No offence, What do the sculptures of khajuraho and konark temples represent as they are too erotic(hope you understand,refer those pics once if not, westernized)? Not just sculptures of khajuraho and konark temples but lot of other hindu temples have some fine art(erotic) on temples? what do they tell devotees? Why it was carved on temples.? I know its natural thing, But why in holy place?(No offence please. My intention is not to offend anyone, But this was the question faced by lot of hindus from other religions).

  • The Idea to have erotic images/sculpture is to test how much one can stay focused on inner aspect of truth(beliefs in god) rather then getting distracted by outer lust. It also represents that before entering into temples, leave all your negative thoughts and distraction outside temple. – Govind chouhan Nov 12 '14 at 18:51

According to Wikipedia the erotic sculptures at khajuraho represent less than 10% of the sculptures. It says:

The relative layout of temples integrate masculine and feminine deities and symbols highlight the interdependence.[24] The art work symbolically highlight the four goals of life considered necessary and proper in Hinduism - dharma, kama, artha and moksha....

...The temples have a rich display of intricately carved statues. While they are famous for their erotic sculpture, sexual themes cover less than 10% of the temple sculpture.[29] Further, most erotic scene panels are neither prominent nor emphasized at the expense of the rest, rather they are in proportional balance with the non-sexual images.[30] The viewer has to look closely to find them, or be directed by a guide.[31] The arts cover numerous aspects of human life and values considered important in Hindu pantheon. Further, the images are arranged in a configuration to express central ideas of Hinduism. All three ideas from Agamas are richly expressed in Khajuraho temples - Avyakta, Vyaktavyakta and Vyakta.

To put one's focus on the erotic aspects at the expense of the total is tamasic.


Temple arts are generally epics and myths of the presiding deity. It could be in the form of murals, sculpture or bas-relief.

Sometimes, these are simply used for decorative purpose.

  1. Murals: Among many places, Kerala has a long tradition of wall murals, Gajendra Moksham

Shows Gajendra Moksham as painting. The temple of Guruvayoor has Ramayana depicted on the temple walls using 35 colorful paintings.

  1. Sculpture: Numerous example of this are available. Durga killing Mahisha

The statue depicting Durga killing the buffallo deamon Mahishasura.

  1. Bas Relief: Mahabalipuram is an excellent example of bas-relief in Hindu architecture. Descent of Ganga

This image is a bas-relief from Mahabalipuram called Descent of Ganga, which depicts the scene from Mahabharata in which Ganga is brought to Earth by Bhagirath.

  • thanks for your answer @vineet Menon. But my question was actually about erotic sculptures – Avis Oct 15 '14 at 13:55
  • oh. kk. I'll let this answer anyway... Sorry for the goofup. – Vineet Menon Oct 16 '14 at 8:40

According to a study of erotic carvings in Hindu temples erotic sculptures serve the visitors to refresh the spirits by releasing suppressed feelings about sex when observing the sculptures on the temple:

These sexual images on the temple can serve as a means to yield cathartic feelings to the visitor who may feel better by releasing suppressed feelings about sex and sexuality when observing sexual images on the temples. From Tantrik perspectives, such sexual images serve as a stimulant messenger to convey the idea of creation, transformation, unity and harmony to the viewers. Moreover, these images teach the visitor to transcend the barrier of physical world by mastering sex and attain the blissful moment in the spiritual world through enlightenment.

Source: Arts for Peace


There are different idols/paintings of the deities in the temple that tell us something or the other about the deity. Most of the times they are there to cover stories about them or to show their character and their deeds. These also include the family pictures/idols of the deities to let the people know about the other important people in their deity's life. Going further sometimes these so called erotic idols or paintings are also shown which our generation might think to be erotic but seeing it from the art perspective they are actually showing the love between the deity and his/her other counterpart. Now, it just depend on the artist/sculptor how he depicts love scenes in the idol/picture. The art style prevalent at that time is also a consideration while making these idols/pictures.

  • You should cite sources. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 18 '14 at 16:38
  • @aby did you saw those carvings on internet.,check once and let me know its love or not – Avis Nov 18 '14 at 17:57
  • Well if I google for erotic carvings in indian temples, i find many images which i agree is depicting something else. But I was not sure whether these were from Khajuraho or some other south indian temple. For Khajuraho, I think we all know about the story. As for other places, please provide some temple names and if possible some images/links from those temples that prove your point. We can then research further on their dating and the art/scripture form prevalent at the time of creation of that temple. – Aby Nov 25 '14 at 15:52

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