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Khajuraho Temples

...near (Khajuraho) temples, which contain idols that have been mutilated by the Moslems, live a number of yogis whose matted locks have grown as long as their bodies. And on account of extreme asceticism they are all yellow in colour. Many Moslems attend these men in order to take lessons (yoga) from them.

----Ibn Batuta

Not just Ibn Batuta, but the mention of Khajuraho can also be found in the texts of Chinese traveller Xuanzang and Abu-Rihan-al-Baruni, the persion historian who came along with Mahmud of Gazni.

The Khajuraho Group of Monuments is an amazing piece or temple architecture and more popularly recognised with the Erotic sculptures. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The temples were built during the reign of Chandela dynasty somewhere between 950 AD and 1000 AD.

Historical estimate says that there were around 80 temples that were created during the Chandela reign, many of which were later destroyed by the Muslim invasion. The Delhi Sultanate and subsequent rules ravaged the temples. However, there were a few temples left that escaped this wrath and were left on their own.

Call it God's grace or luck, the entire area of Khajuraho was covered by thick forests which made it inaccessible and literally hidden from further invasions. This natural shield of forests protected the monuments, which was later discovered by the British surveyor, T.S. Burt

Famous Erotic Carvings

The thought of showcasing the world that intimacy and sex is a part of normal human life and study of various positions to enhance this process is something that is way out of the world. This open-mindedness and acceptance of sex started in India way before the world even knew this. Unfortunately, today we shy of talking about these things.

Carvings on temple.HEIC

The carvings show how one man is able to satisfy 3 women at the same time. The expression crafted on the women's faces shows the fine imagination of the sculpture that the women have experienced sexual satisfaction. It also depicts that a man, by the virtue of yoga (shown in other chronological carvings) can attain the mastery of sex.

Popular Story

It is believed that the mother of the King who founded the Chandela Dynasty had a child out of wedlock. To avoid being outcasted by the society, she decided to live in the jungles of MP and raised her son. The son when later became the founder of Chandela Dynasty had these temples constructed with erotic sculptures.

Explanation by the tourist guide

Kakatiya Mahadev Temple

Message interpreted from scultpures


The chronology of these sculptures from bottom to top is - 

1. Men working in their day to day life that signifies the importance of work in a human's life

2. Women in their compartments and doing makeup to look beautiful, as a general trend of the then society

3. Men and Women involved in sexual positions signifying sex as a part of human life

4. Spiritual Attainment of Human Beings

Other Depictions

Wedding Ritual

Showcasing a typical wedding ceremony with bride and groom circling the yagna, pandit reciting the prayers and others playing the flute

Music Depiction

Depiction of various artistes playing different musical instruments

Take a tour Guide

A historical place like Khajuraho should be accompanied by a tour guide who has ample knowledge and experience to share with you. I can vouch for Mr. Rajesh Tiwary, an amazing tour guide who will keep you glued to the stories and interpretations of the temple. You can watch a glimpse of him in the Youtube video shared above

Selfie with Rajesh Tiwary.HEIC
Rajesh Tiwary.HEIC

It is amazing to know that only 10% of the total sculptures are erotic but still the temples are known for them. 

The temples amaze us to the fact that our civilisation was so advanced that it incorporated education of sex as a part of life when it was not spoken or heard about in other cultures or civilisations around the world. Not only sex but it propagates life stages and explains how a human is centered around these things with spirituality being the highest achievement.

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