64 Yogini Shrine Orissa : The Hindu Yogini Temple

An Invitation to the land of Occult Science…

K7 Holidays : 64 Yogini Shrine

The 64 Yogini Shrines in Orissa provide a glimpse into the religious sand occult practices from the medieval times that are still alive in Orissa’s tribal traditions and folklore. Built during the 9th century to harness the supernatural powers, only nine yogini temples have been discovered so far out of which only four of the architecturally distinct 64 Yogini Shrines survive in India today. The best known are the two temples in Orissa – at Hirapur near Bhubaneswar (15 km), and the twin villages of Ranipur and Jharial. The other two 64 Yogini Shrines are present in Khajuraho and Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.

The 64 Yogini Shrine at Hirapur was built under the aegis of Bhauma and Somavamsi rulers of Orissa and is the smallest in the group. Constructed as a hypaethral structure, it is distinct in architecture from Orissa temple architecture as well as temple styles in the rest of India. The temple is a circular structure, 30 feet in diameter, which is built of coarse sandstone and has barely 8 feet high walls containing 64 niches to house the sculptures of Yoginis or Dakinis (2 feet in height).

K7 Holidays : 64 Yogini Shrine

These 64 deities carved from fine-grained gray chlorite are goddess with voluptuous figures or animal faces and shrunken skulls give the 64 Yogini Shrines its name. These goddesses in turn serve Goddess Kali (Bhairavi). It is generally thought that these shrines were centres for tantric practices the ultimate goal of which was the acquisition of extraordinary abilities (Skt. siddhi) or “supernatural powers.” Some inscriptions indicate that dakini rituals were practiced well into the 16th century, but within mainstream Indian religion the cult diminished to the point that its temples were abandoned. Some believe that the cult had origins in the animistic traditions of Adivasi (aboriginal) peoples and/or the folk traditions of grama devati (female nature deities) and that around the late 7th century, those beliefs blended with the cult of Shakti and tantrism.

K7 Holidays : 64 Yogini Shrine

The 64 niches included the four in the recently reconstructed central pavilion acted as mini shrines for the cult. The deities are derived from the village deity such as Ramchandi, Shyamkali, Harachandi, Tarini, Viraja, Bhagavati, Durgamata, Sarala, Bhadrakali, Kamakhya, Bhabani, and Mangala who are revered by the local villagers. Together in numerical groupings of 8 especially 64, they unleash there significant powers that can create and destroy mankind.

Feel the energy of the 64 Yoginis running through your veins at the Chausath Yogini Shrine on your tour to Orissa. Today, many students of Indian religion are familiar with some of the tantric practices associated with the worship of the Great God (Skt. Mahadeva, Tib. Lha chenpo,) Lord Shiva. For example, in the Kaula Marga (Path of Time) practice, yoginis of different categories are included in the chakra or circle of experience. When the deity is experienced in wrathful form as Bhairava, the practice is known as Bhairavi Chakra. Then the sadhana (ritual) includes the use of the 5 M’s: matsya (fish,) mamsa (meat,) mudra (here referring to parched grain,) madya (alcoholic drink,) and maithuna (sexual intercourse.) For the sadhaka, the breaking of taboos extends to the jati (occupational caste) of the maithun partner; a man would seek out a Dombi (laundress) or a Madhumati (brewer) and so on.

K7 Holidays : 64 Yogini Shrine

Though the Yogini cult failed in its attempts to popularize their occult practices through India, they are deeply enshrined in the minds and the folklore of Orissa. For instance, the womenfolk of Santhal tribes of the Mayurbhanj district in Orissa indulge in midnight dances with the spirits of the deities. No dress codes applicable at this grand celebration.

You too can see the goddesses in their different forms – with bows and arrows, on a pair of wheels, playing a drum, with two or four arms and a smiling face or with a head of a horse or lion – on your tour to the 64 Yogini Shrine, Orissa.

K7 Holidays : 64 Yogini Shrine

HOW TO REACH THERE : ‘K7 Holidays’ can be able to book your package according to the nos of visitors with budget and Luxury category transportation.
One can take the Special Promotional Orissa Temple Tour package which includes other temples in the itineraries.

One Response to “64 Yogini Shrine Orissa : The Hindu Yogini Temple”

  1. Car Rental says:

    Nice post! Thank you for sharing valuable information. Superb and Interesting post.

Leave a Reply