Snapshot: The Stone Carvings at Khajuraho

19 May 2013

The beautiful stone carvings at the Mahadev Temple at Khajuraho. The temples are famous for their erotic depictions but more than that, the stone craftsmanship is amazing. I spent some time just staring at the details that have been carved to capture mood and smiles and pleasure. The security guard became my guide and told me that the sexual imagery has many reasons. One is that the kings who commissioned these temples, a 1000 years ago, wanted to please Indra, the god of lightning. Another reason is that kama (pleasure) is one of the purusharthas, or goals of life in Hinduism, that include dharma (righteousness), artha (duty) and moksha (liberation). A more practical reason might be that fertility rates were decreasing across the region and the king wanted to encourage his populace to get the hint and procreate 😉