An infamous temple! : Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh Travelogue by shivs-

 

   

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An infamous temple!

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A write-up of my trip from to Khajuraho via Khajuraho

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Let’s play a game. I’ll tell a word and you tell me what first comes to your mind. First word Temple – Prayer, Religion, Spirituality, Harmony, etc. Now, the second word Khajuraho – Sex, Erotic Carvings, Kamasutra, Nudity, etc. Why in heavens name was a temple in India adorned and surrounded by erotic carvings?

Well there is no clear answer. Some of the popular theories (read myths) that are doing rounds are:-
1) It was created to prevent the rain god Indra from striking the place with lightning. Indra was a keen voyeur and would have baulked at damaging such a source of pleasure.
2) The carvings served as a kind of how-to-do-it manual for Brahmin boys growing up in segregated schools.
3) Much more convincing is the theory that these are Tantric images depicting the realization of baser instincts as a way to blot out the evils of the world and achieve final Nirvana, read liberation.

These days Indira isn't the only one to enjoy a peek at these apsaras (celestial maidens); hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to Khajuraho each year to see the exquisite adults-only carvings adorning the village's temples. There are more than 20 odd temples with sculptures which can give the latest Kingfisher swimsuit and Pirelli calendars a run for their money.

Let me warn you: Go there only if you can cut yourself out of modern morality and just look at the sculptures as a joyous celebration of the possibilities of life.

Getting there: Only God knows how I got there…

Things to do / see:
22 temples, hmm! Believe me if you have seen one you have seen them all. So, be judicious and visit two or three temples from the main complex.

Do visit Panna wildlife sanctuary (20 odd kms from Kajuraho) on an open jeep (you can book one at Kajuraho itself). Be early and you might spot a Tiger apart from the other lesser beings! Lady luck was with us – we did spot one.

Hope you enjoyed reading my travelogue.

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This Travelogue 'An infamous temple!' was posted by shivs- on Thursday, February 21, 2008.

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6 Comments on 'An infamous temple!'
A travelogue about a trip to Khajuraho
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On 2/25/2008 9:56:43 AM shivs- said...

Hi Mukesh, I beg to differ. The artists and engineers of all or most of our temples are extremely skilled. This goes without saying. What is awe inspiring in Khajuraho is the theme. I do not ridicule it but for some it might not be disturbing. And my comment was a warning for them to come loose. I am sure we can go on debating such topics with no clear winner. Appreciate your comments. A movie like .

On 2/25/2008 9:25:32 AM Mukesh Miyan said...

Hi Shiv, we might have used different words to express same meaning but my submission was that Khajuraho is not only about erotica (which no doubt may be an integral aspect) but there are other aspects as well. I believe many of us are so overpowered by sex and eroticism when we visit these temples that we fail to acknowledge the artistic skills of engineers and craftsmen who worked with pure devotion and perfection that we have such marvels in architecture. Moreover, not all temples in Khajuraho depict erotica, it's only a handful of them and in them too the ratio vis a vis common sculptures is small. .

On 2/22/2008 10:17:31 AM shivs- said...

Well, thanks for the honest feedback. I don't see a reason why you do not agree with my views on Khajuraho. I think we have just used two different words to express the same... where you wrote 'a celebration of human emotions' I have written ' a joyous celebration of the possibilities of life'. Maybe you disagree with me on saying 'one should keep aside modern morality' well I agree to disagree. Today's moral values do not appreciate or even tolerate 'self service' or 'group sex' leave alone 'zoophilia'. .

On 2/22/2008 10:03:46 AM Mukesh Miyan said...

Hi Shiv, congrats for you're lucky enough to spot a tiger. In my last visit with a group of friends, we could manage only langurs, sambhar, neelgai and garial. Tiger was elusive! That's on Panna, but I don't agree with your views on Khajuraho. I believe Khajuraho is a celebration of human emotions and every individual has his/her own ways of looking at it and each temple is different though they look same if you don't dig deep. I've put a write up on Khajuraho in Destination Features section, pls let me know your views...

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