Temples of Khajuraho

Back when India was more stylish some lovers made monuments to their lovers just in case true love died or was forgotten. These monuments took years to build and hung around for centuries till the current horde of capitalism discovered their potential to attract tourists.

Built in the time of the Chandela dynasty over a period of 200 years, the Hindu and Jain temples of Khajuraho were originally 80 in number, however now only 25 stand in reasonable state over a park area of 21km. These temples are more than just a faded lover’s tribute and actually celebrate the act of love in all its intriguing variations (including orgies and animals).

What makes Khajuraho famous is the erotic art that covers the external façade. Strangely, the insides of the temples do not contain any erotic carvings. Most of the carvings are about the everyday life — women putting make-up, farmers, potters, musicians, dancers, etc. Sure, sex is a part of it, but only in so far as to match its importance in everyday life.

It takes time to take in the temples and truly appreciate the amount of detail and immense amount of ‘involvement’ the sculptors must have had in their art. The depictions are almost perfect.The broad-hipped, high-breasted women have lovely eyes and a taste for incredibly sexy jewelry and accessories such as bangles, anklets, necklaces, etc. They (the sculptors) have managed to find what makes Indian women unique and attractive and have incorporated this understanding into the face and bodily proportions that really represent the best of Indian beauty. Their knowledge of human anatomy is probably second to their willingness to depict the nature of all things sexual.

Extremely interesting, the confluence of religious idols and erotic art gives depth to each. Make sure that you arrive well in time to slowly walk around the temples, on an average; it takes about an hour to tour a single temple. There’s more than just the jaw-dropping display of sexual practices and enjoyment, the temples are an education on human life, spirituality and yes, some more sex.