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Khajuraho Temple

Heritage Tourism
Khajuraho is a town in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, located in Chhatarpur District, about 620 kilometres (385 mi) southeast of New Delhi, the capital city of India
 
Khajuraho Temple A cluster of temples in the small town of Khajuraho has become the greatest attribute of tourism in Madhya Pradesh. They are the unparalleled masters when it comes to alluring tourist from all regions of the world. The temples were built by the rulers of Chandela dynasty in a short span of hundred years between 950 AD to 1050 AD. It is said that there were around 85 temples in all, but after thousands of years, only 22 odd still stand. After being lost in flow of time, they were rediscovered by British officer T.S Burt in the year 1838. Since then, millions have visited these temples just to be left speechless and hooked to the beauty, charm and probably detailing of these one of a kind temples. The town by the virtue of the temples has been recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO. What brings hordes of tourist to explore Khajuraho temples are the erotic sculptures that cover the walls of many temples here. The erotic crafts only make up a small section of what these temples have to offer. The major share of the carvings is of Gods, deities and depiction of day to day activities of people in that era. The temples have been divided into three sections according to their location in the town. The western Group, The Southern Group and the Eastern Group.

The Khajuraho temples do not contain sexual or erotic art inside the temple or near the deities; however, some external carvings bear erotic art. Also, some of the temples that have two layers of walls have small erotic carvings on the outside of the inner wall. There are many interpretations of the erotic carvings. They portray that, for seeing the deity, one must leave his or her sexual desires outside the temple. They also show that divinity, such as the deities of the temples, is pure like the atman, which is not affected by sexual desires and other characteristics of the physical body. It has been suggested that these suggest tantric sexual practices. Meanwhile, the external curvature and carvings of the temples depict humans, human bodies, and the changes that occur in human bodies, as well as facts of life. Some 10% of the carvings contain sexual themes; those reportedly do not show deities, they show sexual activities between people. The rest depict the everyday life of the common Indian of the time when the carvings were made, and of various activities of other beings. For example, those depictions show women putting on makeup, musicians, potters, farmers, and other folk. Those mundane scenes are all at some distance from the temple deities. A common misconception is that, since the old structures with carvings in Khajuraho are temples, the carvings depict sex between deities

Another perspective of these carvings is presented by James McConnachie. In his history of the Kamasutra, McConnachie describes the zesty 10% of the Khajuraho sculpture as "the apogee of erotic art": "Twisting, broad-hipped and high breasted nymphs display their generously contoured and bejewelled bodies on exquisitely worked exterior wall panels. These fleshy apsaras run riot across the surface of the stone, putting on make-up, washing their hair, playing games, dancing, and endlessly knotting and unknotting their girdles....Beside the heavenly nymphs are serried ranks of griffins, guardian deities and, most notoriously, extravagantly interlocked maithunas, or lovemaking couples."