Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986, the Khajuraho Monuments are one of the most popular tourist attractions in the whole of India. The temples were built over a period of one hundred years, between the years 950 and 1050, but for hundreds of years the temples were swallowed up by the surrounding jungle and were not discovered again until 1838 by a British Army engineer, called Captain T.S. Burt. The jungle had taken its toll on many of the monuments, reducing the number standing from the original 80 down to just 22.


From a distance the carvings on the temples look stunning and it is only at closer inspection that you actually make out what you're looking at! The erotic carvings have given the site the nickname of the Kama Sutra temples although the depictions do not actually show the Kama Sutra. The temples were not built just to display erotic art, they are considered to be full shrines to the Gods of Hinduism. Of note is the fact that there is no erotic art inside the temples or near to the deities.


There are a number of conceptions as to why the temples feature erotic art. Some theorists believe that it is showing that sexual desires should be left outside the temple and have no place inside, but it's also worth noting that the erotic art only actually takes up about 10% of the entire carvings. The remaining carvings show typical everyday life of the period. This corresponds to one quite innocent theory that the sculptures were produced as a life lesson for the young boys of the time who could study them and essentially learn about how to be a successful householder.

The town of Khajuraho and the monuments are easily accessible from Khajuraho Airport which has regular flights from the major Indian cities. This airport is being upgraded to be able to accept international flights which will open the area even more to visitors from the rest of Asia and the Middle East who will be able to get direct flights here.


back to top