The temples of Khajuraho were commissioned by the Rajput rulers of Chandella Dynasty who ruled over central India from the 10th to the 13th Century CE. The temples were built over a period of 100 years and it is believed that each Chandela ruler commissioned at least one temple in the complex during his lifetime. The temples were built about 57 Km from the city of Mahoba, the capital of the Chandela dynasty rulers. Most of the present-day surviving temples were built during the reigns of king Yashovarman and Dhangadeva. Historical accounts of Abu Rihan-al-Biruni describe the temple complex of Khajuraho from towards the end of 11th century, when Mahmud of Ghazi attacked Kalinjar. The Kings struck a deal with Mahmud by paying a ransom that prevented him from looting the temples.
The general theme running through the sculptural carvings are examples from the four necessary pursuits of life which are Artha, Kama, Dharma and Moksha. About 10% of the total sculptures in Khajuraho depict erotic and explicit imagery which is the main attraction for people from all over the world. The Chandela rulers were believed to be followers of tantric practices which involved practicing of various sexual rituals. The sculptures depict men and women, together referred to as Mithunas, engaged in various forms of sexual acts according to the descriptions provided in the Kamasutra.
Other sculptures depict scenes from various stages of human life as well as various day-to-day activities performed by men and women. Considering the positioning and proportion of erotic sculpture among others, a natural philosophical conclusion may be drawn. One must go through the various worldly pursuits like physical pursuits or Kaam before they can get jaded of them and are ready to join the quest of true knowledge or Gyan. As a powerful symbolism, these erotic sculptures are placed mostly on the outer walls of the temples which imply that one must leave all erotic thoughts outside before entering the statuary of God.
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2020 | Present