Khajuraho sculptures

The sculptures, which cover all the lower walls on the exterior and most of those on the interior, are a true marvel.  They literally take your breath away when you stand in wonder before their exuberance. They depict cult images, divinites, battle scenes, court scenes (like the above),  apsaras (nymphs), animals real or imaginary and erotic scenes. Ghanesh, Shiva's son, the man with an elephant's head, is a frequenly recurring theme.

A wall of statues Dancers
A wall of sculpture
A godly couple Elephant battling a lion
A godly couple, probably Vishnu and Laxmi An elephant battling a lion
Musicians Lion and maiden
Court musicians Tourist, statue of lion and maiden

The quality of the sculptures is astonishing.  Notice, for instance, the last picture above: The maiden's leg and knee seem more realistic than the tourist!

The signifigance of the erotic scenes has been much debated. As the World Heritage Series guide says:  "The people of that age took a healthy integrated view of life and gave sex its due place in the scheme of things.  Kama or pursuit of pleasure was deemed to be one of the four or aims of life and was regarded as an essential and indispensable stepping stone to purusharthasmoksha or deliverance, the final aim of life."

Scene on Lakshmana Temple

An apsara Apsara putting henna on her feet
An apsara strikes an alluring pose at the Javari Temple An apsara, flanked by mythical beasts, puts henna on her feet
Mithuna Mithuna
A mithuna, or love scene A mithuna

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