Friday, March 16, 2012



NOTE OF WARNING -  Those who are below 18 years  OR dislike discussions on 'erotic' work of art in Hindu temples are requested to stay away from this Blog.

Her eyes closed with pleasure,
her lips open for breath, 
her breast pressing his - 
  'KAMA' Eternal -  frozen in stone.

Swarna Jaleswar temple, Bhubaneswar.

Writing , and more importantly, publishing photos on erotic wall-reliefs of  temples of Bhubaneswar as well as Sun-temple of Konark is a delicate job. The 'creators' of these wall-reliefs and sculpture were very clear  in their intention and very explicit in depiction. The range of  emotions that play between a man and woman when engulfed by 'kama' has been put on the walls of these temples  is immense ! It is upto us , viewers of 21st century to decide which ones  are refined and which ones are to be labelled vulgar.
The  Arousal - Moments of the 'Eros' 
Raja-Rani temple, Bhubaneswar

The  Arousal - Moments of the 'Eros' 
Brahmeswar temple, Bhubaneswar

Is there an uneasiness over the 'erotic' sculptures among the people who manage the famous temples of Bhubaneswar ?  Strange that photography  is not allowed in certain temples which have no uncommon 'erotic' sculpture compared to those in Sun temple @ Konark or the famous ones @ Khajuraho. This inexplicable attitude  deny world viewers of the exquisite 'mithunamurti' of Lingaraja temple or  'Muralidhar' of Puri temple !

Dance of 'KAMA'
Raja-Rani temple, Bhubaneswar

It is clear to all of us who have visited India's temples, viewed collections of paintings in our museums, gone through  coffee table books and internet sites on Indian temple art , the attitude towards dress-code and act of coitus during the past two millenniums was far different from that of present day. I recollect when I was young, a group of pilgrims from my family whom I accompanied, skipped Konark from their itinerary because two of us among the group were  considered  too young to be exposed to the sexually-oriented wall-reliefs of this Sun temple. I believe that in 13th century AD, no such filtration was in practice. Were young and adult-members of the same family admiring the wall-relief below at the same time ?

 Woman reaches below man's dress  & seeks out his  phallus . 
He reciprocates by fondling woman's breast.
'Nagas' and other women around this couple stay aloof !!

Many  scholars have viewed and presented the erotic art of Indian temples  in ways more than one. I have gone through some of them, but, here I share a view of my observations.

 A few wall-reliefs  tell the viewer  of a moment of closeness - attraction, aversion as well as ecstasy. The rainbow of emotions and their manifestations in the body language !Yet others tell a stories through a series.Here are a few examples , but, not a whole series !  Quite a few of the 'stories' are difficult one - I have not mentioned the names of the temples to avoid controversy. And ... I  avoided posting photos of  wall-reliefs where just copulation has been depicted.

Man with matted hair - 'starving' pilgrimage-returned  -
forces woman  clinging to her child into submission  !

 At the end, I shall repeat what I said in another blog - the leaders of the then society believed that the subjects of the state must multiply - they did not guess one day India would groan under 120 crores population. The temples gave them impetus for engaging into the process of  creation.

Ecstasy & (Pro)creation
Man supports  woman on his palms and stays engaged in a near-impossible pelvic posture below the Tree of Life
Wall-sculpture,Konark temple (illuminated in the evening)

I believe a photofeature  has a limit - lots of text and photos make a blog heavy and perhaps uninteresting.Therefore,  i shall continue this writing on this subject in another blog, but, would like to write on Baital temple before the next part on erotic art.

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