Khajuraho – The temples of Kamasutra

The temple complex of Khajuraho has been a tourist destination ever since archeologists discovered it. The statues on the walls of the temple are most impressive. They have lost very little of their beauty through the ages and now form some of the finest sculptures in the world. The reason that distinguishes Khajuraho from the rest of the temples is that the sculptures and figurines on the temple walls are mostly erotic, depicting not only normal sexual practices but such deviant passions such as bestiality. The temple has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO as it is unique in both its manner and nature. The figurines are said to be inspired by the Kama sutra, a book on sexual practices and methods written by Malinaga Vatsayana.

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The Kama sutra provides advice on not only how to have sex but also on maintaining a relationship, being a good husband or wife as the situation demands, and codes of conduct and manners in a highly advanced pragmatic and urban civil society. Eroticism is the playground of Indian sculptors who have decorated temple after temple richly with their art and imagination.

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The heritage is still extant in the minds of the people. In the village near Khajuraho fertility rites are still performed where women go through ritualized faintly erotic suggestive prayers and perambulation around the temple in order to get a good husband or to pray for the birth of a son. The Chandela princes built Khajuraho in fifth century A.D, continuing the construction generation after generation until the tenth century A.D. Over five hundred years some incredible work was undertaken and performed by unprecedented sculptors. The temple itself is divided into two parts, the outer courtyard where devotees enter and purify themselves by application of Ganges water and ash from a yagna fire. The main complex lies beyond, the most famous of which is the Kandario Mahadeva temple, a temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva of Hindu mythology.

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The images on the temple walls are very explicit. They depict a woman performing fellatio on a man, they portray a man having sex with a horse, and they portray a position where the man lifts the woman in the air and brings her down, impaled on his erect penis. There are figurines that hint at group sex and homosexuality. In essence the temple is a life size how-to-do guide for the Kamasutra positions, depicting clearly and faithfully what Vatsayana wanted to say in his book. The most famous statues in Khajuraho include the fabled temple of the sixty four yoginis, all of who are buxom, curvy and voluptuous, sculpted in various states of abandon, undress and sexual invitation.

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