When you pass the sign that says “Welcome to Khajuraho,” you enter a different land. The roads become broad and smooth. Lush lawns and tall green trees line up on both sides of the street.
And, most strikingly, sex and eroticism are no longer taboo. Khajuraho – which is at the heart of Madhya Pradesh, a state called the “Heart of India” — is famous for its 1,000-year-old temples full of highly detailed erotic art and stone carvings, which draw millions of visitors each year.
In 1968, when Elinor L. Horwitz visited the place for The New York Times, four Indian Airlines flights a week to Khajuraho from New Delhi had just been scheduled. There was only one place to stay overnight, a $6-a-night government bungalow, which also served the only tourist lunch in the area, a $1 affair that included “bland soup, hot curry and custard.”
Recently, India Ink traveled to Khajuraho to see what has changed and what has remained the same in the four decades since.
In 1968, Ms. Horwitz observed, “of the original 85 temples, 32 baroque marvels remain intact in their 1,000-year splendor.”
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