Chausanth Yogini Temple of Mitaoli – Inspiration for India’s Parliament House

Chausanth Yogini Temple of Mitaoli – Inspiration for India’s Parliament House

There is a special place for the feminine in Indian psyche.  Understanding and experience of divinity necessarily include both, the masculine and the feminine.  As much as the Yogis have enriched this land, so have the Yoginis.  Not only have the Yogis attained to level of consciousness of Vishnu and Shiva, but the Yoginis have also attained to the consciousness of Kali, Saraswati and Katyayani.  There is a proliferation of shrines to 64 (Chausanth) Yoginis around the country.  And all bear an uncanny resemblance to one of the most central modern day shrine of Indian polity – the Sansad Bhawan.  Or the Parliament House.

This underscores how the consecrated feminine divine plays the most critical role in the running of the Indian state even today.

The most prominent being a temple at Mitaoli in Madhya Pradesh, near Gwalior called Chausanth Yogini temple.  It is a temple, which is believed to have inspired the Indian Parliament.  The temple is also known as Ekattarso Mahadeva Temple (source).  The temple was built by Devapala, the Kachchhapaghata king.

The temple is on a hill that has a height of about 100 feet with 100 steps leading upto it.  It has a 40 m diameter circular wall with 64 chambers, a circular courtyard and an open mandapa with a shrine to Shiva in the center.  IN each of the 64 chambers, Shiva’s image has been carved out.

The Central Sanctorum of the 64 Yogini temple
Inner circle of the temple 64 Yogini temple at Morena

It is said that it was the center of learning in astrology, astronomy, and mathematics in ancient times.

Other Chausanth Yogini Temples

Interestingly, this is not the only Chausanth Yogini temple.  There are others as well.

Chausath Yogini Temple of Bhedaghat is seen as one of the oldest heritage sites in India. It was built in the 10th Century AD by the Kalachuri kingdom

Chausath Yogini temple in Jabalpur
The sanctrum sanctorum of the 64 Yogini temple near Jabalpur

Chausathi Jogini Mandir at Hirapur Orissa

Chausanth Yogini temple at HIrapur (Wikimedia \ Rohit Agarwal)
The circle structure at Hirapur with the idols of the yoginis
The yogini Kameshvari at Chausath Yogini Temple, Hirapur

The 64 Yoginis depicted at Hirapur are:

  1. Bahurupa
  2. Tara
  3. Narmada
  4. Yamuna
  5. Shanti
  6. Varuni
  7. Kshemankari
  8. Aindri
  9. Varahi
  10. Ranveera
  11. Vanara-Mukhi
  12. Vaishnavi
  13. Kalaratri
  14. Vaidyaroopa
  15. Charchika
  16. Betali
  17. Chinnamastika
  18. Vrishabahana
  19. Jwala Kamini
  20. Ghatavara
  21. Karakali
  22. Saraswati
  23. Birupa
  24. Kauveri
  25. Bhaluka
  26. Narasimhi
  27. Biraja
  28. Vikatanna
  29. Mahalakshmi
  30. Kaumari
  31. Maha Maya
  32. Rati
  33. Karkari
  34. Sarpashya
  35. Yakshini
  36. Vinayaki
  37. Vindya Balini
  38. Veera Kumari
  39. Maheshwari
  40. Ambika
  41. Kamiyani
  42. Ghatabari
  43. Stutee
  44. Kali
  45. Uma
  46. Narayani
  47. Samudraa
  48. Brahmani
  49. Jwala Mukhi
  50. Agneyei
  51. Aditi
  52. Chandrakanti
  53. Vayubega
  54. Chamunda
  55. Murati
  56. Ganga
  57. Dhumavati
  58. Gandhari
  59. Sarva Mangala
  60. Ajita
  61. Surya Putri
  62. Vayu Veena
  63. Aghora
  64. Bhadrakali

Featured Image by PankajSaxena

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