What’s Khajuraho?

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Khajuraho is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in India with 11 remaining temples built in the 10th and 11th centuries. The temples are dedicated to Hindu and Jain deities and feature a range of carvings and statues, including erotic scenes. The purpose of the erotic art is debated, but it has made Khajuraho a popular tourist destination. The village also offers insight into Indian village life and is near Raneh Falls and Panna National Park, which is a tiger reserve. Khajuraho has an international airport, making it easy to visit.

Khajuraho is a group of monuments in India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has been since 1986. Khajuraho consists of a number of structures from both Hindu and Jain traditions, and the exteriors of the buildings depict a number of erotic scenes, helping to make them one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region.
Khajuraho’s various structures were built in the 10th and 11th centuries, under the rule of the Chandella dynasty. There were originally about 10 distinct temples, but over the years many were destroyed or in ruins, so that only 11 remain.

The temples are generally dedicated to Hindu gods, especially Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, but some are also dedicated to deities of the Jain pantheon. The carvings and statues on Khajuraho actually cover a wide range of subjects, although sexual icons are the best known. Indeed, none of the inner temples contain erotic sculptures or carvings, instead focusing on the deities themselves.

The apparent contradiction of the sexual art covering temples dedicated to spiritual practice has led to a number of different theories as to what their purpose actually was. Some have said the point is to show that in order to pursue spiritual matters, represented by the interior of temples and their engagement with deities, one must leave behind the concerns of the material flesh. Others said the outsiders were meant to act as a kind of Kama Sutra in three-dimensional form, helping educate young people in temples in the art of love. Still others believe that the apparent contradiction is simply a result of our perception that the two are separate, and that for those who made the sculptures, sexuality was simply a part of everyday life.

Whatever the original intent, Khajuraho’s erotic art has made it a popular destination and subject of photography. Although only one in ten of the engravings are of a sexual nature, Khajuraho is undoubtedly represented by one of these erotic portraits. Explicit statues range from simply showing the development of the human body through sexual maturity, to full sexual acts, demonstrated in intricate detail, with exaggerated proportions to make the acts more apparent and decipherable.

Khajuraho village in its own right is worth visiting, which offers a nice insight into Indian village life. Also in the vicinity of the complex are the amazing Raneh Falls and Panna National Park which is a tiger reserve and offers some of the best tiger viewing opportunities in India.

Although Khajuraho village is quite small and quite isolated, it still contains a proper international airport. This makes visiting the monuments relatively easy and has helped it become a major tourist destination in India.

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