Do you know how many Chausath yogini temples there are in India?

There are
17 Chausath Yogini temples found across India out of which two are in Odisha,   five in Madhya Pradesh, three in Uttar Pradesh, and one in Tamil Nadu. The most prominent ones are Hirapur, Ranipur Jharial, Khajuraho, Bhedaghat, Mitauli, Dudhai, and badoh. Several yogini temples have been lost, whether through deliberate destruction or plundering for building materials. Yogini images have been discovered from Shahdol, Hinglajgadh, Lokhari, Nareshwar, Rikhiyan, shahdol, Kanchipuram, greater Bengal, Varanasi, and Delhi.

Chausath Yogini Temple of Hirapur, also called Mahamaya Temple, is 20 km outside Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha state of Eastern India. It is devoted to the worship of the yoginis, auspicious goddess-like figures. The temple is believed to have been built by Queen Hiradevi of the Bramha dynasty during the 9th century. The temple is small and circular, only 25 feet in diameter. It is hypaethral and built of blocks of sandstone. The inside of the circular wall has niches, each housing the statue of a Goddess. 56 of the 64 idols, made of black stone, survive. They surround the main image at the center of the temple, the Goddess Kali

Chausath Yogini Temple of Ranipur Jharial in Balangir District, Odisha, The Chausath Yogini Temple, built in the 9th or 10th century in Ranipur-Jharial, in an isolated position some miles from the towns of Titilagarh and Kantabanjhi in Balangir district, Odisha, is a circular, hypaethral, 64-yogini temple made of sandstone, some 50 feet in diameter. 62 of the yogini images survive. The site, on an outcrop of rock, must have been important, given the presence of a large temple built of brick and several small temples of stone. The primary entrance is an opening in the circular wall towards the east; unlike at the Hirapur yogini temple, there was once a further opening towards the south, now filled in.

Chausath Yogini temple in Khajuraho town of Madhya Pradesh, India. Dated to the late 9th century, it is the oldest surviving temple at Khajuraho. According to an inscription dated to 1323 CE (Vikram Samvat 1383), the temple was built by the Kachchhapaghata king Devapala (1055 – 1075CE). It is said that the temple was the venue for providing education in astrology and mathematics based on the transit of the Sun. It is the earliest extant temple in the Chandela capital, Khajuraho. The temple is among the Western group of temples on a 5.4 m high platform. It has a rectangular plan measuring 31.4 m x 18.3 m. It is one of the historic Yogini temples across India; many of the others have a circular plan, though those at Rikhiyan and Badoh are also rectangular, so there was at least a local tradition of building them in this shape. Like all Yogini temples, the Khajuraho temple is hypaethral, open to the air. The temple is made of large, coarse granite blocks, with an open courtyard at the center. The centeryard was originally surrounded by 65 shrine cells: 10 on the front (north) wall, 11 on the back wall, and 22 on each side. Only 35 of these 65 cells now survive; each has a small doorway made of two squared granite pillars, a lintel stone, and a curvilinear tower roof. Above the lintel of the best-surviving cells is a triangular pediment. There is no surviving trace of a central shrine, whether to Shiva or the Goddess, as found in other Yogini temples.

Chausath Yogini Temple, Bhedaghat, also called the Golaki Math, is one of India's yogini temples, but exceptionally it has shrines for 81 rather than the usual 64 yoginis. The temple is the largest of the circular yogini temples, some 125 feet in diameter. The scholar Shaman Hatley calls it the "most imposing and perhaps best known of the yogini temples”. It has a covered walkway with 81 cells for yoginis around the inside of its circular wall; three niches, two to the west, and one to the southeast remain open as entrances. There is a later shrine in the center of the courtyard; the temple was adapted as a Gauri-Shankar temple with the construction of the building in the south-centre of the circle in 1155 AD, at which time the central deities were moved. The temple was built early in the 11th Century AD by King Yuvaraja II, of the dynasty of the Kalachuris of Tripuri; he lived around 975-1025 AD

Chausath Yogini Temple, Mitaoli, also known as Ekattarso Mahadeva Temple, is an 11th-century temple in the Morena district in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the few well-preserved Yogini temples in India. The temple is formed by a circular wall with 65 chambers, apparently for 64 yoginis and the goddess Devi, and an open mandapa in the center of a circular courtyard, sacred to Shiva. According to an inscription dated to 1323 CE (Vikram Samvat 1383), the temple was built by the Kachchhapaghata king Devapala (1055 – 1075CE). It is said that the temple was the venue for providing education in astrology and mathematics based on the transit of the Sun. The temple is on a hill about 100 feet (30 m) in height; there are 100 steps to climb up to the entrance. It is circular with a radius of 170 feet (52 m), while inside it has 65 small chambers, each with a mandapa which is open and a facia of pilasters and pillars. The roof of the ring of shrines is flat, as is that of the central shrine to Shiva; the circular courtyard is hypaethral, open to the sky, with an open porch as its entrance. The parliament building of India is said to have been based on this temple. The temple is in the Seismic Zone III region and has survived several earthquakes, seemingly without any serious damage. This fact was cited when the issue of safety from the earthquake effect of the circular Parliament House, its design supposedly based on the Mitaoli temple, was debated in the Indian Parliament.

