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KHAJURAHO: A Group Of Shrines Having Their Own Stories And Myths

Khajuraho, Erotic Figures, Temples, Central India, traveler , blogger, photography

Madhya Pradesh is acreage of antiquity. It is the home of ancient monuments & representative of innumerable periods of history. Amongst the many popular world heritage sites found in Madhya Pradesh India like Rock paintings, Buddhist Stupas and various Temples, Khajuraho is the known for its decorative temples which is a remarkable piece of human imagination, creativity, and descending spiritual peace through eroticism These temples were entitled “UNESCO World Heritage site” for their stunning and erotic rock carvings.

 

The Kandariya Mahadev Temple Khajuraho is a small tourist place & a town which is located in the Chhatarpur District (Bundelkhand region) of Madhya Pradesh about 175 km to southeast of Jhansi. The place is famous for its beautiful ancient nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures temples. A World Heritage site is worthy to caught tourist attentions only but what really sets apart the Khajuraho temples from other temples in the country is the ironic erotic statues, present both inside & outside the temple, that not only depict men & women but even animals were also portrayed engaging in lovemaking, orgies & bestiality under the benevolent frowns of divinities. Its magnificent & erogenous art is an indicator of the quintessence of the philosophy of Indian aesthetics. The erotic figurines of Khajuraho temples portraying Kama Sutra are consider unique all over the world. These sculptures represents the Indo-Aryan architecture, solidify on stone reflect love, passion during the Chandela dynasty's. They also reflect the passion and immense appreciation for the forbidden art, paradoxically, in the land of Kama Sutra. They cannot be just conceded as erotic sculptures; these temples have some of the most revered Gods of Hinduism.

History depicts that most of the temples in Khajuraho were built in between 950 AD and 1050 AD by the Chandela dynasty & it is believed that the temple site had 85 temples by the 12th century, spreading over 20 square kilometers of area off which only 25 temples are remained till today spreads over an area of 06 square kilometers only. The group of temples were constructed together but were devoted to two religions only, Hinduism and Jainism, setting a custom of acceptance & respect for both the religions in the region.

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The temples have a very ironic display of complexly carved statues. While they are known for their erotic carvings, sexual art cover less than 10% of the temple sculpture only. Further, most of the erotic art work is neither noticeable nor highlighted they are beautifully balanced with the non-sensual images of the temples. One has to look carefully to find them. Around 90% of the art work in these temples depicts about daily life and symbolic values in ancient Indian culture.

The Jain temples were located on the east-southeast part of the Khajuraho monuments. Chausath jogini temple of the monuments features 64 jogini, while Ghantai temple features bells sculptured on its pillars. The architecture of theses temples is symbolic and reflects the Hindu beliefs through its form, structure and arrangement of its parts. All Khajuraho temples, except one, face sunrise, and the entrance for the devotee is this east side.

©Amit Manhas | www.personalife.org©Amit Manhas | www.personalife.org

The temples in Khajuraho are broadly divided into three parts: The Eastern group, the Southern Group & the Western group of temples. Of which Western group as the facility of an Audio guided tour only. There is a Khajuraho Dance Festival organized which every year which is held in February. It also offers a light & sound show on every evening in English & Hindi language. A kiosk has been set up at the Khajuraho railway station by MP Tourism with tourist personals to deliver information for visitors of Khajuraho. 
The Construction of temples was started during the rule of Chandelas, as soon as they came to power in Central India. It came to an unprejudiced end at the start of the 13 th century when the Delhi Sultanate attacked the Chandela Kingdom & grasped the capital city Mahoba (located about 56-60 kilometers away from Khajuraho. Khajuraho is believed to be the religious capital of Chandelas. Chandela rulers had tried to discriminate politics from religious & cultural activities, so they established their political capital in Mahoba.

Until this time of invasion, the temples of Khajuraho were worshiped continuously. However, after the invasion of the Delhi Sultanate, the temples were used to desecrated or destroyed. It was only isolated temples that has survived during rule of the various Islamic dynasties that ruled the area between 13th to the 18th century. It was survived because of the over grown forests and vegetation surrounding the buildings until 1838 when an British explore T.S. Burt had heard about an sexually explicit temple deep in the Indian jungle, it was only when he with his Indian attendants make the journey to this remote neglected temple & made it known to world since then.

It is believed that the temples were closed building 08 gates for its entry & exit purpose where each gate is bordered by two date or palm trees. On account of these trees modern Khajuraho got its name as Khajura-vahika in Hindi “Khajura” means ‘Date’ and “Vahika” means ‘Bearing’.

