It’s not just about sex. The Khajuraho Temples in Madhya Pradesh are well known for their erotic sculptures but there’s a lot more to them. These ancient temples were built in the 10th century and only around 20 of the original 80 remain today. The Chandela kings, who built them, followed the Tantric school of thought, which openly spoke about male and female forms and their dependence on each other. They believed that the world would not exist without the cooperation of the two human forms and used temples to spread their ideas about people and society. The sandstone temples are a rare spectacle of intricate human miniatures, and most of the sculptures are so real that you can identify emotions easily and even count toenails.

The complex, which is a mixture of Hindu and Jain temples is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Designated parts of the exteriors are covered with erotic and sometimes slightly explicit carvings but the rest of the space is filled with other aspects of life like music, dancing, animals, war, meditation and royalty. These detailed sculptures throw a lot of light on the way of living at that time. They tell fascinating stories, share spiritual beliefs, and are unashamed about what they love. Fair warning: Your guide will be blushing with embarrassment.

LODGING IN Khajuraho

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