Talking about sex openly is considered to be a taboo in India. We Indians have a conservative mindset. But was this the scenario centuries back? No, centuries ago India was extremely liberal and open to the concept of sex. We Indians even have a God for sex- ‘kama’. Kama or sexual desire was even considered to be a part of the human goals of life. There are Indian manuscripts where sex is considered to be spiritual and also Indian gurus back then taught about sex like any other subject.
Indian temples are a proof of liberal India. There are some Hindu temples that have prominent sex sculptures carved on the outer walls of the temple. Here is a tour of such temples in India which shows erotic sculptures-
Built by Chandela dynasty, Khajuraho temples of Madhya Pradesh are one of the most famous temples depicting erotic scriptures. The sculptures carved depicts the four goals of life in hinduism i.e., dharma, artha, kama and moksha. It beautifully presents men and women engaged in seduction and pleasure giving along with symbolizing the ultimate seductress.
Built in 13th century the Sun Temple of the Konark district Orissa is known for its erotic sculptures called ‘Maithunas’. The cravings in the wall of the temple show sexual acts that involve polygamy, lesbian relationship, polyandry etc.
Built by Kalinga dynasty, Lingaraja temple of Bhubaneswar is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the oldest and grandest temple that has images from the kamasutra, the sacred Hindu text on sex carved on its walls.
Virupaksha temple of Hampi, Karnataka is one of the oldest temple with exotic sculptures. The sculptures carved on this temple portrayed admiration for the state of nudity and polygamous relationships. One of the famous artwork sculpted in its walls shows a nude woman being looked at and admired by people.
The Jain temple of Ranakpur, Rajasthan is one of the most important pilgrimages of Jainism followers. The walls of this temple has famous erotic arts depicting love to be pure and not hedonistic. Various love making scenes are sculpted in the walls of this temple.
Thus,in a place like India where sex is embraced in temples, sex shouldn’t be a matter of taboo. If centuries ago sex education was normal, looking at the present scenario around us sex education is of utmost importance now. These temples not only just astonish us with its beauty but also shows us a prejudice-free India.
Visual by : Abhiskar Banik
Article by Anuhita Kachari, The North-Eastern Chronicle