Tantra - The erotic sculptures of Khajuraho
X - XI th Century AD, Soundtrack: 1) Buddha's Dream, by Riley Lee, 2) Music of Ancient India
Khajuraho is a village in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, located in Chhatarpur District, about 385 miles (620 kilometres) southeast of Delhi, the capital city of India.
The Khajuraho group of monuments has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is considered to be one of the "seven wonders" of India.
One of the most popular place of India, Khajuraho has the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, famous for their erotic sculpture. The name Khajuraho, ancient "Kharjuravahaka", is derived from the Sanskrit word kharjur meaning date palm. The city was the cultural capital of Chandela Rajputs, a Hindu dynasty that ruled this part of India from the 10th to the 12th centuries. The Khajuraho temples were built over a span of 200 years, from 950 to 1150 AD and are made of sandstone, they didn't use mortar the stones were put together with mortise and tenon joints and they were held in place by gravity. This form of construction requires very precise joints. The columns and architraves were built with megaliths that weighed up to 20 tons.
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. Someone think that the sculptures mean 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. Anccording to another opinion, on the contrary, these sculptures suggest tantric sexual practices (Tantra is a set of spiritual practices that include sex as a instrument to achieve the Nirvana). Anyway, only 10% of the carvings contain sexual themes. The rest represents the everyday life of the common Indians of the time when the carvings were made.
More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khajuraho
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