Khajuraho – Exotic and serene

After spending 2 days in holy town of Chitrakoot, Gaurav, Rajdeep & I left for our next destination. Khajuraho.Unesco world heritage, more famous for its erotic temples & the finest temple art in the world.



Khajuraho has achieved fame for the sensual appeal of erotic sculptures, but let me tell you the truth, these erotic sculptures form only some part of the wealth of the site. Contrary to common belief, the display of erotica through the carvings on the temple walls is limited and very artistic.I would say only 30% are erotic sculptures but mostly depict the everyday life of the people, couples in courtship, royal scenes, battles, marriage, meditation, women putting on makeup, musicians, potters, farmers, elephants, horses and much more.

Temples are grouped based on geographical location, western, eastern and southern. We covered only western groups of temple, most popular and very well maintained temple complex. Being an Unesco world heritage site this place is maintained in a very nice way. Lawns and garden are very beautiful. Ticket entry is there but not very expensive for Indians ( I guess it was 20 rs.)

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Starting from the Lakshmana Temple, moving towards Kandariya, Chitragupt and Nandi Temples, all the temples are brilliant and truly represent finest art. You will have to admire the way it was constructed. Each and every sculpture depicting the genius of the men who carved it. It’s very difficult for me to explain but will try to take you through with words and images. One warning from my side, if you are planning to visit Khajuraho, then go there if you can really cut off yourself from modern morality and instead of giggling at the some of the carvings you will have to look at the way they are carved more than the actual positions.

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The temples actually were built by the Chandela dynasty, initially there were 85 temples, and now 25 remain. They were built in the period AD 950 to 1050, and survived partly because Khajuraho is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. They fell into disrepair and were undiscovered from about 13th century to 18th century, Khajuraho temples remain in forest cover, away from popularity till it was re-discovered by British engineer T. S. Burt

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While looking in to all the temples and sculptures I was keep thinking, how did they make it? How did the people of that time construct these temples with just primitive tools? How did they get the heavy stones so high up in the air and manage to sculpt such precise and complicated details into solid sandstone? Is there any evidence survive to tell us?

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Now another question comes in to mind, why so much erotica here in temples? I have seen sun temples in Konark, Bhoramdev in Chhattisgarh but in Khajuraho, its so much. I tried to find out the answer for this and here are the three possible

Devotees here are told to go round and see all the sculptures and think how much our mind is stuck in maya (mind and body’s temporary pleasures). Idea is to first get rid of all these maya then you are ready to seek real & ultimate truth of God/prayers/meditation/inner happiness inside the temple. Once you enter the temple by removing all illusions in life, you are ready to take path to Moksha.

Another answer when boys lived in ashram, following brahmacharya until they became men, they could learn about the world and prepare themselves to become householders through examining these sculptures and the worldly desires they depicted. They had to explain what actually all the sculptures represent, marriage, battle, love, death, animals.

One more belief is there, at that time all the kings and scholars were engaged in Tantric practices. They could attribute the erotic art to Tantric practices, which revolve around the ultimate union of the male and the female energy. That’s why most of the kings at that time ordered to build temples like that.

Not sure which one is true..

2 comments:

  1. This temple is amazing ! And you have captured it beautifully :)

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  2. Thanks for reading and your comment Puru :-)

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