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64 Yogini Temple, Bhubaneswar in Odisha

Also known as Chaushat Yogini Mata or Chatushashti Yogini Goddesses, 64 Yoginis are believed manifestations of Goddess Shakti. Often Saptamatrikas or Ashtamatrikas are confused with the Yogini shakti.

On the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, 15 km south-east of the city, is a small, circular temple, the Yogini Temple, dating to the early ninth century. It is hypaethral (open to the sky), and belongs to a genre of architecture completely apart from the major Odisha school.

Although it seems that temples of this type existed throughout India at one   time, today only four remain. Two of them are in Odisha; the shrine at Hirapur, and one in the far western reaches of the state, at Ranipur-Jharial.

The temple’s circular wall, which is barely 2 meter high, contains 64 niches within its inner circumference. All except one of these contain an image of a Yogini Goddess. Some of the Goddesses are portrayed with sensual bodies and jewelled bodices, others with horrific shrunken features, still others with animal heads.

64 yogini temple in bhubaneswar

64 yogini temple in bhubaneswar

Even today, standing in the deserted temple with bright sunshine pouring in, one senses a strange emanation from the temple, and this feeling is in keeping with its original purpose. Active between the ninth and thirteenth centuries, the cults responsible for these temples worshipped Yogini Goddesses in expectation of the direct  acquisition of supernatural powers.

The Yoginis were thought to be able to confer on their devotees the power to become microscopic  or gigantic in size, to control the body and mind of oneself and of others, to fly, become invisible, and myriad other useful abilities. Worship seems to have centered on the repetition of the names of the Goddesses, and in later centuries, when active use of the shrines ceased, worshippers transferred their devotions to mystical paper diagrams.

The names of 64 Yogini Mata – Chatursashti Mata

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2 Comments

  1. vishwabandhu Bajpai says:

    Yogini Temple at Jabalpur.
    On out skirts of Jabalpur,near the fall,Dhuandhaar,there is temple of 64 yoginis,too.
    It might be the olden days centre of occult practices to inter into mystical world.

  2. jas says:

    There is also a Rakta Kali temple with 64 Yoginis worshipped in murti form there.