The Chandelas of Jejakabhukti were a royal dynasty in Central India. They ruled much of the Bundelkhand region (then called Jejakabhukti) between the 9th and the 13th centuries.
Modern Bundelkhand was known as Jejakabhukti during 10th and 11th century and was ruled by Chandellas.
These Rajput emperors were fond of art and culture and the temples of Khajrao (Madhya Pradesh) were built during this time.
Chandellas had maternal relations with Kalachuris.
Kalinjar, Mahotsavanagar and Khajrao were the important cities of this dynasty.
The fields of art and architecture flourished during the rule of Chandellas.
The Khajuraho temples in Madhya Pradesh have been declared World Heritage site by UNESCO.
The Chandelas are well known for their art and architecture, most notably for the temples at their original capital Khajuraho.
They also commissioned a number of temples, water bodies, palaces and forts at other places, including their strongholds of Ajaigarh, Kalinjar and their later capital Mahoba.
The origin of the Chandelas is obscured by mythical legends. The epigraphic records of the dynasty, as well as contemporary texts such as Balabhadra-vilasa and Prabodha-chandrodaya, suggest that the Chandelas belonged to the legendary Lunar dynasty (Chandravansha). A 954 CE Khajuraho inscription states that the dynasty’s first king Nannuka was a descendant of sage Chandratreya, who was a son of Atri. A 1002 CE Khajuraho inscription gives a slightly different account, in which Chandratreya is mentioned as a son of Indu (the Moon) and a grandson of Atri. The 1195 CE Baghari inscription and the 1260 CE Ajaygadh inscription contain similar mythical accounts. The Balabhadra-vilasa also names Atri among the ancestors of the Chandelas. Another Khajuraho inscription describes the Chandela king Dhanga as a member of the Vrishni clan of the Yadavas (who also claimed to be part of the Lunar dynasty).
The later medieval texts include Chandelas among the 36 Rajput clans. These include Mahoba-Khanda, Varna Ratnakara, Prithviraj Raso and Kumarapala-charita. The Mahoba-Khanda legend of the dynasty’s origin goes like this: Hemaraja, a priest of the Gaharwar king of Benares, had a beautiful daughter named Hemavati. Once, while Hemavati was bathing in a pond, the moon god Chandra saw her and made love to her. Hemavati was worried about the dishonour of being an unwed mother, but Chandra assured her that their son would become a great king. This child was the dynasty’s progenitor Chandravarma. Chandra presented him with a philosopher’s stone and taught him politics. The dynasty’s own records do not mention Hemavati, Hemaraja or Indrajit. Such legends appear to be later bardic inventions. In general, the Mahoba-Khanda is a historically unreliable text.