Khajuraho Temples

Khajuraho Temples (India)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Famous for their many sculptures depicting lefthand Tantrism and the erotic arts, the temples of Khajuraho are unique both to India and the world. They also have a fascinating story behind them. At the beginning of the tenth century CE, the daughter of a Brahmin priest, Hemavati, claimed to have become pregnant by the moon god. The child of the union, named Chandravarman, was seen as part mortal and part divine. In spite of the lofty claims as to the child’s father, Hemavati was seen as an unwed mother and eventually left her home to live in the forest, where she raised the child. He emerged as a great leader and founded a dynasty in central India. He championed his mother’s claim that he was descended from the moon god.

By the time Chandravarman became king, his mother was deceased. However, she came to him in a dream and told him to build a temple that would show human passions and lead those who viewed them to understand the emptiness of human desires.

Temple construction began in 950 CE by Chandravarman and was continued through the next two centuries by the successive rulers of the dynasty. In the end, eighty-five temples were constructed. The design of the temples was in some discontinuity with other Hindu temples, even those dedicated to Shakta and open to left-hand Tantrism. Thus as the dynasty waned in the later twelfth century, political power shifted away from Khajuraho and the temples were neglected, abandoned, and forgotten. They were rediscovered during the years of British rule, but the explicit nature of the many sculptures slowed the spread of knowledge of them until the late twentieth century. Only in the last generation have the twenty-two surviving temples been restored. They now stand as major Indian tourist attractions, and enough people have traveled to Khajuraho that a new airport has been constructed to handle their needs.

Aside from their content, the temples are also unique architecturally. They rest on high platforms and point upward in a distinctive manner, not unlike twentieth-century skyscrapers. They are among the most blatant celebrations of human sexuality in a religious context ever constructed.

Sources:

Lal, Kanwar. Immortal Khajuraho. New York: Castle Books, 1967.
Mishra, P. K. Khajuraho: With Latest Discoveries. New Delhi: Sundeep Prakashan, 2001.
Vidya, Prakash. Khajuraho: A Study in the Cultural Conditions of Chandella Society. Bombay (Mumbai), India: D. B. Taraporevala Sons & Co., 1967.
Zannas, Eliky. Khajuraho: Description of the Candella Temple Complex at Khajuraho; Life in the Time of the Candellas. Den Haag, Netherlands: Mouton, 1960.
The Encyclopedia of Religious Phenomena © 2008 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It was their excavations that revealed to the modern world the architectural wonders that the Khajuraho temples in Madhya Pradesh are and the ancient Nalanda University in Bihar.
All 24 temples are covered in the app making it one of the most comprehensive app on Khajuraho temples.
This is a one-week-long festival of classical dances held annually against the spectacular backdrop of the magnificently lit Khajuraho temples. The festival features dance performances by artists of world fame.
A panel shows women with a particular coiffure around the Bodhi tree Image Credit: Lord Shiva with 12 vertical jatas, tied round by four bands of hair Image Credit: Another style from the Khajuraho temple sculptures Image Credit: Women depicted in the Khajuraho temples preferred wearing their hair in buns and chignons Image Credit: By Nilima PathakSpecial to Weekend Review
Also, while we very rightly tend to block all such objectionable images that tend to harm the sensibilities of a cultured Indian family, why we keep promoting equally objectionable erotic sculptures of Khajuraho temples in the name of Hindu culture.
Summary: From the famous Khajuraho temples to the exotic forts and stupas, Madhya Pradesh is blessed with some of the most stunning architecture and history.
" Events such as the Surajkund Crafts Fair at Haryana, the dance festivals at the Khajuraho temples of Madhya Pradesh, to the Kumbh Mela and the Carnival in Goa offer exciting ways to take a look into the culture of our multi- lingual country," says Suri.
Six months back, Laura from Bilbao in Spain came to India to have a glimpse of Khajuraho temples known worldwide for their erotic sculptures.
After the fascinating opener at the Khajuraho temples, the film similarly stops short of visually developing its sexual and emotional themes, which would have perhaps offered a window on the director's (male) perspective.
" Seeing high investment potential in diamond cutting and polishing, we are planning to shift the proposed Gems Jewellery Park from Indore to Chhatarpur district somewhere close to the famous Khajuraho temples, a world heritage UNESCO site," Chouhan further said.
Khajuraho temples are world-famous for their erotic sculptures.