Khajuraho Temples – Educating About Sex Culture
Most famous temple devoted to spiritual facets of love and sex in Khajuraho has been described here with details of important portions of this temple and the history behind them.
Khajuraho temples are situated in the state of Madhya Pradesh which is also known for its natural beauty and wonderful landscape. Khajuraho temples are worldwide famous for the erotic art and idols on their walls. These art forms on the outside walls of the temples, depict various sexual positions and love angles between men and women during their sexual intercourse. Khajuraho temples are the living examples of the rich & scientific Indian thought on a taboo matter like sex, even hundreds of years ago when they were built by the Chandela Rajputs. Khajuraho temples mark the extraordinary breadth of vision which the kings at that time possess along with the remarkable demonstration of craftsmanship & artistic skills of that period.
One of the most celebrated manifestations of Indian architecture will be found in several temples at Khajuraho in central India. Situated 100 miles south-east of the town of Jhansi in the modern-day state of Madhya Pradesh, these temples are thirty in number.
History of Khajuraho
The city of Khajuraho was the cultural capital of Chandel Rajputs. The Chandels ruled this part of north India for Two centuries between 10th and 12thcentury. Though Chandel rulers had their political capital in Kalinjar, they always took special interest in Khajuraho.
Construction of temples began in Khajuraho begun in 950 AD. Over the succeeding Two centuries, hundreds of temples were built here having a unique architectural style that displayed medieval sexual life explicitly on the outer walls.
Today, only 25 of these temples are well-intact with many of the erstwhile temples getting ruined or dilapidated with the time. Though there isn’t any fort in khajurah (as Chandels rulers never lived here), the kings built a wall to safeguard the city. The wall still stands tall using its 8 main gates, each between two golden palms.
Major Tourist Attractions in Khajuraho
Khajuraho is most well-known for its erotic wall sculptors and carvings. Though there aren’t any sexual carvings inside the temples or near any one of the deities, the external walls are brimming with erotic art.
Many of these wall sculptures depict humans, human bodies, changes that occur in the human bodies and also sexual activities among humans. Some think that these carvings and sculptures portray nature and creation; while some think they’re symbols of tantric sexual practice. Another interpretation is the fact that the erotic art is supposed to make devotees leave their sexual desires outside the temple before entering inside to determine deities.
Famous western author, James McConnachie has described Khajuraho sculptures as “the apogee of erotic art” in his famous book “History of Kamsutra.”
Aside from portraying erotic art, walls of temples also depict a number of the day to day human pursuits like woman likely to well to fetch water, farmers harvesting and girls wearing ornaments and getting doled up for any ceremony.
Architecture of Khajuraho Temples
Each temple stands on the high stonework platform having a distinct upward direction for their build, further enhanced by few vertical projections to provide an effect of overall lightness. The three main compartments are the entrance (ardhamandapa), assembly hall (mandapa), and the sanctum sanctorum (garbha griha). The temple has sorted out into three groups according to their location: western, eastern and southern.
Western Number of Temples:
The most prominent structure at Khajuraho is the Kandariya Mahadeo temple that is the largest soars 31 m high, focused on Lord Shiva, the sanctum enshrines a lingam, a phallic symbol. The amorous couples are most sensuously depicted in the Chaunsath Yogini temple, focused on goddess Kali. Facing eastwards to the rising sum, Chitragupta temple is focused on the Sun God Surya. A three headed picture of Brahma is enshrined in Vishwanath Temple. The lintel over the entrance of beautiful Lakshman Temple shows the trinity of Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, with Lakshmi, Vishnu’s consort.
Eastern Number of Temples:
The temples in this group could be subdivided into two, one as being a cluster of Jain temples and another scattered through the small village. Parsvanath Temple is the largest in this group. The temple was dedicated to Adinath but the statue was replaced with that of Parsavanath in 1860 A.D. The Jain temple, Gantai temple, includes a frieze, which depicts the 16 hopes for Mahavira’s mother and a Jain goddess on the winged Garuda. Dedicated to the Jain saint Adinath, Adinath Temple is lavishly embellished with sculpted figures, including Yakshis.
Southern Number of Temples:
This comprises only two temples. A track running south from Jain enclosures reaches the first called Duladeo Temple. It’s among the latest built temples at Khajuraho, better, finer and equally graceful, with figures of Mithuna (sexual activity) and women in various poses. The other temple is Chaturbhuj Temple with a three meter picture of Vishnu.
Daily flights connect Khajuraho to Delhi, Mumbai and Varanasi.
Khajuraho railway station is of the very recent origin (November 2008). An overnight train Khajuraho-Nizamuddin link Express connects Khajuraho to Delhi, but this not really a daily train and runs just thrice per week.
The nearest rail heads near Khajuraho are Mahoba (63) and Harpalpur(94 km). The major railheads are Satna (117 km), found on the Mumbai- Allahabad railway route works for travelers from Mumbai, Kolkata and Varanasi and Jhansi (172 km) convenient for all those coming from North India.
Khajuraho is 172 km from Jhansi, 117 km from Satna, 178 km from Orchha, 278 from Gwalior and about 400 km from Agra and Varanasi. It’s 250 km from Bandhavgarh National park.