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The Erotic Temples of Khajuraho, India: A First Timer’s Guide

Written by Gia Kristel Algie

Sometimes I wonder if our friends get distracted by the sexual images on our cards when we play circle of death. Fascinated by the graphic erotic scenes depicted on the temples of Khajuraho, we couldn’t resist getting a pack of cards as a souvenir. Heard of the kamasutra? Imagine those sexual positions carved on stone! (If you’re a minor, you probably shouldn’t be reading this.) 

Truly a feast for the eyes, the sexual themes of Khajuraho’s sculptures will definitely blow your mind. It’s hard to understand why sexual sculptures are depicted on these religious temples! One thing is for sure, the artists didn’t hold back. They definitely let loose and let their imagination run wild with the orgiastic sculptures featuring men, women and even animals. I’ll leave the erotica writing alone and let the photos do the talking.

Khajuraho: A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Located in Madhya Pradesh in Central India, the Khajuraho group of monuments was built during the Chandella dynasty between 950 and 1050. In 1986, Khajuraho was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its world class art displays. While only 22 out of the 85 original Hindu and Jain temples remain,  these temples have been very well preserved.  Even without the sexual displays, they are awe-inspiring temples comparable to the those we’ve seen in Rajasthan.

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I’ve always been fascinated with ancient temples and with the number of temples we’ve visited around the globe, Khajuraho is definitely one of the truly memorable ones. If you’re travelling in India, don’t miss out on a trip to the temples of Khajuraho.

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Khajuraho Travel Tips

  • Visiting the Temples of Khajuraho: There are three different zones in Khajuraho. The western zone, where the largest temple is located is the best one to visit. Make sure to come early to miss the big tour groups. The entrance fee for the western zone of Khajuraho for foreigners is 500 INR (as of April 2016). There are tour guides that will approach you on the entrance but there really isn’t a need for one. The other temple zones, which are not as dramatic but still worth a quick visit, are free and can be reached by rickshaw, bicycle or on foot.
  • Where to stay in Khajuraho: There are plenty of budget hotels close to the temples but we chose Hotel Isabel Palace, a mid-range option on the outskirts of town after reading good reviews on Tripadvisor. We had to arrange for a rickshaw to get to the temples but overall it was a great place to stay with its private terraces and garden. It’s a great option if you want to stay in a quieter area away from the hustle and bustle. Check out my review of Hotel Isabel Palace.
  • Getting to and around Khajuraho: You can reach Khajuraho by train or by bus. It’s easy to add it to your itinerary if you are coming from either Agra (after a visit to Taj Mahal) or Varanasi. To get around Khajuraho, you can either rent some bicycles or hire a rickshaw. We did the latter as we stayed outside of the main town. Both options are quite cheap so it’s all a matter of convenience.

Do you have plans to visit India? Have you heard of the temples in Khajuraho? Let us know. 

About the author

Gia Kristel Algie

Currently based in New Zealand, Gia grew up in Manila, lived in Singapore for three years and travelled the world for nearly two years. From watching sunsets to hiking mountains, she loves the outdoors. She enjoys living in big cities but takes pleasure staying in quaint, small towns. An aspiring photographer and budding writer, she is the voice behind Mismatched Passports, a travel blog dedicated to the journey around the world with her husband, Jon.

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