Karma Sutra Temples... Discovering India's Sensual Side.
Yes I know, it's a little bit of a naughty topic but I'm taking you on a saucy stroll through the Khajuraho temples in Madhya Pradesh, Central India. Commonly called The Karma Sutra Temples, they're a celebration of sex, sensual pleasure and seduction.
*So, fair warning, if this topic makes you uncomfortable - then please don't read it on the train where people may look over your shoulder and make you blush.*
These UNESCO world heritage listed magnificently carved temples depict all manner of sexual positions, preferences and partners. Men and women, men and multiple women and even men with their horses (eeeek) are all shown.
Let's not forget the lovely ladies. Shown as the tantalising temptresses, the big breasted dancing girls, women in every mood, stage of life and symbolisation of mother, lover, seductress, temptress and more line the temples. The stuff of fantasies and legend.
These temples have their own stories to tell. Tales of lust, erotica, wish fulfilment and fantasy are carved into the very walls.
Some may make you blush or be a little embarrassed while others may make you scratch your head and wish you were a contortionist. Don't worry, some positions were so difficult they had servants hold them up to help. I certainly came across some interesting things quickly making this one of my favourite places in India... how could it not be. There are giant temples of love! Lovemaking was an art form back then.
Thankfully there was a guide to explain the history and stories behind the building of the temples but I will admit, I did sneak off from the group to discover it for myself.
I love history and love hearing about it, but after a while I wanted to see all the naughty for myself and take my time exploring, soaking it all in and just wandering around raising my eyes to the sky and soaking in every detail of these amazing masterpieces. Every inch tells a story.
Being in such a place makes you think, makes you want time to contemplate what really is taboo today compared to way back when these were carved in the 12th century. And trust me, from what I saw pretty much anything went. They tell tales of orgies, bestiality and perfecting the art of lovemaking. Back then, if you were a good lover it was the highest praise. Smiled on by the gods and goddess', basking in their divine praise because lovemaking was an art form.
All manner of taboos are out in the open. Twosomes and threesomes all the way through to orgies of tangled bodies or a sex line where they are all lined up one behind the other, like a carnal conga.
Nothing was off limits. It was refreshing to see, these magnificent carvings depicting lovemaking in all of its forms, and they are magnificent. Intricately telling stories of love, sex and seduction that spanned continents, classes and the chaste system that still exists in India to this day. Stretching from eye level all the way up the walls, rows upon rows of sensual sites feast your eyes and ignite your imagination.
Flexible and fascinating, nothing is new, nothing is old, people are still people and they are still fascinated with all things forbidden. Or what is perceived to be forbidden. Okay, I will admit, lonely soldiers behind their horses I could have gone without seeing, not really my cup of tea as it were, but it is still fascinating nonetheless.
Surrounding the temples, gardens weave their way around the walkways. Stairs raise the temples on their own platforms, providing a little more of a dramatic feel. Vibrant flower beds bursting with colour under the hot sun add to the romance of your exploration while huge trees provide shade and protection from the heat as the sun climbs higher in the sky. Everything there is peaceful with a tinge of eroticism like finding yourself in a waking dream. One moment you are standing smelling flowers, the next climbing stairs to eagerly see what erotic treats await inside the next temple. Their beauty is astounding, their soft earthy tones shining like a beacon drawing you on to the next.
Entering the cool inside, shrines to gods and goddess' await, surrounded by larger sculptures of loving couples in the throes of passion. Huge pillars are topped with erotic scenes and the sides of the shrines are lined with big breasted dancing girls and servants catering to every one of their masters wishes... yes it is the stuff of fantasy.
Spending time exploring the Karma Sutra temples is a delectable delight for all of your senses. Drinking in the magnificent carvings, inflaming your imagination and even getting a few ideas for when you see your loved one again. These temples shine a light on the not-so-talked-about subjects of everyday existence.
They are well and truly worth the visit if you are planning on visiting India and a stunning visual representation of the evolution of everyones favourite naughty but nice erotic book - The Karma Sutra.
Wandering this place you will learn things about the erotic history of one of the worlds most ancient cultures alongside things about yourself.
So, go. Discover them, put a little spring in your step ogling all the statues, look at all the steamy sex scenes, it's natural. It's fun, we all do it, and it is a fun way to spend some time with the sensual side of life.
Whether you take a tour with a group or by explore by yourself, they are a sight to behold and truly worth seeing. I personally, enjoyed the tranquility of discovering them for myself but the guides tell you the tales and explain what's on the walls - no, not like a birds and bees talk - but the legends behind the carvings and the stories the temples are trying to tell.