In the early stages the, Chandellas were merely Samantas of some rulers. Dhanga and this successors adopted the titles of 'Parmeshwara, 'Param bhattaraka' etc. and this is because Dhanga had made himself an independent ruler.
To help him in the administrative work, in many cases the king used to appoint ministers. The posts of ministers were also hereditary. Prabhasa was the minister of Dhanga and Ganda. After him, his son Sivanath was the minister of Mahipala and Vijayapala. There used to be a council of minister comprising of ten minister, and headed by a chief or prime minister. This Mantrimandala or council of minister generally consisted of purohita, pandit, dharmadhikari, Sachiv, amatya, koshadhikaradhipatya, senapati and kayastha.
The highest and the lowest administrative units of the state were Visaya and village respectively. The administration of the Mandals and Visayas was looked after by the Samantas the members of the royal family could also be appointed as Samantas.
The army of the Chandellas was very well organized. According to one Muslim writer their army consisted of one lakh forty-five thousand infantry, 36,000 cavalry and 640 elephants. Senapati was the highest officer of the army. Most of the soldiers were Kshatriyas but there was no restriction for the recruitment of soldiers of other castes. As their kingdom was in the mountainous region, they paid their special attention to the building of forts. The forts of Mahoba, Kalinjar and Ajaigarh were the prominent forts of the Chandellas.
The society was divided into four castes. Brahmans occupied the highest position in the society. Brahmans led a pious life and usually adopted teaching profession. However, there was no restriction for them to adopt any other profession. There are some references where Brahmans were Senapati of Dharmadhikari.
Most of the Kshatriyas were warrior but they had also started farming and trades. The Kshatriyas were divided into many classes and were called after the name of their families.
During the period of the Chandellas the Kayasthas had organized themselves into a caste. There were no such words as Vaisyas and Sudras in this period. Probably they were called after their commercial names.
There were some persons during this period who criticized the caste-system. Women did not occupy high position in the society. Only a few references of the works of queens are found. Some references of sati system was also prevalent at that time. Mostly the marriages of men were held with the girls of similar families.
The Chandella kings were mostly the worshippers of Vishnu and Siva. There was a great deal of religious toleration between these two sects. In some inscription the Vishnu and Siva have both been prayed. The statues of both Siva and Vishnu were established in a temple of Khajuraho. Siva was also worshipped with his different names such as Mahadeva, Vishwanath, Maheshwara, Kedar etc. Nandi, Trishul (trident) and chandrama (moon) were also shown along with the statues of Siva. The worship of Sivalinga was also prevalent.
Besides Siva and Vishnu, other gods and goddesses were also worshipped. The prominent among other gods were Ganesh, Surya, Indra, Chandra, Hamman etc. Among goddesses the names of Lakshami, Parvati, Saraswati, etc. were prominent. The incarnations of Vishnu such as Narsingh, Varaha, Vaman, Rama and Krishna were also worshipped.
On account of the Muslim invasions, an attempt was being made to bring about unity on the basis of the essential elements of the religion after removing religions and philosophical differences so as to face the foreign materialism.
Some important Jain temples were also built, statues of Buddha were also made. However, most of the temples of Khajuraho are those of Siva and Vishnu. Kandaria Mahadeva temple of Khajuraho is most famous and is a symbol of the idol-worship of the Chandellas.
Architecture made a great progress during the reign of the Chandellas. According to Goswami, "Their magnificence, perfection of design sculptural profession make them masterpieces of architectural and sculptural art."
According to Dr. Smith and Percy brown, the Chandella kings, specially Dhanga and Vidyadhar, encouraged the construction of temples. There are 30 temples of this period in Khajuraho. They are Siva, Vishnu and Jain temples but none of them is a Buddhist temple. These temples are famous for their architecture and sculpture and are better in many respects than the temples of Orissa.
According to Basham, "The style of Khajuraho sculpture lacks the solidity and vigour of the best of Orissa, but the wonderful fringes of statuary contain figures of a graceful vitality, warmer and more immediately attractive than those of the Orissan temples."
Some of the architectural creations of Khajuraho temples are famous in the entire world. Among the temples, the temples of Kandariya Mahadeva, Chaturbhuja and Parsvanath are the most prominent of all.
The end of Chandel dynasty
After the defeat of Parmardi, Muslims established their authority over Kalinjar and Mahoba and the kingdom of the Chandellas remained limited to a very small area. In 1564 A.D. Akbar attacked this small kingdom. Queen Durgavati died fighting bravely against the Muslims. Thus this dynasty's rule was completely ended.