Okay, Ramzi please try to contain your excitement........finally, we are going to see the unique erotic sculptures of the "Kama Sutra Temple" in Khajuraho. It's art is a manifestation of the essence of the philosophy of Indian aesthetics.
These sculptures representing the Indo-Aryan architecture, congeal in stone a lyrical paean to love and passion and reflect the Chandela dynasty's passion and immense appreciation for the forbidden art, paradoxically, in the land of Kama Sutra.
Sita,( www.postcrossing.com/user/seetas) is our tour guide today.
Sita is very clued up with regards to UNESCO sites, especially in India, her Motherland.
She told us that these temples of Khajuraho, ( a UNESCO world heritage site) were built between 950 to 1050 A.D. during the Chandela dynasty of Central India.
After the decline of the Chandela dynasty in 13th century, the temples were left under the cover of dense date palm trees for many years, which gave the city of Khajuraho its name, Khajur in Hindi means a date. In the ancient times it was known as Vatsa.
In 1838, a British army engineer, Captain T.S. Burt rediscovered them. By that time only 22 of the original 85 temples had survived.
It took more than 200 years to complete elaborately carved Khajuraho temples that are planned in a similar pattern. Built in the central Indian temple architectural style, the uninhibited and graceful erotic sculptures of Khajuraho temples are known for their paramount architectural balance and exquisiteness. The temple plans range from the simple ones to the most inspired ones.
Wow! These temples are simply magnificent!!
Please tell us about them Sita.....
The temples can be divided into three broad groups.
Adinatha Temple http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Adinath
Most of the temples here belong to Jain faith but there are three Hindu temples of the group, namely, the Brahma temple enshrining a four-faced linga; the Vamana temple with divine carvings of sensuous celestial maidens in various poses adorning its outer walls and the Javari temple
There are different opinions on why temples were decorated with sexually explicit sculptures.
One group argues that the old kings lived in obscene luxury and that they used these for excitement.
Another group thinks that it was part of sexual education in ancient India: since most people visited temples, it was an appropriate place for mass communication.
Some scholars say that since Hinduism believes in the efficacy of all four paths to Moksha (Dharma, Artha, Yoga, and Kama), these sculptures were provided to assist in the last of these four paths.
Since these sculptures are limited to the outer walls of the temples, some people interpret them as a symbolic gate to reaching God. It is possible that at the time just preceding the construction of these sculptures, monastic Buddhism was prevalent, people were losing interest in the householder-life, and the temples were built to attract people to sex and family life and to renew Hinduism.
Sita has also pointed out that the Temples DO NOT contain sexual themes inside the Temple premises or near the deity but only on external carvings.
They portray that for seeing the deity, one must leave his sexual desires outside the Temple.
They also depict that the inner deity of the Temple is pure like the soul which is unaffected by sexual desires and other gross tendencies,destiny etc, whereas the external curvature and carvings of the Temples depict the bodily changes that occur in us.
Sita also emphasized that only as many as 10% carvings contain sexual themes, not between any deities but between ordinary humans.
The rest depict the common man's life of those days e.g. example ladies applying makeup, musicians, potters, farmers etc. perhaps conveying the message that one should always have God as the central point in one's life even when one is engaged in worldly activities.
It is a misconception that since Khajuraho are Temples, they depict sex between deities! This is not so.
In Khajuraho Temples, the idols of Shiva, Nandi, Goddess Durga, Incarnations of Vishnu etc are fully clothed.
We are now eagerly awaiting the Sound and Light show ........which apparently is narrated by Amitabh Bachchan.
Ramzi says he doesn't recall any other sculpture except the one with the "acrobats"....and he has bought a bag full of iron, brass and stone sculptures depicting Kama Sutra poses ....they are a specialty of Khajuraho....and Ramzi loves incredible Indiaaaaaa...