Chausath Yogini Temple, Dudhai, Lalitpur, Uttarpradesh, details of temples are not available. The temple locally called as Akhada /Akhara, is situated in a forest of Buri Dudhai. Temple is believed to be built in the 10th century CE by Chandela kings. The temple is on a circular plan and has a hypaethral elevation. The temple is about 50 feet in diameter. The temple has 12 flat-roofed cells on the north, and five flat-roofed cells on the south, and the eastern and western portions are completely lost.

Chausath Yogini Temple, Badoh, Some 30 miles from Dudahi, at Badoh in Vidisha district, Madhya Pradesh is the Gadarmal temple of the Mothers, another 42-niche yogini temple, and one of the few that are rectangular. 18 broken images of the goddesses that once fitted into grooves in the temple platform are preserved from the waist down. It is composed of a rectangular shrine and a tall and massive Shikhara, adjacent to some Jain temples. Vidya Dehejia writes that the yogini temple must once have been hypaethral. Gadarmal Devi temple dates back to the 9th century. The architecture of this yogini temple is a fusion of Pratihara and Parmara styles.

Lokhari There appears to have been an early 10th-century yogini temple on a hilltop at Lokhari, Banda District, and Uttar Pradesh. A set of twenty images, nearly all theriomorphic, the figures having the heads of animals such as horse, cow, rabbit, snake, buffalo, goat, bear, and deer, has been recorded. Dehejia describes these as striking rather than specially artistic.

Nareshwar Another set of twenty 10th-century images, with careless later inscriptions from the 12th century, was rescued from Nareshwar (also called Naleshvar and Naresar) in Madhya Pradesh, a site which still has some twenty small Shaivite temples, to the Gwalior Museum, some fifteen miles away.

Hinglajgarh The site of Hinglajgarh, on the border of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, was cleared of statuary for the building of the Gandhi Sagar Dam. The rescued statues contain enough fragments of yogini images for Dehejia to state that there was once a yogini temple at Hinglajgarh

Rikhiyan, Some 150 miles north of Khajuraho on the south bank of the River Yamuna, in the Banda District, Uttar Pradesh, are the fragmentary remains of what seems to have been a rectangular 64-Yogini temple in the Rikhiyan valley. This is part of a complex of other temples, unlike the solitary Yogini temples such as Mitaoli. When the site was photographed in 1909, ten four-Yogini slabs were present. Dehejia states that the multiples of 4 suggest a 64-Yogini total, while the straightness of the slabs implies a rectangular plan (as at Khajuraho). Seven were stolen on various occasions, and the last 3 of the slabs were moved to Gadhwa fort nearby for their safety. The slabs portray the Yoginis on a plain background without the usual attendant figures. They sit in the ceremonial pose of Lalitasana, one leg resting on their animal vehicle. They have "heavy breasts, broad waist[s] and large stomach[s]". One has the head of a horse and holds a corpse, a severed head, a club, and a bell, and so maybe Hayanana, "The Horse-headed". This and other Yoginis shown with corpses link the temple to a corpse ritual. Also photographed in 1909 were three three-Matrika slabs; Dehejia suggests that these formed part of a rectangular shrine to the Eight Matrikas accompanied by Ganesh. A well-preserved four-Yogini slab from Rikhiyan is held in the Denver Art Museum

Shahdol, Yogini images from Shahdol district (anciently Sahasa-dollaka) in Madhya Pradesh have been taken to the Dhubela Museum near Khajuraho, the Indian Museum at Calcutta, and the village temples of Antara and Panchgaon in Shahdol district. The yoginis are seated in the ceremonial Lalitasana pose, and they have haloes flanked by flying figures behind their heads

Kanchipuram or Kaveripakkam Dehejia publishes and discusses yogini images of the Chola period, around 900 AD, recovered from northern Tamil Nadu. These include one now in the British Museum, others in the Madras Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Royal Ontario Museum. The British Museum yogini is ascribed to Kanchipuram; the collection site is not known, but many sculptures of the same style were recovered from a large "tank" (artificial lake) at Kaveripakkam, seemingly derived from nearby temples. The image formed part of a large set of yoginis.

Varanasi, 12th-century texts including the Varanasimahatmya of the Bhairavapradurbhava suggest that there was a circular hypaethral yogini temple in Varanasi (also called Benares and Kashi) in the 11th century. Several yogini-related sites have been identified in the city. Just above the Chaumsathi Ghat cremation ground is Chaumsathi Devi temple; it is not mentioned in the scriptures but is where modern-day devotees gather, especially at Holi, as prescribed in the Kashikhanda.

Delhi, Legend has it that a yogini temple was built in the south Delhi district of Mehrauli; tradition places this as the Yogmaya Temple there, without reliable evidence. The region outside the imperial city of Indraprastha, described in the Mahabharata, was called Yoginipura, the yogini city. Indraprastha has been identified with Delhi.


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