After Bangalore I had really wanted to shake things up a bit and travel the middle country – deep inside India. The journey plan was to see Varanasi, Khajuraho and Puri. Khajuraho is a small village surrounded by dense jungle and a verdant forest area. The main attraction is the eponymous
temple complex. The original temple complex built between 950 and 1050 by the Chandela dynasty and said to have constituted 85 temples in a 20 sq km area. Only about 20 temples survive today in a 6 sq km area of which the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is the largest and most exotic, perhaps explicit even!
This is middle India at it’s best and it is a hugely popular tourist center and I bumped in Koreans , Americans , Spanish and even Mexican tourists here. The place has a chain of five star facilities here from The Radisson, The Lalit Temple View and the Ramada are all here to cater to this demand. I for one however continued to stayed in my tried and tested OYO room at the rather affordable price of Rs. 800, $12 a night. All through my stay there though all I could think was bless that damn air conditioning in my room and the little pool outside the back of the hotel. They kept me cool from the sweltering heat that touched 46 degrees centigrade and boy did I feel every degree. It was Khajuraho at it’s sweltering best.
After settling in at the hotel I approached the Western Temple Complex of Khajuraho thinking about the famous erotica that these temples were known for. The sculpture on the walls were sharp and almost life like men and woman consorting and making love in various positions from Vatsayana’s Kama Sutra. Nothing was out of bounds here whether abject fellatio or delightful cunnilingus and even multiple orgy like settings. It is all here in it’s pure karmic innocence, chiseled in stone.
The Temple area is large with a huge park and tree complex surrounded each of the temples. I noted nine in all on the western side. Beautiful nymphs with heavy hips and large breasts carved out into the temple pillars and all so intricately done that it looks like the whole place is dancing and rejoicing life in all it’s forms. Not all though is entirely sexual and there are battles depicted with enemies side by side in combat with army of men, horses, elephants in all their martial glory. There were depictions of the the holy trinity of Hinduism with Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva in their spiritual grandeur.
The only trouble was the sweltering heat and every time you entered a temple one had to remove footwear and the hot stone floors would sear my feet. I was sweating and borrowed some water from a tourist family who had helped me take some photographs. I was awe struck by the temples and heat stricken by the weather and had to give up the idea of going further to the wild life sanctuary that I had initially planned with so much exuberance. The next two days I stayed huddled in my room admiring all the pictures I had taken and I was pleased with my efforts .
I bought some amazing brass key chains with couples in erotic postures and they looked fun and I thought this should definitely be part of my knickknack collection. It rained one evening only for the heat to be back the next afternoon. I had seen what I wanted to and had gotten a flavor of this place in the few days and I was here and felt proud that even in a country like ours we were or certainly seemed to have been as tolerant and open minded about sex.
I mean these temples are thousands of years old. Obviously cultural mores had definitely changed a bit. It is said that the marauder Mahmud of Ghazni had raided these temples but the forest and the deep hidden nature is probably the reason that a handful have survived. All in all a very educative trip for me and was off course an erotic thing to look at in stone. But I guess I got the timing and the weather totally wrong. I made a note that I probably had to do it again, perhaps in cooler climes ?!!