnations: this rare representation is not seen anywhere else, and does not find a mention in any historical text.[6] Other sculptures include figures of couples engaged in mithuna, and the apsaras showing their yoni by holding their garments lower.[5] There is also a sculpture of Shiva's attendant Nandi, who is shown with a human body and a bull's head.[7]

These sculptures (and those in the Jagadambi temple) can be dated after the Vishvanatha sculptures, and before the Kandariya Mahadeva sculptures.[3]



  • Ali Javid; Tabassum Javeed (2008). World Heritage Monuments and Related Edifices in India. Algora. ISBN 978-0-87586-482-2.
  • "Chitragupta Temple". Archaeological Survey of India, Bhopal Circle. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  • "Alphabetical List of Monuments - Madhya Pradesh". Archaeological Survey of India, Bhopal Circle. Archived from the original on 2 November 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  • Deepak Kannal (1995). "Khajuraho: beginning of new iconological cycle". In R. T. Vyas (ed.). Studies in Jaina Art and Iconography and Allied Subjects. Abhinav Publications. ISBN 978-81-7017-316-8.
  • Margaret Prosser Allen (1991). Ornament in Indian Architecture. University of Delaware Press. ISBN 978-0-87413-399-8.
  • Rana P. B. Singh (2009). Cosmic Order and Cultural Astronomy. Cambridge Scholars. ISBN 9781443816076.