The largest of all temple groups of Khajuraho, the Western Group include some of the most renowned and noteworthy temples. Most of the temples of the Western group are dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu. Situated at the center of the massive temple complex are several large and small shrines. The most prominent temples of the group are the Lakshmana Temple, the Matangesvara Temple and the Varaha Temple that are a part of a single complex, the Visvanatha and Nandi temples are situated near the above-mentioned complex while the Chitragupta, Jagadambi and the Kandariya Mahadeo temples are located a little to the west of the complex. Other temples in the Western Group include the Varaha Temple with a nine-feet high boar-incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the Matangeshwara Temple with a eight-feet high lingam, and the Brahma Temple.
The largest as well as architecturally and sculpturally the most impressive of all Khajuraho's temple, the Kandariya Mahadev Temple, dating back to the 11th century stands almost 31m above ground level and is as long as it is tall. Built entirely of sandstone, the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is known for its magnificence, perfection of design and sculptural profusion.
Dedicated to Goddess Kali, the Chaunsath Yogini temple is the oldest of all the surviving temples of Khajuraho. The only temple to be built entirely of granite, the name chaunsat (sixty-four) comes from the cells of 64 attendants (Yoginis) of Goddess Kali, while one belongs to the goddess herself. Today, only 35 shrines out of the original 65 shrines remain.
Built in early 11th century, the Chitragupta Temple situated at the extreme northern end of a row of four temples and extending from south to north is dedicated to Surya, the Sun God. Facing eastwards towards the rising sun, the temple is located about 100 yards south-east of the Chopra Tank,a deep three-storeyed stepped well that was built by the Chandelas.
Similar in plan to the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple in terms of its style and composition, the Vishwanath Temple built in the early 11th century by King Dhanga is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Vishwanatha Temple has some ancient sculptural details and within the shrine is an exquisite marble Shivalinga as well as a three-headed image of Brahma. The temple has impressive entrances with magnificent stone lions guarding its northern steps and royal masonry elephants taking care of the southern steps.
One of the oldest and best preserved of all the Khajuraho temples, the Lakshmana Temple is dedicated to the Vaikuntha form of Lord Vishnu. Built during the reign of Yasovarman during the period from 930-950 AD, the temple is one of the most exquistely decorated temple, covered with various images of gods and goddess in the Hindu Pantheon.
Situated outside the premises of Western group of temples and facing east is the Matangeswara Temple. Dedicated to Lord Shiva,the temple is still a place of worship and is known for its eight-feet high lingam. South of this temple is the open air Archaeological Museum, which has a beautiful displayed collection of statues and friezes collected from the remains of long vanished temples. The temple draws a huge crowd during the annual Mahashivratri festival.
Now a temple dedicated to Goddess Kali, the Devi Jagadambe Temple was originally dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Older than the Kandariya Mahadev temple, the temple is famous for its lavishly decorated and richly embellished square ceiling and walls which have some of the finest figures of gods and goddesses, celestial nymphs and erotic couples.