They are exquisite temples with some of the finest temples arts in the world. They are built as a place where Gods love to play. They are well-admired for their intricately carved statues of Hindu gods, deities, mythological beings and ordinary humans, but it is for their erotic sculptures that they are more famous for.
Erotism in religious temples? We were just as intrigued as you.
Khajuraho, located right in the heart of Central India in the state of Madhya Pradesh, is a home to the temple complex built by the Chandela Dynasty in the mid-10th & 11th centuries.
The Chandela dynasty fell to Muslim invaders after its 500 years rule, and this religious center of Khajuraho was abandoned but escaped destruction due to its forested isolation.
Of the 85 temples believed to have been built 20 of them withstood time, mostly in splendid condition. The site was rediscovered by a British military surveryor in 1838. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
These are some of the exquisite carvings in Laksmana Temple, the oldest of the temples and dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Like most temples, they depict riotous processions of Gods and deities, domestic scenes, nymphs, musicians, dancers, animals, etc. They are very fluid and full of movements.
The Visvanath Temple is another magnificent structure that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Like most temples, its spectacular carvings depict all aspects of life but it is known for the delicate sculptures of copulating couples, sensuous nymps, etc.
While only 10% of Khajuraho carvings depict erotism, it is enough to leave a “blushing” impression even to the least prude, as it is not often that we equate divinity with erotica.
Apparently, the Chandela Kings were influenced by the Tantric school of thoughts and they promoted Tantric doctrines in their temples. It is said that the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho were created to honor the marriage of Lord Shiva to Parvati. They portray the consummation of marriage and the highest possible spiritual experience through the union.
We recommend a visit to Khajuraho if you’re traveling in northern India. It may be quite a trek from most major cities, but it will be worth your while. On how to reach Khajuraho, click here.