'Nandi in Choultry opposite Viswa Nath Mahadeva Temple. Kajuraya'
Artist: Maisey, Frederick Charles (1825-1892)
Medium: Pencil on paper
Pencil drawing by Frederick Charles Maisey of the Nandi pavilion opposite the Visvanatha Temple at Khajuraho, dated 1845-1852.
Pavilions housing a figure of the bull Nandi, Shiva's vehicle, are always found facing the entrance of the temples dedicated to that god. The bull symbolises strength and the power of natural instincts but also the Hindu concept of dharma, the moral and religious duty, when tamed. The Vishvanatha Temple was built by king Dhangadeva of the Chandella dynasty in 1002 as indicated by an inscribed slab found in the temple. The temple is raised on a terrace and consists of a sanctuary surrounded by a passageway, a mandapa or hall, a porch and smaller projecting porches. The mandapa and the porch have pyramidal roofs while the sanctuary is covered by a tower with projections and miniature tower-like elements. The outer walls are adorned by three rows of sculptures depicting amorous scenes. The temple used to be surrounded by four smaller shrines but only two are still standing. The Nandi pavilion is situated east of the temple.