Stories and Myths Surrounding the Erotic Sculptures of Khajuraho

The sculptures of Khajuraho evoke many different types of responses, the majority of which are curiosity. Some are cynical and full of skepticism, while, some judge it with their delicate sensibilities. There are also those who wonder about these enigmatic and erotic sculptures and try to research about the various myths and stories surrounding these sculptures. If you happen to visit Chhatarpur, which is in Madhya Pradesh, it would be a good idea to book a room in one of the best Khajuraho accommodations.

Check out The LaLiT Temple View Khajuraho for the best experience and a panoramic view of the temple. 

Before you make a trip to this beautiful yet mysterious wonder, it is a good idea to read up on some of the stories that surround these sculptures. Here is a list of the most popular ones:


  • The story with the moon


This story involves a beautiful woman named Hemavathy. She was bathing at night under the moonlight and was seduced by none other than the moon himself. After their rendezvous, she ran into the forest for shelter and that is where she raised her son with the moon, Chandravarman, alone. The moon promised Hemavathy that their son would rule a kingdom one day, and true to his words, their son grew up and ruled the Chandela Dynasty. Influenced and inspired by his mother’s story, he built temples with sculptures, which depicted human passions and the futility of it all.


  • Good fortune


Some believe that the sculptures and the carvings of ‘mithunas’ on the temple are symbols which signify good luck. Some sculptures also depict mythical creatures and have a hint of supernatural in their appearance and aura.


  • Sex education


As most sculptures are erotic in nature, it is also believed that they served to spread sex education and awareness of the same. They were used to rekindle passions in the ascetic minds of the people, who were greatly influenced by the advent of Buddhism at that time.


  • Hindu interpretation


There are a few interpretations that stem from the diverse beliefs in Hinduism. One of these interpretations talk about abandoning lust and sexual and materialistic desires behind before one enters the temple. This can also be the reason why there are no erotic carvings inside the temples. The couples in love are only portrayed on the walls outside the temples. This interpretation believes that this display is a depiction of the Hindu philosophy of Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. One is perhaps believed to attain nirvana once he/she sheds away all the worldly pleasures.


  • Tantric cult


There is another school that believes that the sculptures are a depiction of Tantric cult and beliefs. The Chausath Yogini temple, a Tantric temple which is dedicated to 64 goddesses, is the oldest temple in Khajuraho. One can sense a mystical ambience in this temple, although all the shrines are empty. The belief is that Khajuraho is charged with energy that is controlled by 64 yoginis, by balancing the very essence of life—of both body and mind together. While reading various tantric beliefs, some have compared the making love of ‘mithunas’ with the union of Shiva and Shakti, thus making it a metaphor for sexual imagery of the life force. Another interpretation from the same school believes that the temples are designed in the form of the ‘seductress’ herself, and the sculptures are actually a form of language, and a way to educate people with the doctrines of the tantric cult with the help of symbols and imagery.

There are many Khajuraho places to stay in this little town of temples, and every place you stay in has its own set of beliefs and stories about the sculptures that are both enlightening and interesting to hear.

Anjali Dixit

Anjali Dixit, a passionate blogger, I enjoy my work and believe there is always a lot to discover in the world of Internet.

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