Khajuraho, once capital of the Chandela dynasty, is today recognized for its superb temples. In 1910 W E Jardine, the then political agent ofBundelkhand, displayed a set of objects which he had gathered from the temple complex, in an open air enclosure near the western group of temples.
First called the Jardine Museum, the name distorted to Archaeological Museum in 1952. Sculpture and architectural panels and friezes dating to the 10th and 12th century correspond to the temple styles and are mainly Brahmanical and Jain in influence. However, the seated Buddha figure indicates the existence of a Buddhist shrine here which has long since disappeared. Most of the 2000 objects are masterpieces of Indian sculpture.
The Nritta Gansha, a. colossal image depicts the elephant headed god dancing while his attendants keep the rhythm; a marvellous Hari-Haro representing the deity whose right half is Shiva and left Vishnu manifests the perfectly conceived unity of the two gods. Also o view is the Uma-Maheshwara, frozen in perpetual embrace; the Jain goddess Ambika under a mango tree laden with fruit which monkeys are eating; the lain sasana-devi Manovega holding a spiral lotus stalk and the upright Adinatha, the first Jain tirthankara.
An unusual piece is the four-headed Vishnu, Vaikuntha. The central head is human, while the other three are Narasimha (lion), Varaha (boar) and Hayagrim (horse). There is also a bracket where an apsara wrings her wet hair while a goose stands below drinking the drops of the water. Other outstanding pieces are a huge Parvati, Shiva as Andhakasuravadhamurti where the deity is shown weilding his trishul on a demon, a seated Bhairava and Sadashiva.
Timing : 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
Open on all days.