|We set of to visit the Erotic temples of Khajuraho.
On the way, we get the chance to visit an Indian village School.
Even though the School is in the middle of a village, and many lessons are taught outdoors, no compromises were made.
The teachers were very professional and the children well behaved. Just a look from one of the teachers would see a misbehaving child fall into line without a word.
Reminded me of what Schools used to be like in the UK.
|I learn an important tip on travel photography from Kingsley (one of the many things I learned from him).
Basically, when you photograph a local. Always show them the picture.
Usually, as in this picture, they are quite delighted, which means everyone takes away something good from the experience.
|We had all brought pencils and paper and stuff like that to give to the children.
We were very impressed, when a very young child wrote the entire English alphabet in right before our eyes.
At first I didn’t want to go into the School, had a bad time at School personally, and I wanted one of my friends to donate my pencils and stuff.
In the end, as good friends would, they talked me into it. The Children were so focused on learning, that they seemed oblivious to the poverty that surrounded them.
As I said goodbye and left, I was nearly crying.
|We arrive at Khajuraho.
Our simple accommodation had this amazing pool complex outside.
Khajuraho village is surrounded by the mountains of Chatarpur in the district of Madhya Pradesh and is 395 Km southeast of Agra.
|The lads made straight for the pool, and even had a go on the water slide.
Water isn’t my thing (but that doesn’t mean I’m dirty or I smell or anything !), I have never associated recreation and water together.
I continued to read my guide book, and you’ve guessed it, have a couple of bottles of beer.
|In the hotel bar, this simple yet amazing device.
This free charger, would fit practically every type of mobile phone.
Why does the “developing” country of India have ideas like this, yet I have never seen anything like it in “modernised” Great Britain.
|By now, it was so common, that I practically forgot to take a picture.
Kingsley attracts more “Bovine” attention.
|Today this village remains with 22 temples, which give us a glimpse of a golden time of art and devotion at their peak. Out of 22 temples, two were made from sandstone. The stone blocks were first carved and then the interlocking pieces were assembled to form a temple. Each temple is different from one another.
The contrast of it being so ornately carved, and yet, this wasn’t a coffee table statue, it was an entire building, and scale was incredible.
|Probably the most photographed place in Khajuraho.
There is some pretty extreme stuff in here, with men and woman doing just about everything that’s possible between them, and the occasional illustration of a man pleasuring a horse !.
|The Western Group is the largest of all the temple groups of Khajuraho.
It is not compact and located in the center but also include the most renowned and noteworthy monuments built during the reign of the Chandela rulers.
They are also known to have been maintained well by the Archaeological Survey of India and the lush green lawns surrounding them with multihued shrubs and fragrant blossoms add to their beauty.
The most prominent temples of the group are the Lakshmana Temple, the Matangesvara Temple and the Varaha Temple that are a part of a single complex, the Visvanatha and Nandi temples situated near the above-mentioned complex and the Chitragupta, Jagadambi and the Kandariya Mahadeo temples a little to the west of the complex.
One of the smaller structures that reminded me of a Tibetan bell tower.
|Unesco world heritage site.
The Khajuraho temples do not contain sexual or erotic art inside the temple or near the deities; however, some external carvings bear erotic art and tantric sexual poses.
A common misconception is that, since the old structures with carvings in Khajuraho are temples, the carvings depict sex between deities.
This is just one small section of the outer wall of one of the temples.
Here there are several hundred carved figures and each one is different.
|A similar scene, taken more closely from a different angle at Kandariya Mahadeva temple.
The name Khajuraho is derived from the Hindi word khajur meaning date palm.
The city was once the original capital of the 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 a hundred years, from 950 to 1050. The Chandela capital was moved to Mahoba after this time, but Khajuraho continued to flourish for some time.
These are fine examples of Indian architectural styles that have gained popularity due to their salacious depiction of the traditional way of life during medieval times. They were rediscovered during the late 19th century and the jungles had taken a toll on some of the monuments.
|The artisans were masters of their of art.
The body of the subject would bend in 3 distinct places, and the tilt of the head would add to the aura of seduction.
According to Hindu legends, Hemvati was a beautiful young Brahmin woman for whom the famous temples of Khajuraho have been built.
The legend goes that she was bathing in a pool near her house in Benares (now Varanasi) in the moonlight. Her ravishing beauty so much captured the fancy of the moon god that he could not help descending to earth to meet her. Hemvati had an affair with the moon god. She conceived a child out of this relationship. Since it had happened out of wedlock, Hemvati was worried and asked the moon god about her fate once he departed from the earth.
|The moon god prophesied that their son would be the first king of Khajuraho. She was asked by the moon god to leave for a forest of khajurs (date palm trees) far away from Benares to deliver her child. When he grows up, the moon god told her, he should perform a sacrificial ritual that included among its rites the depiction of erotic figures. He should also build 85 temples at the forest of Khajurs, which subsequently came to be known as Khajuraho, all carved with erotic figures. This would free his mother, said the moon god, from the blemish of extramarital love.
Hemvati then left her home to give birth to her son in a tiny village. The child, Chandravarman, was as lustrous as his father, brave and strong. By the time he was 16 years old he could kill tigers or lions with his bare hands. Delighted by his feats, Hemvati invoked the Moon god, who installed him as king at Khajuraho. Chandravarman achieved a series of brilliant victories and built a mighty fortress at Kalinjar. At his mother’s request he began the building of 85 glorious temples with lakes and gardens at Khajuraho and performed the ritual which expunged her of her guilt.
The now familiar symbol of Ganesh.
|This picture shows the elevation of some of the temples, and the beautiful gardens that surrounded them.|
|This astounding picture shows a man pleasuring 3 woman while standing on his head.
Our guide commented, that he would need to be an adept at Yoga, if this was even possible at all.
|Our crew sat outside one of the temples.|