Khajuraho temples defined India globally as Kamasutra land

New Delhi (IANS): Spread across the dusty old Khajuraho town in Madhya Pradesh, its temples don’t just represent architectural finesse and stand as chronicles of time, but also contribute to a large extent to the way India is perceived by the rest of the world – as the land of the Kamasutra, although the book was written much ahead of time.

khajuraho

As one visits these temples, one is overwhelmed by not just the exemplary Indo-Aryan medieval architecture but majorly by the bold sculptors of that time, who challenge even the present day’s world with their erotic carvings, meant for “educational” purposes, as the local tour guides term it.

Mahatma Gandhi was also known to have found these images “deeply distressing” and wanted the temples cleansed of these “indecent and embarrassing” representations. Khajuraho, however, has continued to remain as the abode of these erotic carvings, which range from self-pleasuring acts to sexual orgies to bestiality.

Built between the 9th and 11th centuries by the warrior kings of the Chandela dynasty, these temples today are arguably the second most visited in the country – next only to the Taj Mahal.

It is believed that 85 temples were built for multiple gods like Shiva, Vishnu, and other goddesses, out of which around 25 remain in different degrees of preservation across Khajuraho in groups.

Their raison d’etre? To settle the differences between the different sects of Hindus, the locals say. Apart from these temples, the town doesn’t have many tourist attractions – apart from the spectacular sunrise at around 5.50 a.m. So what is drawing so many visitors to this rocky plateau, surrounded by emptiness ?

“People are fascinated to see that Indian society was so advanced back then in the 9th century itself, which the sculptors depict through their artworks. It shows the society was open to discuss sexuality and that sex was also one of the ways to reach divinity,” Fahim Khan, a tour guide trained by the Madhya Pradesh government told IANS during the author’s visit to the town.

Lucas Hellmann, a resident of Cologne, said his interest in the text of Kamasutra drew him all the way to visit the temples.

“I have always wanted to know the origins of the world famous text – Kamasutra. It is interesting to know that these temples represent the text through sculptures so beautifully. And I never thought holy temples could be the place for such representations,” Hellmann said.

The erotic carvings of the temples, as one would notice, take to a lot of detailing. There are women who are shown bathing and the water droplets, clearly seen, along with the garments which can be seen as transparent. Another woman who is shown troubled by a thorn in her foot with exasperating facial expressions. Then, there is the sensuality of a celestial nymph putting her make-up on.

Not to be missed are the yogic Kamasutra positions in which the sculptures are shown engaging in plural congresses (orgies), standing coituses and many soldiers engaging in bestiality with their horses. One can also find representation of homosexuality – and women indulging in self-pleasuring activities. All of these are on the spires of the temples, before one enters the holy sanctum.

These temples are some of the very few places in the country that bear significant representation of sexual pleasures.

No wonder, many foreign journalists in their articles have also termed these temples as the reason for the birth of the Kamasutra.

The sculptures also depict the class-divided society, where if a king indulges in a sexual activity with a woman from a lower class, the woman is shown as a miniscule. And nowhere is the woman shown taking charge or initiating the sexual activity – something unlike what the Kamasutra describes.
A must-see is the light and sound show at these temples, which happens in the evenings, voiceed Bollywood icon Amitabh Bacchan, unveiling the history behind the temples.

All in all, the bookshop owners in the town expressed extreme happiness, with copies of Kamasutra selling like hot cakes.

FAQs:
Getting there:
By air – Four Air India flights a week from Delhi via Varanasi
By train – Sampark Kranti Express from Delhi on all days of the week except Wednesdays.
Accommodation: Lodges ranging from Rs.550 ($8) to Rs.1,500 per night (exclusive of taxes)
Three to five-star hotels ranging from Rs.3,500 to Rs.8,000 per night (exclusive of taxes)
Eating out: Many restaurants and cafes in the town serve Mediterranean, European, American and Indian cuisines
Nearby attractions: Raneh Waterfall, which is active only during the monsoon (June-August), about 20 km from Khajuraho.

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shAIKH mOHD rizwan

Dear readers,

PM Modi’s newly created culture minister with Tourism minister should start promoting Kamasutra land which was unknown to the west untouched since 9th century.Apart from Dinanath Batra pseudo mythology based history, it should be added in the textbooks with ‘Pushpak Vimans’ and human transplants.

Modi government which lifted ban on porn sites should include KS as Indian culture.Those Indians serving ‘Ghoras’ should ask them to visit KS Land with free tanning.

Jai hind

Original R.Pai

“Mahatma Gandhi was also known to have found these images “deeply distressing” and wanted the temples cleansed of these “indecent and embarrassing” representations.” – Report on Mahaatma. I despise the very idea of ‘cleansing of these temples’! It’s really stupid to interpret and judge historical events using contemporary values. This is exactly what Taliban and ISIS did when they blew up historical Budha statues and Roman temple ruins. If Mahatma Gandhi was really for getting rid of those historical art in these temples, he couldn’t have been more wrong!! There is nothing to be ashamed of our own heritage. There… Read more »

Roy

Sudras and Dalits know all about the wonderful pluralism of Bharateeeya culture.

