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© Ravindraboopathi / Wikimedia
© Ravindraboopathi / Wikimedia

These Temples in India Are Famous For Their Erotic Sculptures

Picture of Vani Munjal
Updated: 20 September 2017

Considered to be one of the most conservative countries in the world, believe it or not, India was extremely liberal and open about the concept of sex even before the 13th century. The statement is based on the sex sculptures carved on the walls of temples in India that were built in the 2nd Century. Sex was even taught as a formal subject as a part of education with pictorial representations of Kamasutra.

Kama (sexual desire) was considered to be a part of the four human goals of life. The other three goals were: Dharma (moral life), Artha (material gains and means of life), and Moksha (the release from the cycle of life and rebirths).

Considered to be a holistic act, there were various sculptures of different positions, forms, and acts carved on the walls of various temples in India. We have collected a list of temples in India with erotic art and erotic sculptures on the walls.

Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh

Built by the Chandela dynasty, the Khajuraho group of temples was believed to symbolize the ultimate seductress. The series of sculptures on the walls of these temples represent threesomes and orgies among other graphic art. Considered a pure act and a source of bringing new life to the world, the sex represented on the walls of these temples present a very different and liberal past of India.

Sun Temple, Konark

With walls adorned with abundant titillating sculptures, The Sun temple of Konark is another holistic place with depictions of sexual acts that involve polygamy, lesbian relationships, polyandry, and more. Even as most of the sculptures have faced natural calamities over the period of time, some of the exquisite sculptures are still preserved. Also, the Konark Archaeological Museum nearby preserves the sculptures that have fallen down from the walls of the temple. Take a walk through the museum to witness these sculptures as well.

Virupaksha Temple, Karnataka

Located on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, the Virupaksha temple is a beautiful example of construction and form that boasts of these erotic structures in the outer walls. The sculptures here admire the state of nudity and polygamous relationships. The sculptures in these temples are not merely present to tease human beings, they represent the pure act of bringing a new life into the world. There is a theory that states that if a human being is not mature enough to understand the sanctity of Kama, he/she should not go through the chapters of Rasalila.

Sun Temple, Modhera, Gujarat

The Sun temple in Modhera looks like any another temple engraved with intricate work and a beautiful form. A close inspection, however, shows the details on the walls of this temple that showcases figurines indulging in intimate acts. Just like the Sun temple of Konark, the Modhera temple is built in a way that it catches the first rays of sun. The temple also has a Kama kunda, a water tank meant for ablutions.


Thirumayam, Tamil Nadu

The Lord Vishnu temple here presents the chapters of the Kamasutra on the outer walls. There is another theory that states that these erotic sculptures were placed on the outer walls of the temples to depict that humans had to leave their desires outside the temple before entering the holy place.

Tripurantaka Temple, Karnataka

This temple in Karnataka is a Shivamogga. Apart from a number of stories engraved on the walls and windows of the temple, the carvings on the outer walls also have a lot of sculptures from the Kamasutra.

Lingaraja Temple, Bhubaneshwar

The Lord Shiva temple is a popular worship place has around 6,000 visitors every day. Apart from other art and sculptures, it shows various images from the Kamasutra, the sacred sex text that originated in India.

There are various theories that surround the real reason of these sculptures in the temples. From tantric reasons to the explanation that the nymphs on the walls are apsaras, causing everyone to be so enthralled by their beauty that these seductresses were portrayed on the walls of the temples. If you take a tour of these temples in India, the guides would give you fascinating explanations for the presence of these sculptures. We suggest you take the walk and some notes!