Today I went to tour the Eastern group of temples. I rented a bicycle to do this, which cost me 20 rupees for the whole day. The first temple grouping I went to was the Jain temples. I find the Jain religion a little confusing; basically they are rich Buddhists. The Jain icon is usually a black Buddha.
The first temple, the Shanti Nath, is relatively modern. It has pictures and sculptures from all over Khajuraho. Jain practitioners pilgrimage to this temple from all over and they usually sit on the floor naked, much to the dismay of many tourists. Along with naked men, the temple is inhabited by birds, mice, lizards, cockroaches and rats. As I was looking at one Hindi sculptures a rat ran right up the side of it.
Good luck is the predominant theme and all of the Hindu temples in this area have Ganesha in one form or another. If you look at him and his trunk goes to the right this means good luck. If it goes to your left it is bad. Hindus will only worship a Ganesha whose truck goes to his left (and your right if you are looking at him).
Next I went to the Adinatha Temple. This temple looks remarkably Hindu but the deity inside is a black Jain god and with it are sardula figurines. The top was honeycombed and the inner most layer had one effigy of a dragon stepping on one human while eating another. Our tour guide from yesterday said this was a sign of virility. Most scenes on the walls are of everyday scenes: brushing hair, cleaning feet, etc. No Kama Sutra here.
All of the larger temples are surrounded by little hut like structures with deities inside. One impressive one had a carving of gopis holding up the roof while the one in the centre held up the king. The big temple in the center was the Parsvantha temple. The carvings here are more elegant and more tastefully done than all of the other temples I have seen so far. There is no sex but there are couples who sway their hips together. Men usually pinch their consort’s nipples and the women pull on their beards. If a woman is alone she is touching herself. The most amazing sculpture is of a woman putting her anklets on. Beside her is the famous woman pulling a thorn out of her foot.
From the Jain temples I went to see the ones scattered about the village of Khajuraho. The temples scattered around the village are not as well looked after as the ones in the West and Eastern groupings. The Javarti Temple is a Vishnu temple (1075-1100AD) and is barely noticeable. The Vamana Temple was dedicated to the Vamana, the dwarf incarnation of Vishnu. It is another temple with more women primping and posing on it. The Brahma Temple is on the way back from the other two, across from a store with delightful kids in it. It is by a murky lake full of pigs. On my way back to the hotel I checked out the image of Hanuman painted orangey red. It was the biggest Hanuman I have seen so far.