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Erotica in Wooden Carvings

by K.L.Kamat
Written: January 26, 1999
Page Last Updated: January 23,2010

Indians have a special arrangement by which everybody will have glimpse of their deity at least once in a year. The mobile chariot ("teru") represents the temple itself. Specialized craftsman construct "teru" out of hardwood. It has all essential areas of the temple itself. A permanent  frame work is in dumbbell shape, erected on four wooden wheels mounted on two axes. Steel ribs protect the wheels from wear and tear. Panels, depicting mythological themes are carved and fixed to the main body of the car. Erotic carvings are usually restricted to the isthmus region of this basic structure. 

K.L. Kamat/Kamat's Potpourri
Erotic Engravings on the Partkal Temple Chariot, Goa
Erotic Engravings on the Partkal Temple Chariot, Goa
Erotic carvings are a common theme to decorate temple chariots.

West coast of Karnataka is very rich in ever green hardwood forests. Hence almost every temple in this region has its own chariot. Those in Mangalore, Baindoor, Bappanadu, Mulki, Udupi, Kundapur, Shirali, Idagungi, Gunavante, Kasarkod, Honavar, Mavinkurve, Hosad, Agrahar, Haladipur, Hegde, Ankola towns have century old, beautifully carved terus. As burning sun and heavy rain-fall affect the wooden structure, the terus are kept in specially constructed sheds most of the year. On specific, auspicious day the devotees of the temple gather together and pull out the teru from the shed. From that day on the erection of upper part commences. Painted planks are erected so that a small chamber is created in which deity is installed. On the top of it, a huge dome is constructed and various color-flags are fixed. This takes about a week's time. For each temple, there is fixed day on which final car festival is celebrated. This period lasts from January to May each year. As these terus are extremely heavy and as tall as a coconut palm tree, great many people are needed to pull it through the main streets of the town. There are experts who will control movements of the chariot. All along the road, devotees offer fruits and coconuts to deity. The businessman do very brisk business. 

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The craftsmen have utilized their artistic liberty to entertain the masses, depicting erotic topics in a grotesque way.
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As these wooden structures get attacked by termites and other insects, specialized artisans have to replace the damaged parts. Before its final parking in its shed cashew nut-oil coating is given to every part of the teru. When sand and dust gets mixed up with oil coating, a hard scum gets deposited on the carvings. Hence elaborate carvings get obscure. Since the erotic carvings are very minute, they almost become invisible. One has to take special pains to study them and what such panels represent. Unfortunately, no such studies have been undertaken by academicians, art historians and any other researchers.

 Gudigars, the local artisans are expert in wood carvings. The temple authorities summon then and assign the work of teru building. They select seasoned hardwood and mark out details of the carvings. They used different steel instruments for the purpose. Finally when the chariot is ready it is dedicated to service of temple and god. A well protected teru lasts anywhere between three to five hundred years. When it becomes unserviceable, it is either burnt or dumped into a river. thus very valuable wood-carved-art is lost forever!

The erotic carvings on teru are very varied. Some are purely isolated and others form the larger part of a story. Like sculptors and painters the Gudigars also select similar topics for carving but their approach is entirely different. Sometimes a single panel is very large and humorously interconnected. For example the bum of mating lady becomes a pillow for another couple in coitus! In another panel a rat takes liberty to move about on the body of an young couple. There panels which depicts, two men competing with each other to win over a lady; the woman extends warm welcome to the winner; then follows, the lady extending her respect to fully stretched linga; finally the couple is shown in vigorous coitus. The craftsmen have utilized their artistic liberty to entertain the masses, depicting erotic topics in a grotesque way.

A dedicated survey work may bring out innumerable such carvings to light.

