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Friday, September 25, 2009

Khajuraho - of history, temples, sculptures, erotica and kamasutra!!

Of days gone by...this January during my solo all India motorcycle journey...

On a cold January morning, I left my hotel at Umaria (Bandhavgarh national park), rode through non-existent roads to reach the famous tourist village of Khajuraho.

Khajuraho has the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples in India, famous for their erotic sculptures.  The Khajuraho group of monuments are listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Once I had settled myself in this tourist town, I made my way to the town's biggest attraction - the Western Group of Temples, which are housed in a very neatly laid enclosure maintained by the Archaeological Society of India. As I studied these temples, I was stunned by the impressive architecture and the captivating erotic sculptures.

The temples are constructed with spiral superstructures and adhere to a north Indian shikhara style. Each carving both outside and inside the temple carry a story, whether it be the Mahabharata or the Ramayana. It feels like you are getting a visual history lesson. Such is the beauty and depth of these sculptures. As is true with the rest of Indian temple architecture, there are a lot of carvings that depict the daily activities of the common Indian during the time of construction. In sum, these temples serve as fine examples of the rich and intricate Indian style of architecture.

Next, I made my way to the Jain group of temples that displayed similar intricate temple architecture and carvings, though it lacked the erotic sculptures. While, the Western group of temples had Shiva, Vishnu and Devi as deities, the Jain temples had Mahavir Jain and his disciples as deities in addition to the Hindu deities. There were other temple complexes in Khajuraho, but they were either run down due to wear and tear by time or due to the Muslim invasion of medieval times.

Khajuraho is definitely a place where one can admire and appreciate Indian history and temple architecture along with the world of erotica!!

To see India through the eyes of a motorcyclist's lens, visit the album below.
my solo all-india motorcycle journey

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