Original R.Pai

Yes – they will know about pluralism as much as GSBs who ran from Portuguese rule in Goa. They would know about pluralism as much as blacks and aborigines who lived under European invasion of their own lands. Hope it makes it clear to you now!! smiles…

shAIKH mOHD rizwan

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Kamasutra or erotic art seen in many of our temples. -Atheist Mr.Original Pai Sir, Then how did the thugs od RSS sister organisation like Bajrang Dal and VHP who made M F Hussain to force living him in exile for five years, having received death threats and multiple lawsuits from Hindu fundamentalists? How does these Saffron terror couldn’t understand the diverse aspects of Bharateeya culture differentiating the Modern Art and nudism Khajuraho temples? Why can’t Modi’s government stop a method in the Madness killing of Professor Maleeshappa Madhivallapa Kalburgi renowned scholar with over 100… Read more »

Roy

The irony challenged RSS followers are praising the alleged pluralism of Bharateeeya culture. Bharat had a pluralistic culture, because the RSS was not around to impose its narrow minded vision of India. RSS is an organization which promotes one nation, one language, one culture. RSS wants to crush religious liberty, linguistic diversity and regional identity in the name of one nation, one language, one culture..

Original R.Pai

Political illiterates should remember what I have said on this forum all along. RSS is a natural reaction to the cultural arrogance and bullying by ‘true god-false god’ groups who ruined the cultural fabric of India over many centuries. RSS will die a natural death when the cultural arrogance and attacks stop!! Those who oppose RSS would have also opposed Shivaaji and maraatha empire against Mogul atrocity. If you want a proof, ask our sharia shaikh and see what he thinks of chatrapathi shivaaji!!! smiles…

Praveen

Those who oppose RSS would have also opposed Shivaaji and maraatha empire against Mogul atrocity. – RampaNNA Well, since you have learnt to read and comprehend matters of importance just of late, please read this: http://www.outlookindia.com/article/the-future-of-india-as-a-democratic-country-is-at-risk/295251 Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Silicon Valley later this month. But over 137 US-based academics and intellectuals have already filed a petition to the Silicon Valley Enterprises expressing concern about Modi and his ‘Digital India’ campaign. It is not surprising that Richard A. Falk is one of the petitioners. The professor emeritus of law at Princeton University, a highly respected academic, has always… Read more »

Original R.Pai

See this is why you are the joke and joker!! See my earlier response to AS Mathew on the same topic along with links. As I have already pointed out, these ‘scholars’ have been opposing Shree Modiji even before 2014. They didn’t even want Sri Modiji to address a group of students at Wharton Business school using Video conference!! How insecure these guys are!! By the way, since they are the champions of rights and freedom, I’m sure they strongly protested against ban on pravaadi’s cartoons, right? LOL LOL LOL LOL What a joke you guys are!! Get back to… Read more »

Praveen

RSS is a natural reaction to the cultural arrogance and bullying by ‘true god-false god…- Rampa

Ummm.. mmmmm you could argue that the 1000 year Reich was a RESULT and part of the WW1 concession! Eh?

Explains v succinctly why a RSS Chaddi killed the Matahtma!

And it also sheds some light on why you reside in the US. Unc Sam needs Jokers. 🙂

Found ANY God as yet?

Beta.. wear some BATA (6 years) and soja….

Original R.Pai

Well, if you still have internet connection from your anganawaadi classroom, google ‘The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich’. Give it a try and see if you learn anything!

Nelson Lewis

Original R. Pai,

I have read the Rise & Fall of Third Reich by William L. Shirer, who has also written a book on Mahatma Gandhi. This book is over 1,600 pages in small print and is the best book written on World War II. I wonder if there is any other book that can excel this book. This book can also serve as a good reference material to know anything about this war.

I have got a letter from the author

Original R.Pai

“I have read the Rise & Fall of Third Reich by William L. Shirer…I have got a letter from the author” – Nelson Lewis.

Nelson,
I respect your curiosity and passion. Clearly, we disagree on many topics. However, I respect your informed views unlike some on this forum who look at everything based on religious and political affiliation!! For example, Pincode Pai will go to any extent and shameless in defending his Nehru family-obsession. Sharia Shaikh is a hardcore supporter of his religion even if it means supporting enemy nations! Joker Praveena is clueless and doesn’t know anything!

B.N.Pai

Original R.Pai, “For example, Pincode Pai will go to any extent and shameless in defending his Nehru family-obsession.” Sir, Nehru Family ruled India for more than 45 years. During the rest of the time, Nehru’s grandson (i.e. your Maneka Gandhi, Sajay Gandhi’s wife) is ruling India as “the King’s German Legion”; rather, the “Nehru’s RSS Legion” in all non-Congress governments! Modi too is not an exception to allegiance to the Nehru Family. He too has your Maneka Gandhi in his cabinet. Rahul Gandhi in the Congress Party and Varun Gandhi in the BJP, both as the legions of the Nehru… Read more »

Nelson Lewis

Mr. Original R. Pai, Thanks for your comments. I always express my views without fear and favour, without prejudice and religious leanings. I always believe that religion and rituals should be confined to homes and places-of-worship and one should avoid bringing it in public. Religions have been the main cause of public sufferings and the reason for people either fleeing for their lives or to avoid conversions. Why did the Europeans flee from Europe to the present day U.S.A., where the Red Indians were the sons-of-the-soil? Why did Persians (or Parsis) flee from Persia (present day Iran) and, those who… Read more »