Contents from Erotic Arts of India CD-ROM
© K.L.Kamat All Rights Reserved


Erotic Art of India


Erotic Arts of India
A Beauty Prepares for her Lovers ArrivalMithuna -- Eternal loversSculpture from BallegaviRomantic CoupleNot Tonight Dear -- Couple in ConversationThe Swastika PositionErotica from Temple PanelLajja Gowri: Deity of FertilityA Stone Sculpture of Lajja GowriIndian Group Sex
Erotica from Nandi Temple, KhajurahoErotica from Nandi Temple, KhajurahoLajja Gowri Sculpture, AlampuramMan Disturbs Wife  Busy at WorkFresco Painting at SibiThe Man Makes a MoveRomance of Shiva and UmaLajja Gowri as the Deity of FertilityBlack and White UnionA Royal Couple in Romance
Rajasthani Couple Unite in a BalconyOne Man, Many WomenRomancing CoupleErotic PaintingIntoxication and SexErotic PaintingBlack and White ConjugationErotica from a Temple PanelAmorous Couple, AiholeTwo Panels Depicting Erotic Paintings
Some of the Erotic Arts are  in a dilapidated state and need enhancements to study themAn Ascetic Inviting a WomanWoman having a Sexual Contact with her DogVillagers Choice Sexual PositionRemoval of Clothes is OptionalThe Flying Bird PositionWoman Relaxing her Man in BedCouple Engaged in ForeplayWomen in EmbraceIndian Fetish
Erotic Engravings on the Partkal Temple Chariot, GoaTwo Men Coaxing a Woman to Cooperate in Sexual  ActsA Welcome to BedLady Calming-down an Erect ManShiva Arising from a LingaMale Organ as a Symbol of Lord ShivaPhallus as a Symbol of Lord ShivaHalf Man, Half WomanArdha-NarishwaraSmall Talk as Foreplay
The Leg-locked CoupleMan in Heat -- Sculpture from Medieval IndiaGroup Sex 1228 A.D.Group Sex Depicted in a ReliefA Couple in CoitusPreparing for ConjugationWoman Performing FellatioA Woman Lets a Monkey Taste her Body FluidsLady On Top PositionInterwoven Limbs
How to Fit Four on a Single BedHomosexual Men Making MerryThe Seduction of ShivaRomance of Uma and ShivaMan Fondles WifeWoman on Top PositionCopulating Couple -- Wooden SculptureAmorous CoupleMan with Two Lovers, Sibi PaintingErotic Art from Sibi Temple
King and his Queen Performing a Ritual for ProgenyAncient BestialityWoman with Mirror Consults her ManTantric FellatioKissing CoupleFull Body Excitement of Tantric SexGenius Art EroticaAcrobatic Sex PositionAncient Homosexuality?Oral Sex for One
Hidden SexAcrobatic Erotica!Mithuna CoupleVigorous Love Making

Love Temples of Khajuraho
Kamasutra Positions
Use of Nails
Erotica in Literature
Female Power Worship
Worship of Phallus
Worship of Women
Genitalia as Art
Bestiality in Art
More Pictures!
Artist Lets his Imagination Go WildDrinking Couple -- Sculpture from a Stupa in SanchiA Romantic CoupleMan punishes wifes paramourMan disturbs wife while she puts on make up<br>Ancient temple sculptureDepiction of BestialityErotica from a Chariot CarvingSelf help is the best help?Worship of Linga
Sculpture of Lajja GowriGirl preparing to meet boyfriendLovers, sculpture from a Khajuraho templeGenitalia WorshipDivine RecreationFriends Engaged in Sexual ActivitiesWorkplace Harassment ?!Two playful ladies bathing togetherMaking love on a comfortable bed, pillow and bed-spread
Man Fondles Two Women on a Swing<br>Mysore Traditional PaintingA man and two women are in the game of love.Not Tonight DearEnjoying each other companyPlayboy Krishna Makes Out in the BushWoman Worshipping an Erect LingaIn Explicit Detail…The Ishwara LingamWoman putting on makeup excites a man
A Warrior Spends Time With MistressNeeds of the body differ from that of the mind!<br>Two aroused Sadhus accosting a courtesanBirth of a Child <br> The Natural Culmination of Sexual ActivitySpanking in Medieval India (?) Divine recreation: Krishna with two Gopikas (female cowherds)Who Said Bigger is Better?!The Phallus: Facts and FallaciesI read and I forgot… I saw and I understoodAmorous Couple, Wooden Sculpture
A Beast Mounts a WomanSculpted Chandela Temples  Depicting EroticaThe Double DeckerCarvings on wooden car (chariot) in PattadakalMan and Woman in Beauty of UnionCouple Entangled in a Love KnotThe Mark of a Man!One Woman Takes on Two MenPlayful Girl Friends
Medieval Sculpture Depicting Group Sex Erotic Paintngs of IndiaDepilated LoversPractice Yoga and Excel at SexIslamic Kamasutra (?)Couple at ForeplayMonkey KamasutraThe Comfort UnionCouple on their First Night
Let Praise be Given to God that He has created WomanWoman Hanging on to her LoverLove, like liquor, intoxicates!Man uses his Phallus to beat the drum! Old Fashioned SexThe Mutually Reciprocal PositionSex in the Kitchen!The Love Knot A Group Sex Scene Depicted in Ancient Sculpture
Couple Engaged in a Game of LoveIllustration Based on Kokashastra of KalyanamallaMithuna LoversMankinds First Erotic Art?

Kamat's Potpourri Research Database Erotica in Wooden Carvings

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