Author: Shobita Punja
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0670840270
Based on original research, this work offers a new and innovative explanation for the design and symbolism of the temples and their sculptures.
Khajuraho is a small village in Madhya Pradesh, Central India, where over twenty extraordinary temples were built in the tenth and eleventh centuries. These temples with their frankly sensuous and erotic sculptures have been the subject of much debate over the last few decades. Why were these temples adorned with erotic art?
In telling the story of Khajuraho, the author draws un several disciplines: physical geography and environmental considerations, history and aesthetics an combines her knowledge of these with an understanding of present ay Hindu rituals.
The book is divided into three parts each dealing with a different way of seeing an understanding art. Part One takes the perspective of the British Officers who rediscovered Khajurao in the nineteenth century. In art Two the author describes the rituals still performed at Khajuraho, by the local rural community, a thousand years after the temples were built. In part Three she recreates the Khajuraho of the tenth century, using historical information that provides clues to how the temples were built, how the artists worked and who the patrons may have been.
And in the last chapter of the book Shobita Punja goes beyond the confines of Khajuraho and attempts to explain the significance of temples in India and the unifying concept that directs their expression.