Spice up your summer with an armchair trip to medieval India, where you may be shocked to discover a society comfortable with the depiction of spirituality and eroticism side by side.
The Khajurharo Temples famously depict subjects engaged in various poses of intercourse.
Make no mistake, however! The erotic art of Khajurharo is much more than large- scale ancient pornography. Read on to learn more!
Five things you never knew about the Khajuharo Temples
Most ancient temples had some form of erotic art: Back when these Jain and Hindu temples of Khajuraho were constructed, most Hindu temples had some depiction of erotic art. Why? It was considered to bring favor with the gods! Khajuraho by far has the most prominent erotic art, carved in plain sight for the world (and all the gods) to see. The purpose of the erotic depictions is hotly debated; some scholars believe it had something to do with tantric practices of the ancient world, while others believe that they are supposed to represent erotic love at its pinnacle.
Erotic Carvings at the Khajuraho Temples
Remember Varanasi? The story of the origin of the temples can be traced back in Indian mythology to the beautiful daughter of a priest of Varanasi, Hemvati. As the story goes, the moon god saw Hemvati bathing in a pool of lotuses and was so entranced by her loveliness that he descended to Earth. The two had an affair, and when Hemvati became pregnant, the moon god gave a prophecy that their son would be the first ruler of Khajuharo. Hemvati delivered the baby in a grove of Khajurs or date palms and when her son grew up, his father the moon god told him to build a temple of erotic art.
The Temples are a UNESCO World Heritage site: The temples were constructed high up in the Vindyha mountains, one of the fabled favorite places of the god Shiva.
Carvings at Lakhshman Temple, Khajuraho
The temples used to be even more magnificent: Only about twenty of the original eighty-five temples remain intact today. The temples were constructed during the Chandella dynasty, during which time it is said that each king constructed at least one temple.
Lakshman Temple, Khajuraho
Itâ€™s not all about sex. Although the erotic sculptures leave quite the impression, (is it getting hot in here?) they only represent ten percent of all the art in and around the temples. Much of the art depicts the quotidian life of the ancient culture.
Carvings Depicting Everyday Life