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Khajuraho and the Temples of Love

20 Dec

Once the capital of the Chandela Dynasty, today Khajuraho is a little village fare, fare, fare away… It is famous for the sophisticated erotic sculptures on the beautiful spaceship like temples. Those are divided into three groups: Western, Eastern and Southern. Unfortunately only 22 temples of the original 85 remained to this day. The Temples of Khajuraho were dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and the Jain Tirthankaras and were built between 950 and 1050 a.d. Chandela dynasty was believed to be the descendants of the Moon God himself however by the time the last temple was completed they had already lost its glory. Khajuraho was the capital of the Chandelas for a brief period but for most of the part, it was just their religious center. There are many theories regarding the sculptures adorning mysterious Khajuraho temples. Some believe these temples were centers of tantrik mysticism, which regards sex as an important part of human development and the attainment of the Absolute. Others thought that they were constructed to lure men and women back to the family and worldly life from the strict practices preached by the Buddha that were gaining favor with people of that time. Although local tribals and villagers regularly used the temples ever since they were constructed for worshipping, T. S. Burt, the British engineer who discovered the temples in the mid-19th century found the Khajuraho sculptures extremely offensive. Why he was so shocked by his discovery? See for yourself in the gallery above.

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Posted by on December 20, 2011 in India

 

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