Standing next to the Lakshmana Temple, this temple is not within the fenced enclosure because it is still in everyday use, unlike all the other old Khajuraho temples. It may be the plainest temple here (suggesting that it was one of the first built) but inside it sports a polished lingam, 2.5m high.
Early in the morning, flower-sellers do a brisk trade in garlands for the statue of Ganesh outside. People drape them round the elephant-headed statue, say a prayer and as they walk away the sellers whip the flowers off to resell!
Legend: An offering To King Dhanga
The grand dimensions of the structure together with its close proximity to the royally founded Lakshmana and Visvanatha temples may show that the funerary monument was erected in honour of one of the Chandela kings. It is believed that the monument may have been built to commemorate King Dhanga who after having lived for more than a hundred years is recorded to have cast off his mortal coil at the sacred confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna in Prayag, while meditating on Lord Shiva.
The temple is in worship and since it suffered much damage in the past, it is encumbered with modern additions and accretions in the interior as well as on the exterior for lending support and stability.
The pillars of this temple are stumpy and austere. They carry plain capitals and brackets. Neither brackets nor any sculptures or carvings adorn these pillars. The ceiling also shows elementary ornaments of cusps and floral cusps without any attempt at elegance or elaboration.
Standing on a lofty platform terrace and a tall basement approached by an imposing flight of steps, the temple is notably distinguished by the balconied windows in the cardinal projections on the three sides, while the frontal projection consists of an entrance porch.
The lack of ornament and carving on this temple together with the stupendous size of the Shiva-linga, which, with its enormous pedestal occupies nearly the entire span of the interior, combined with its pyramidal roof indicates that the structure probably was a funerary monument.