According to Cunningham (2016) the Chandela rulers are the followers of Tantric principles & they may have constructed the temples to help foster to make balance in between the male and female powers by expressing through the mutual gratification of physical unification. Undeniably, the temples portray the women as an open & freely enjoying sensual pleasures. The author further documented that these temples are considered as a celebration of womankind, as they depict statuaries of heavily ornamented & well-proportionate woman’s (Apsaras) beautifying the temple walls. There are well contoured physiques of the nymphs who definitely grab one’s attention as they can be seen engaging in various day to day activities like washing their hair, playing games, putting on make-up, knotting and un-knotting their cummerbunds.


Khajuraho is perhaps the only destination which evokes different kinds of responses. The erotic sculptures in the temples of Khajuraho are the center attraction for all but we will get variety of reactions from visitors, from being pessimistic to cringe & from embarrassments to disappointed. On my last visit to the place, I have observed some tourist were making faces or started oral activities, while most of the traveller’s chuckle or look away near those erotic artifacts. You can find many of the vendors on the street surrounded by the temple sell Kama sutra small booklets or stone figures depicting various forms of lovemaking. Still we have all have that curiosity to know why would the Chandela rulers, who ruled overt thousand years ago constructed these monuments & which has representing the lovemaking in various forms.
Other than the Temples there some other places to visit like:
· Bargarh National Park & Panna National Park — Small park famous for residing tigers
· Nachna -40 km from Panna was a famous city of the Nagvakataka & Gupta Empire.
· Raneh Falls -19 km far from city

©Amit Manhas | www.personalife.org©Amit Manhas | www.personalife.org

· Ken Nature Trail - 22 km far from city , close to Raneh falls, it is a jungle track
· Ajaygarh Fort - 80 km away from city, was once the capital of the Chandelas.
· Kalinjar - A historical fort.
· Pandav Falls -34 km far
· Majhgavan Diamond Mines -56 km far.
· Benisagar Dam- 10 km far.
· Ranguan Dam- 25 km away.
· Gangau Dam- 34 km away.
· Sanctuary- 34 km away.

Khajuraho climate has wide variation in day and night temperatures along with minimal rainfall. The best time to visit from September to March when the annual Dance Festival takes place.

Hindi is the main language spoken widely in spite of that various other tongues such as English, Dutch & French are spoken by the local guides and at the restaurants/hotels too so for tourist language is not a problem. You can visit and enjoy the places there. One can visit by plane, Khajuraho Airport is located 05 km from the city, can be visit by train also, it is located on 5-5=6 km from main city. There is a bus/taxi services too to visit Khajuraho via Satna, Jhansi, Chhatarpur, Mahoba, Sager, Jabalpur, Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Agra, Allahabad and Varanasi like cities. The bus station of the Khajuraho city it is about 2.1 km away from the Khajuraho temple.

©Amit Manhas | www.personalife.org

Literture Cited:

Cunningham, Eleanor. "A Catalogue of Desire: The Erotic Sculptures of the Khajuraho Temples." Culture Trip . Culture Trip, 2016. Web. https://theculturetrip.com/asia/india/articles/a-catalogue-of-desire-the-erotic-sculptures-of-the-khajuraho-temples/.

http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-asia/khajuraho-sexiest-temples-india-007337

http://www.khajuraho-india.org/khajuraho-history.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_temple

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erotic_art

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_temple

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jain_temple

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jhansi

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khajuraho_Group_of_Monuments

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madhya_Pradesh

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNESCO

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Heritage_Site

https://lakshmisharath.com/stories-erotic-sculptures-of-khajuraho/

https://wikitravel.org/en/Khajuraho\

https://www.culturalindia.net/monuments/khajuraho-temples.html

http://www.khajurahoindia.org/khajuraho-history.html.

Ramadurai, Charukesi. "BBC - Travel - India's Temples of Sex." BBC News . BBC, 7 Oct. 2015. Web. http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20150921-indias-temples-of-sex.

http://www.shunya.net/Pictures/NorthIndia/Khajuraho/Khajuraho.htm.

COMMENTS

BLOGGER: 3
  1. Wow! beautiful pace sir. Thanks for sharing the knowledge of this ancient place with us. It is very interesting to know such type of "UNESCO World Heritage sites".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks dear! This place has so much of history, you should visit it too.

      Delete
  2. It's alwz heartening to collect a drop of knowledge from the ocean of our magnanimous cultural history and heritage.

    ReplyDelete

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PerSonaLife: KHAJURAHO: A Group Of Shrines Having Their Own Stories And Myths
KHAJURAHO: A Group Of Shrines Having Their Own Stories And Myths
Khajuraho, Erotic Figures, Temples, Central India, traveler , blogger, photography
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