Day By Day

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Adventures in India, Part 24 -- The Kama Sutra Temples


The temples of Khajuraho are famous for their representations of all aspects of life, including sexual activities. For this reason they are popularly referred to as the "Kama Sutra Temples" although they have no direct relationship to that philosophical work. They were constructed in the tenth through the twelfth centuries AD, at the height of the Chandela dynasty when Khajuraho was its capital.

Originally there were eighty temples in the complex. Only twenty-five remain today. For centuries they were neglected until in the nineteenth century British explorers rediscovered them. They have since been restored and surrounded by parkland. Today they have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and are considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of India.

Each of the temples is covered with elaborate bas relief sculptures.

that consist of representations of all aspects of daily life. About ten percent of these carvings are erotic in nature, and it is these that account for the temples' global fame. Here are pictures of a few of them -- peruse them at your heart's content.

You can see why Victorian Brits were so scandalized by what they found here.

The carvings, erotic and otherwise are found only on the outside of the temples. They are absent from the inside where worship still takes place.

Then it was back to the hotel for lunch and thus fortified we set off for a village tour.

No comments: