Detour

ROCK-SOLID SUTRA Nobody knows why the ruling 10th century Chandela clan picked this desolate spot on a heat-seared plain 300 kilometers southwest of Varanasi as the site for its prodigious spree of temple building—nearly 100 in as many years. But it's a good thing the Moguls, who were lopping off the heads of idolatrous sculptures in their rampage across northern India, never found them. They would have been apoplectic with rage at the temples' stone figures communing in sexual positions that would make a Pattaya prostitute blush.

Today, the 25 temples that survived not only the invaders but the ravages of erosion...

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