A friend of mine asked me, “What are your plans for Christmas holidays?” He knows that the avid traveller in me will not miss out the vacation season during Christmas.
“I’m going to visit Khajuraho monuments”, I replied.
“With family?” he raised his brows.
“Of course!” I hailed.
“Are you kidding? Khajuraho, with family?” he gave me a snappy comeback.
Well, I won’t disparage him, for this is how most of us would react when we get to hear the word “Khajuraho”.
However, once you get to see the Khajuraho monuments, you will realise that Khajuraho has much more than the erotic sculptures unlike the notoriety created by travelogues, history books, and misconception by people in general.
Well, there is no denying over the fact that Khajuraho temples have enormous serving of erotic sculptures, but they just contribute to 15% of the whole set of sculptures in Khajuraho. In fact, there are many temples like the Sun temple in Konark and Rankapur Jain Temple are said to have the same amount of erotic sculptures and most other temples in India, in general do have these kind of sculptures although not to this degree. The reason lies in the belief of Kama being one of the most important transcendental stages in the spiritual journey of a soul. The Hindu philosophy upholds the purusharthas, or goals of human life as Dharma (moral responsibility), Artha (material prosperity), Kama (passion or pleasure of senses, with or without sexual connotations) and Moksha (liberated state that allows one to see the truth and reality shedding the fog of ignorance). It is believed that one has to surpass the stages of Dharma, Artha and Kama to get to the stage of Moksha. Hence, our ancestors must have found it quite appropriate to educate the populace on subjects related to Kama too, therefore these erotic sculptures found their place in the temple premises. If this relevance to Hindu philosophy doesn’t impress you, never mind, the magnificent architecture of the Khajuraho monuments, stunning creativity of the architect and the sculptors and the exceptional craftsmanship and winsome expression of art even in the simplest of the sculptures are good enough to let you go awestricken. I can go on and on expressing the exquisite beauty of Khajuraho monuments but let me stop here to let the pictures do all the talking about the inimitable grandiose of the place.
- Khajuraho Monuments/ temples are essentially organised in three groups – Western group of temples, Eastern and Southern groups. Western group of temples are all located in the same campus and they will what require more time seeing (3-4 hours easily especially if you are like who wanna take lot of pictures!) The eastern and southern groups have three temples each with the radius of 3 to four kilometres. If you do not have your own vehicle, you can hire the auto rickshaws or even hire a two motorbike or even a cycle.
- Do hire a guide or all you see are nothing but temple towers and sculptures everywhere. You would be able to understand and appreciate the nuances of the artwork and craftsmanship of the place better when you have a guide.
- Tripods are not allowed. So, please leave it in your hotel room if your carrying one.