Photos: Ancient Erotic Carvings from Nepal (Not Safe for Work)

33 comments

Travel Photos: Ancient Erotic Carvings from Nepal

The Devil is always in the details. While wandering about Durbar Square in Kathmandu or through the medieval town of Bhaktapur, you’ll often find very explicit images carved into the roof struts of temples and buildings. No one seems to know exactly what purpose they served — they have an obvious Tantric connection, demonstrating the merging of Buddhism and Hinduism that is so common in Nepal. Beyond that, it’s hard to know what the original creators where thinking.

To me, any culture that can contemplate spirituality while still getting its freak on is one worth getting to know. While many of these carvings are over 500 years old (the carving of the woman washing her hair was completed in 1475), they are quite explicit, so only click through if you’re okay with that kind of thing. My personal favorite is the last one — who knew?

Travel Photos: Ancient Erotic Carvings from Nepal

Travel Photos: Ancient Erotic Carvings from Nepal

Travel Photos: Ancient Erotic Carvings from Nepal

Travel Photos: Ancient Erotic Carvings from Nepal

Travel Photos: Ancient Erotic Carvings from Nepal

Travel Photos: Ancient Erotic Carvings from Nepal

 

 

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave May 5, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Hey Wes,

Great pics. We just finished the Annapurna Circuit and are spending some time cruising between Pokhara and Kathmandu. This post made me excited (hehe, not like that) for the trip. I love the locked trunks in the last photo. I think those two have a real connection.

Dave

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Roy | cruisesurfingz May 5, 2011 at 11:44 pm

This is amazing. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised – everyone likes sex!

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Dave and Deb May 6, 2011 at 2:05 am

Great photos Wes. I am sure you took a LONG time composing them :-)

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wes May 6, 2011 at 4:46 am

Ha! No comment.

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Christy @ Ordinary Traveler May 6, 2011 at 2:10 am

I was told the carvings were put in the entrances of temples in order to distract evil so they wouldn’t enter the temple. I’m going to try that at home. ;)

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François May 6, 2011 at 4:56 am

When we visited Pashupatinath (Hindu temple where they cremate the dead) in Kathmandu, one of the structures there was covered with these carvings and our guide told us it was used in ancient times as sex-ed. Whether that is true or not, I don’t know. The birds do it, the bees do it, the elephants do it… lol

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Kristi Hines May 6, 2011 at 5:30 am

That was a kinky bunch back in their day apparently. Move over Kama Sutra… :)

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Sarah Wu May 6, 2011 at 9:34 am

Great photos, I don’t know why but one those photo reminded me of starbuck logo. : )

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wes May 11, 2011 at 9:54 am

Now, THAT would sell some coffee.

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Candice May 6, 2011 at 10:00 am

I am absolutely blushing.

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wes May 11, 2011 at 9:54 am

Wow! My work here is done :)

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jill- Jack and Jill Travel The World May 6, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Love this!! Sex is not supposed to be a taboo thing. Some of those poses seem to require crazy limber limbs though – that’s where the yoga comes in, I guess.

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wes May 11, 2011 at 9:57 am

Agreed. Maybe they were naturally more flexible in the old days :)

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ayngelina May 6, 2011 at 11:08 pm

That is hilarious. Peru also has a lot of fertility carvings that make me giggle.

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wes May 11, 2011 at 9:58 am

I’ve seen more than a few in India as well.

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Jaime May 7, 2011 at 5:21 am

Now this is what travel is about…lol jk. These pics are soo funny I love them.

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megan May 7, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Wow…I’ve been to Durbar Square a few times now but never looked at the carvings this close up before…I think I might be blushing! :D

The first time I went I hired one of the student guides and every time he pointed out the “heretic carvings” he’d snigger a little bit. I had no idea why he was giggling. It took me a good twenty minutes to realise he was saying “erotic” not “heretic”. See? CLEARLY not looking close enough!

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wes May 11, 2011 at 9:53 am

Curse those dirty ‘heretic’ carvings! *shakes fist*

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joshywashington May 8, 2011 at 4:31 am

I love the blissful, cherubic expression of these graven images…great shots!

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Erica May 8, 2011 at 9:02 am

Can’t help but giggle when I see things like this but they are always appreciated. How awesome.

Love the elephants!

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wes May 11, 2011 at 10:17 am

Who knew elephants were so freaky?

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Acceleratedstall May 8, 2011 at 9:49 am

So that’s where the Japanese got their inspiration for their woodblocks! Heh!

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wes May 11, 2011 at 9:51 am

Ha! I guess some things are universal ;)

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TR May 10, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Wow. Who would have thought elephants like the missionary position?!?!

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Anna May 22, 2011 at 9:23 pm

…..and now I need a cigarette. And I don’t even smoke.

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Micah May 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Great to see you finally posted these. The tension was killing me!

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wes May 27, 2011 at 2:04 pm

You need to get out more, Micah ;)

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Theodora May 31, 2011 at 3:00 pm

It’s amazing how many cultures porn is acceptable within. Just look at the Greek vases. (Or, for something completely different, Victorian finger porn — think, erm, pop-up books.) Can elephants really do that, though? I’d have thunk they’d never get up again…

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Micamyx|Senyorita June 15, 2011 at 5:17 am

This isn’t really safe for work – and even at home. I am currently here at our dining room when all of a sudden, my grandfather went out and saw the photos LOL. He said that he had been to Nepal and the images look familiar :P The elephant photo made us laugh out loud. Imagine if that happened in real life? *runs and hides*

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wes June 19, 2011 at 7:57 am

If elephants really roll like that, I hope I never see it ;)

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karmin June 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm

amazing photos, NSFW lol!!!

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KIRAN KUMAR VARIKILLA August 10, 2011 at 1:28 pm

inspairing / temting the skill, because am also professional painter. great collection. thanx.

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Sakaryada Satılık September 19, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Sakaryada Sarılık Emlak. Daire, gayrimenkul emlak ilanları

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