Indian Temples and Erotic Sculptural Art


Sex in the religious art of Indian culture presents an interesting subject. A sexual representation in Indian religious art is undertaken here to understand and explain the socio-cultural forces behind the seemingly anomalous situation. These idealistic hypotheses also explain why, in this particular period of history, there is such a vast outburst of sexual depiction. It is necessary to find out why so many temples were built in this period and why erotic motifs were depicted on them so prominently and profusely. It may clarify here that our interest in erotic representation is from the point of view of its socio-cultural, anthropological and historical aspects. Sexual representation in the temples of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karanataka and Tamilnadu will give primary importance and comparison may extended to Khajuraho and Konarak. The word 'erotic' is used here as expressive of sexual love. It covers an extensive range of sexual expression from the mild gesture of the lover's putting his hand on the chin of the beloved to the extreme form as represented in the scenes showing the sexual act. The expression 'erotic group' is used for scenes which depict more than two people in erotic activity. At the outset, we must distinguish the erotic sculptures from the voluptuous couples (mithuna). The erotic's sculptures were intended towards of evil, to prevent the building beings struck by lightning. This erotic sculpture is that they portray in stone the various bandhasor sexual poses for embracing and coitus given in the Kamasudra and other works on erotic's.

Author Information
Ponnusamy Ganesan, Madurai Kamaraj University, India

Paper Information
Conference: IICAHDubai2016
Stream: Arts - Performing Arts Practices: Theater, Dance, Music

This paper is part of the IICAHDubai2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon