The "indecent" Hindu temple of Virupaksha: What is the meaning of the ancient sculptor in the depiction of carnal love
The "indecent" Hindu temple of Virupaksha: What is the meaning of the ancient sculptor in the depiction of carnal love

This Indian temple is definitely worth a visit. Firstly, it is very ancient and is even considered by some to be the oldest temple in India. Secondly, here you can see incredibly intricate and original stone carvings. Thirdly, the figures of this temple evoke curiosity, admiration, and bewilderment among tourists at the same time - they are very indecent …

The ancient Hindu temple Virupaksha is located in the village of Hampi in southern India, on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. It stands on the territory of the once flourishing city of Vijayanagara - the capital of the powerful Vijayanagar Empire, of whose buildings only ruins now remain.

The dynasty existed from 1336 to 1565, after which it was defeated by the Muslims. Interestingly, the Virupaksha temple, unlike other buildings, was not damaged much, so tourists can enjoy its beauty to the fullest.

There is an assumption that this is the oldest such temple in India

Not far from the temple, you can see giant granite boulders - from which architectural structures were created in the ancient village.

Huge boulders can be seen nearby

Virupaksha Temple is a very important place for pilgrims. It was cocked in honor of the god Shiva, who is known to the local population under the name Virupaksha (the husband of the goddess Pampa, as the Hindus believe).

Virupaksha Temple

The temple was built in the 7th century - long before the rise of the Vijayanagara empire. There is an assumption that an older sanctuary once stood in its place. By the way, during the heyday of the once powerful empire of Vijayanagara, the building was supplemented with new architectural elements.

Magnificent columns

The main gopura (gate tower) Virupaksha, whose height, by the way, is fifty meters, was built in 1442. In 1510, another smaller one appeared nearby.

Gate tower

In addition to its architectural features, Virupaksha Temple attracts attention with the abundance and splendor of the compositions carved out of stone. True, there is a piquant moment: among the sculptures there are quite a few images of an erotic nature, which can even be perceived as an illustration of the ancient Indian "Kamasutra".

Some of the sculptures are too naturalistic

The scenes frozen in stone celebrate the sensual sides of human nature - lust, carnal love. The walls of the building are abundantly covered with naked and half-naked characters in "indecent" poses.

The building is covered with stone figures like lace Fragment of the Virupaksha temple

There is still controversy about what the unknown author wanted to say with these images.

Fragment of the wall

In terms of stone decoration, the most richly decorated pavilion for special celebrations is the Hookah Mandap. Here you can see figures of galloping horses, balustrades resting on statues of elephants, columns. The sculptural reliefs are striking in their beauty.

Virupaksha Temple

Well, those who are tired of looking at erotic scenes and other details of a masterpiece of architecture can be distracted by a living elephant, which can always be found in the second courtyard of the Virupaksha temple. Kind Lakshmi blesses visitors with her trunk. True, you first need to give her a coin.

The elephant in the courtyard of the temple

By the way, not everyone knows the sensational ones: facts about the holy Ganges, from which the blood grows cold.

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