Erotica and The Heat of Middle India

Tripoto
15th Jun 2016
Photo of Erotica and The Heat of Middle India 1/1 by Anuj Tikku

After Bangalore, I really wanted to shake things up a bit and travel the middle country - deep inside India. The journey plan was to see Varanasi, Khajuraho and Puri. Khajuraho is a small village surrounded by dense jungle and a verdant forest area. The main attraction is the eponymous temple complex.

Photo of Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India by Anuj Tikku

The original temple complex was built between 950 and 1050 by the Chandela dynasty and is said to have constituted 85 temples in a 20 sq km area. Only about 20 temples survive today in a 6 sq km area of which the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is the largest and most exotic, perhaps explicit even!

Photo of Erotica and The Heat of Middle India by Anuj Tikku

This is middle India at its best and it is a hugely popular tourist centre as I bumped into Koreans, Americans, Spanish and even Mexican tourists here. The place has a chain of five-star facilities here from The Radisson, The Lalit Temple View and the Ramada which are all here to cater to this demand. I for one, however, continued to stay in my tried and tested OYO room at the rather affordable price of Rs. 800 / $12 a night. All through my stay there, all I could think was bless that damn air conditioning in my room and the little pool outside the back of the hotel. They kept me cool from the sweltering heat that touched 46 degrees centigrade and, boy, did I feel every degree. It was Khajuraho at its sweltering best.

After settling in at the hotel, I approached the Western Temple Complex of Khajuraho thinking about the famous erotica that these temples were known for. The sculpture on the walls was sharp and almost life like. It consisted of men and woman consorting and making love in various positions like from Vatsayana's Kama Sutra. Nothing was out of bounds here whether abject fellatio or delightful cunnilingus and even multiple orgy-like settings. It is all here in its pure karmic innocence, chiselled in stone.

Photo of Erotica and The Heat of Middle India by Anuj Tikku
Photo of Erotica and The Heat of Middle India by Anuj Tikku
Photo of Erotica and The Heat of Middle India by Anuj Tikku
Photo of Erotica and The Heat of Middle India by Anuj Tikku
Photo of Erotica and The Heat of Middle India by Anuj Tikku
Photo of Erotica and The Heat of Middle India by Anuj Tikku
Photo of Erotica and The Heat of Middle India by Anuj Tikku
Photo of Erotica and The Heat of Middle India by Anuj Tikku

The temple area is large with a huge park and tree complex surrounded by each of the temples. I noted nine in all on the western side. Beautiful nymphs with heavy hips and large breasts are carved out into the temple pillars and all are so intricately done that it looks like the whole place is dancing and rejoicing life in all its forms. Not all, though, is entirely sexual and there are battles depicted with enemies side by side in combat with an army of men, horses and elephants in all their martial glory. There were depictions of the holy trinity of Hinduism with Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva in their spiritual grandeur.

Photo of Erotica and The Heat of Middle India by Anuj Tikku
Photo of Erotica and The Heat of Middle India by Anuj Tikku
Photo of Erotica and The Heat of Middle India by Anuj Tikku

The only trouble was the sweltering heat and every time you entered a temple, one had to remove footwear and the hot stone floors would sear my feet. I was sweating and borrowed some water from a tourist family who had helped me take some photographs. I was awestruck by the temples and heat stricken by the weather. I had to give up the idea of going further into the wildlife sanctuary that I had initially planned with so much exuberance. The next two days, I stayed huddled in my room admiring all the pictures that I had taken and I was pleased with my efforts.

I bought some amazing brass key chains with couples in erotic postures as they looked fun and I thought this should definitely be part of my knickknack collection. It rained one evening only for the heat to be back the next afternoon. I had seen what I wanted to and had gotten a flavour of this place in the few days. I was here and felt proud that even in a country like ours, we were or certainly seemed to have been as tolerant and open-minded about sex.

Photo of Erotica and The Heat of Middle India by Anuj Tikku
Photo of Erotica and The Heat of Middle India by Anuj Tikku
Photo of Erotica and The Heat of Middle India by Anuj Tikku

I mean these temples are thousands of years old. Obviously cultural mores had definitely changed a bit. It is said that the marauder Mahmud of Ghazni had raided these temples but the forest and the deeply hidden nature is probably the reason that a handful has survived. All in all, it was a very educative trip for me and was, of course, an erotic thing to look at in stone. But I guess that I got the timing and the weather totally wrong. I made a note that I probably had to do it again, perhaps in cooler climates?!

Originally posted on TikkusTravelthon.in

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