Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – Nepal chapter on Kathmandu has to say about the erotic art on some temples:
"The most eye-catching decorations on Nepali temples are the erotic scenes, often quite explicit, that decorate the roof struts, or tunala. These scenes are rarely the central carving on the strut; they’re usually the smaller carving at the bottom of the strut, like a footnote to the larger image. Nor are the carvings sensuous and finely sculptured like those at Khajuraho and Konark in India. In Nepal the figures are often smaller and cruder, even cartoonlike.
The themes have a Tantric element, a clear connection to the intermingling of Tibetan Buddhist and Hindu beliefs in Nepal, but their real purpose is unclear. Are they simply a celebration of an important part of the life cycle? Are they a more explicit reference to Shiva’s and Parvati’s creative roles than the enigmatic lingams and yonis scattered around so many temples? Or are they supposed to play some sort of protective role for the temple? It’s popularly rumoured that the goddess of lightning is a shy virgin who wouldn’t dream of striking a temple with such goings-on, although that’s probably more a tourist-guide tale than anything else.
Whatever the reason for their existence, these Tantric elements can be found on temples throughout the valley. Some temples reveal just the odd sly image, while others are plastered with the 16th-century equivalent of hard-core pornography, ranging from impressively athletic acts of intercourse to medieval ménages à trois, scenes of oral or anal intercourse or couplings with demons or animals.
The temples you may want to avoid showing your kids include Kathmandu’s Jagannath Temple, Basantapur Tower and Ram Chandra Temple; Patan’s Jagannarayan Temple; and Bhaktapur’s Erotic Elephants and Pashupatinath temples."
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