Khajuraho Temples: Erotica Meets God
The temples in the small town of Khajuraho are seductively stunning. Even more impressive is that they were all built from around 950 – 1150 A.D, by a Hindu dynasty in the present day state of Madhya Pradesh. How can people THAT long ago construct these big, beautiful temples, each covered in such small intricate carvings?!
The most unique & intriguing thing about Khajuraho is that many of the temple carvings are sex-related. Sex meets God in one of the holiest places in India. I can imagine the locals 1,000 years ago making the journey to the Khajuraho temples to pray & learn all there is to know about everyday life,… oh, & gravity-defying sex positions! Who knew God and sex could mix so well?! At times I felt a little out-of-place walking around the outside of the temples gazing at the perverted (and very creative!) sculptures. The exterior of the temples are covered in voluptuous women, often surrounding one lucky guy, & sometimes involving mythical beasts as well! There are a lot of carvings depicting normal daily activities too, but to be honest, they’re not so eye-catching!
The temples were built so young men could come here & learn about the world & how to become the head of a household. Often referred to as the Kama Sutra temples, they were built during a time that tantric tradition was widely accepted on the sub-continent. We met a middle-aged Indian man on the 7 hour train ride out of Khajuraho though who wasn’t so pleased with the sexual education plastered on the temple walls!
We were both incredibly impressed at the detail of the carvings, the towering size of the temples, & the shear number of them. We decided to rent bicycles for the day & it really was one of our best days in India! Riding down dirt roads watching daily life go by was as amazing as the temples… water buffalo escaping the heat in a muddy lake, women sweeping the dirt floor of their homes, children chasing us, livestock galore, & men huddled around games in the street.
Khajuraho has much more to offer than its incredible temples… although the temples alone are reason to go! It is an awesome 1-3 day trip, & we’d highly recommend a day out on the bicycles!