Khajuraho Group of Monuments
Khajuraho Group of Monuments Reviews
Erotic temples Feb 15, 2013
Constructed by the Chandela kings around the tenth century, this complex of temples has to be very famous for its depiction of erotic scenes (or kama sutra positions). The site has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is supported by the Archaeological Survey of India and is undoubtedly classed as one of the key tourist sites of India.
The temples belong to the Hindu and Jain faiths. They fall across three distinct areas of Khajuraho: the Eastern, Western and Southern groups. The Western group is perhaps the most visited and prime area; you can even get an audio guide here!
The temples were only rediscovered fairly recently by an Englishman who was travelling through the area in the nineteenth century. Since then, the lush vegetation has been stripped back and the temples have been wonderfully preserved.
Perhaps the photos speak for themselves. It’s a rather strange situation to see how the temples housed different gods which were respectfully worshipped, and yet the facades were covered with such erotic sculpture. It has been speculated that the erotic scenes may have served as a “how to guide” for young Brahmins, but this seems dubious as some of the scenes defy normality! It’s also strange that the Chandelas built such intricate and unique temples in the middle of nowhere – Khajuraho is still a small and sleepy place!
If you buy a ticket for the site, it will last for the whole day and cover all three groups. However, you can only visit each area once! If you can, try to visit the Western group (which is the main and most handsome) during the early sunlight or around sunset, as the sandstone lights up nicely!
I usually like historic temples for their social insight, and enjoy finding the ones in India that are very active even to the present day. They are working places. But these ones at Khajuraho are for the tourists only. Having said that, they are worth seeing – for the excellent art and shock value!
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