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A Visual Tour of the Erotic Sculptures of Khajuraho

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Updated: Wednesday, December 7, 2016, 12:28 [IST]
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The largest group of Hindu and Jain temples in the world, the Khajuraho Group of Monuments is one of the most beautiful temple complexes across the world. They are known for their architectural expertise, intricate carvings and the erotic sculptures.

Though there are several other temples in India that has portrayed such sensual and erotic sculptures on the temple walls, no temple has ever been a comparison to Khajuraho temples. This UNESCO site is a must-visit on a trip to Madhya Pradesh.

You can find these sculptures on the walls, pillars and the exteriors of the temples. The sculpted Gods, Goddesses and animals talk to us about the worldly pleasures that are divine. Apart from these amazing images, Khajuraho also has several other sculptures that portray daily life.

Let us take you through a tour of some of the best erotic sculptures of Khajuraho!


The temples here depict erotic art in the form of these sculptures.

PC: Liji Jinaraj

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The temple of Devi Jagdambi is one of the temples known for its erotic sculptures.

PC: Liji Jinaraj


The temple walls depict the male and female principles, which are in the form of Lord Shiva and Shakti.

PC: Liji Jinaraj

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Many of these sculptures are found on the outer walls of the temples.

PC: Liji Jinaraj

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Khajuraho temples are also known as Kamasutra temples for their sculptures.

PC: Liji Jinaraj

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Only 10% of the temple architecture is dedicated to erotic art.

PC: Liji Jinaraj

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Scholars claim that the erotic sculptures portrayed at Khajuraho are of Tantric sexual practices.

PC: Abhishek Singh Bailoo

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According to Hindu belief, Kama (sexual pleasure) is divine and an essential part of life.

PC: Abhishek Singh Bailoo

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You can find many lovemaking postures depicted on the temple walls at Khajuraho.

PC: Abhishek Singh Bailoo

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Love and lust are portrayed here in an artistic and sensual form on the walls of the Khajuraho temples.

PC: Abhishek Singh Bailoo

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Several sculptures are of men and women engaged in intimate and uninhibited interactions.

PC: Ed Johnson

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In medieval India, young boys practised Brahmacharya, where they were made to live in hermitage till they reach adulthood. It is said that these sculptures were carved to prepare them for adulthood and to learn it better.

PC: Ed Johnson

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These sculptures are based on several Hindu scriptures like Shilpashastras and other texts.

PC: Diana Olivares

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In other words, these images portray the importance of love and sexuality in life.

PC:  Jeff Hart

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Explicit acts of love is portrayed in some of the sculptures here.

PC: Ross Huggett

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Some believe that such sculptures were built for the excitement of the Kings who ruled the region then, who lived extremely luxurious lives.

PC: Jeff Hart

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Another belief is that the images at Khajuraho were carved with the purpose of educating those who enter adulthood.

PC: Ross Huggett

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The women carved here with their full bosom and curvaceous bodies, symbolise perfection in their beauty.

PC: Ed Johnson

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Such art is not generally showcased in temples. These sculptures at Khajuraho only emanate creative energy and positivity, though they depict intimacy and sexuality.

PC: Ed Johnson

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Kama (sexual pleasure) is one of the four goals of a Hindu life, according to the scriptures. The other goals are artha (success), dharma (virtue) and moksha (release from sins).

PC: Ed Johnson

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All these four goals are considered at ways to a spiritually enlightening life.

PC: Ross Huggett

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Women or the female bodies are often portrayed as a seducing figure in these sculptures.

PC: Jeff Hart

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Brihat Samhita written by Varahamihira has an exclusive chapter on sexual union.

PC: Ross Huggett

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You can see animals being a part of some of the erotic sculptures here.

PC: Ross Huggett

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Khajuraho temples are believed to have built as a model of a complete seductress, with each part of the temple denoting a woman's body part.

PC: Jeff Hart

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Tourists and travellers visit the temple to know more about the sculptures and the architectural brilliance of the temples here.

PC: pupilinblow

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These erotic art carving are perhaps what makes Khajuraho stand out from the rest of the stunning temples of India.

PC: Nick

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Each Khajuraho sculpture depict a sensual and artistic form of sexual union.

PC: Jeff Hart

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The sculpted women are generally well adorned and ornamented with heavy hip chains and other jewellery to enhance their beauty.

PC: Prashant Ram

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Several of the sculptures here portray apsaras (celestial dancers) and sura sundaris (beauties emerged from the cosmic ocean).

PC: Partha Sarathi Sahana

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Here is a sensual image of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati.

PC: Abhishek Singh Bailoo

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A Khajuraho sculpture of Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi. Both the deities are heavily ornamented.

PC: Abhishek Singh Bailoo

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A female human body that is sculpted to perfection, symbolises the exquisite beauty that grabs the attention of every man.

PC: Abhishek Singh Bailoo

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One of the positions of sexual union depicted at the Khajuraho temples.

PC: Abhishek Singh Bailoo

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Apart from these erotic sculptures, the temples here are known for its enchanting beauty that has been carved into the walls and other parts of the temple.

PC: pupilinblow

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The temple architecture at Khajuraho is amongst the best in the world, thus making it a World Heritage Site.

PC: Arun Sagar

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One of the most erotic sculptures of Khajuraho, where a male and female are involved in ultimate intimacy.

PC: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

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Each pillar, slab and wall of these temples are built to perfection, though some sculptures are found broken over the years with an amputated arm or leg.

PC: Patty Ho

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Artists, writers, poets, sculptors, or anyone who has a close connection with art would find these sculptures unbelievably beautiful.

PC: Patty Ho

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Visit these amazing temples at Khajuraho to witness the art, sensuality and carved perfection of the sculptures here.

PC: Noé Alfaro

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