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Khajuraho
The tranquil town of Khajuraho, in the central state of Madhya Pradesh boasts of the best medieval temples in India, known all over the world for their erotic sculptures. These glorious temples are the state's most famous attraction.

Amid green lawns and brilliant pink flowers is a complex of temples, glowing with the warmth of sandstone and ornamented with the sinuous curves of sculpture unparalleled in their beauty. Out of the 85 temples built originally, only 22 survive today. These temples were created by the Chandela rulers in the Indo-Aryan style. The site was forgotten for centuries before it was rediscovered in 1838. The temples were restored and attract visitors from all over the world.
The sculptures include statues of gods and goddesses, warriors, celestial dancers and animals, besides those of couples in erotic poses. The Hindu philosophy of Yoga and Bhoga (physical pleasure), the two paths leading to final liberation, seem to be the underlying theme of these sculptures. These temples celebrated a Hindu faith exuberant in its love for the divine. All life was seen as an expression of divinity, including human love. The union between man and woman was viewed as the culmination of devotion, symbolic of the union of the devotee with god and divinity.
The other sculptures in these temples depict the daily lives of the people in the 10th and 11th centuries AD.

The famous temples at Khajuraho include the Lakshmana Temple and the Kandariya Mahadeva temple. The latter is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has a shikhara or spire that is 38 metres high. Here we see an attempt to reconstruct the image of Shiva's home in Mount Kailasha. Giant reliefs also portray various manifestations of Shiva, who is both a destroyer and a savior. Of the many statues found in this temple, the most fascinating is that of an ascetic performing the shirshasan (a yogic posture where the yogi balances himself on his head).

The temples of Khajuraho display a wealth of sculptural beauty, evoking the grandeur of the snow-capped Himalayas as well as the earthly pleasures of life.

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