Khajuraho is one of those rare places in India that are dirty in a good way, unlike the images of trash lying around on every step 🙂 The group of surviving temples depicting ancient sex scenes dates to around 950-1050 CE.

It’s interesting to note that one of the first known Westerner to have visited the temples was not impressed by the carvings at all. T.S. Burt, a British military engineer back in 1838 found them extremely indecent and offensive. As a consequence he criticized Hinduism for being “not very chaste if it induced people, under the cloak of religion, to design the most disgraceful representation to desecrate their ecclesiastical erection”. Oh the wonderful time of Victorian era prudery and its hypocrisy.

Funny how things change and today the West is moralizing and lecturing others for not being liberal enough. Well we westerners do often paint the world in black and white, something India as a whole never adopted and always thrived in its diversity of thought.

The temples are part of the UNESCO’s world heritage and rightly so. You can read more about them on UNESCO’s website or just have a look at this orgy in the pictures below.

Photos of sculptures depicting ancient sex scenes

Your practical guide to seeing the scenes at Khajuraho

First travel to Khajuraho, India.
Next walk or take a tuk-tuk to the main group of temples, also known as the Western Group of Temples, which is conveniently located in the town itself.

In case you would like to explore all the temples peppered around the town its surroundings, a good idea would be to hire a tuk-tuk. It should set you back around 300RS to 450RS, depending on your negotiation skills. An interesting cluster are the Jain temples.

Transport: In case you want to visit only the Western Group of Temples, you can either walk it or hire a tuk-tuk to take you there (a few tens of rupees, depending on where in town you stay). However if you are looking to visit more temples, you will have to hire a tuk-tuk that can drive you to all of them for around 300-450 rupees.

Entrance: 250 rupees.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Khajuraho has been on my list for a while. Was it easy to get to? I actually had no idea the engravings were so hard core but I knew it was a famous architecture that looked like a phallus from a certain angle haha.

  2. I’ve heard a lot about this place and while I’ve never been, I think it would be a great stop during my next visit to India. Certainly, it’s incredible to think, at least from a Western perspective, of how different religions take such a different views on something that has been traditionally very taboo. And while I don’t want to Mr. T. S Burt, there are a few acts depicted that definitely skirt the limits of taste and decency! Really fun post

  3. It’s hard to say they were not having fun! And it’s also so strange to think how in some culture the sex is sort of entwined with religion while in others if you touch yourself you go to hell. But I’d like to know what actually the horse thinks about all of this…

  4. Looking at the pictures I would like to say that the had more Creative than us on the 2016 😀 . I read something about this place in the past, just think that in India sexual norms were far more liberal before the 13th Century, giving equal importance to the secular and the spiritual. More recently the Indian government imposed a ban on more than 800 websites deemed pornographic, in an ostensible bid to curb child pornography and sexual violence. Is that possible?!?! Oh yes…..
    thanks for sharing all these cultural images

  5. The sculptures depicting sexual scenes in Khajuraho are in actual fact only 10% of the total carvings in the temple, however, it is a no-brainer that it has acquired pride of place. The carvings depict day to day life and probably sex was viewed as something of an ordinary day to day thing. The carvings are an enigma, and they are to be found not only in Khajuraho, but also in many other temples in India.

    • There are a lot of temples in Khajuraho, however the main group which is best preserved is practically all about sex or sexuality. Way more then 10% I assure you. While these depictions can be found in other temples in India, there is no way near the same orgy going on anywhere else that I am aware of. Personaly I have seen a depiction here or there, but nothing close to the scale of Khajuraho.

  6. OMG hahahaha this was hilarious! This blog post needed no words to showcase this temple – pretty awesome. I had no idea about this place. It is such a beautiful temple, and maybe I am getting all gushy with my next sentence, but sex should be beautiful so I think the beauty of this temple is fitting. Man some of the carvings I had to really look into to figure out what was what haha.

  7. I always thought that people were more modest in the past 😛 this is great! Not something I imagine when I think about India! Thanks for sharing this unique piece of Indian culture 😀

  8. oh wow! dont really know what else to say :)) Judging by the images, I am pretty sure visitors (and now even visitors of your blog!) get inpired from these statues 😀

  9. The irony of India is that we have Khajuraho’s sculptures on the walls but still try to keep sex under wraps. It is one of the most beautifully carved sculpture you’ll see.

  10. Which such sculptures are actually common in ancient temples, Khajuraho has the largest and best concentration in one place. This also presents an interestng perspectve for socal scientists to think about. Just how did a country like this eventually became so conservative and purtanical with regards to sex? (It is changing now but needs a lot more change)

  11. Ahahahhaha, this was delightful lol. I always find it funny how people thought those in the past were so prim and proper, no… they were human. Though it’s interesting to see how different India is today in regards to these views. Pompeii has a lot of sexual graffiti as well, fyi haha.

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