Home > General, Madhya Pradesh > Chausath Yogini Temple, Jabalpur

Chausath Yogini Temple, Jabalpur

Chausath Yogini Temple

Bhedaghat, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh (MP)

Also see: My other travelogues from Madhya Pradesh (MP)

“Yogini” represents both a female master practitioner of Yoga, and a formal term of respect for a category of modern female spiritual teachers (in both Hinduism and Buddhism) in eastern countries such as India, Nepal, and Tibet. [Source: Wikipedia]

Gauri Shankar Temple, Chausath Yogini Temple Complex, Bhedaghat, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh (MP)

Gauri Shankar Temple, Chausath Yogini Temple Complex, Bhedaghat, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh (MP)

There are a total of four Chausath Yogini Temples or 64 Yogini Temples in India, two are in Orissa while the other two are in Madhya Pradesh (MP). The two in Orissa are located in Hirapur (near Bhubaneswar) and Ranipur – Jharial (near Titlagarh). The two is Madhya Pradesh are located in Khajuraho and Bhedaghat (near Jabalpur).

The Chausath Yogini Temple located on a hill top next to the famous Dhundhar Falls in Bhedagaht, near Jabalpur, is the largest Yogini Temple in India. It consists of a circular structure of inner diameter 116 feet and outer diameter 131 feet.

Collage of Yogin Statues (L: Thakini, M: Virendri, R: Takari)

Collage of Yogin Statues (L: Thakini, M: Virendri, R: Takari)

The circle is broken down in 84 equal cells, out of which three serves as gateways. The gateway on the South – West consists of one cells while the one on the South – East consists of two adjoining cells.

The rest 81 cells houses statues of Yoginis, but there are doubts if all the 81 are Yoginis or not. Some expert opine that 64 out of the 81 are Yoginis, while the rest are other deities like Shiva and Ganesh. Another section believes that all the 81 are Yoginis.

Collage of Yogini Statues (L: Erudi, M: Phanendri, R: Vibhatsa)

Collage of Yogini Statues (L: Erudi, M: Phanendri, R: Vibhatsa)

Armed with a list of 64 Yoginis I took the long flight of stairs leading to the Chausath Yogini Temple, located on a hilltop next to the River Narmada.

Reaching the temple I found the Yogini Statues numbered and named by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). It was definitely a delight but to my astonishment I found that the number of statues in 85 not 81!!!

Collage of Yogini Statues (L: Anitakari, M: Ranajira, R: Kamda)

Collage of Yogini Statues (L: Anitakari, M: Ranajira, R: Kamda)

I started of with my documentations, moving in the usual clockwise direction, but soon I found several names missing and those present didn’t match my list and I soon realized it was not an easy task. But I was able to solve the riddle of 81 and 85 as a few of the cells contained multiple statues. Later I also came to know that some of the statues were removed from other places to the Chausath Yogini Temple.

Gauri Shankar Temple, Chausath Yogini Temple Complex, Bhedaghat, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh (MP)

Gauri Shankar Temple, Chausath Yogini Temple Complex, Bhedaghat, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh (MP)

If of the statues were intact but most were severely defaced while in few cases, large chunks of the sculptures were totally missing. I went on with the process of photo documentation, as it was almost impossible to identify the non tagged statues.

Completing my ritual of circumscribing the Chausath Jogini Temple, i moved towards the middle of the circle. Slightly of the centre, is the Gouri Shankar Temple, constructed in 1155 by Queen Alhannadevi. According to experts, this temple was constructed two centuries later than the original Chausath Yogini Temple. The temple contains the stone idol of Shiva and Parvati riding the bull.

  1. August 26, 2015 at 10:44 PM

    And you have inspired me to write a blog about Chausath Yogini temple in Khajuraho…. Unfortunately its not in its best of state but its remarkable.

    • August 26, 2015 at 11:10 PM

      Dear Subhadip, chausath Yogini Temples are always remarkable, please do write a blog on the Khajuraho one.

      Also we can plan a trip to the Chaushat Yogani Temple of Hirapur , near Bhubaneswar.

      • August 26, 2015 at 11:27 PM

        Done…. just tell me the date… and i am in

  2. August 26, 2015 at 10:46 PM

    Like their architectures. Btw, is it Jogini or Yogini…i see both versions mentioned in the post?

    • August 26, 2015 at 11:11 PM

      The original word is Yogani, we Bengalis have modified it to Jogini. But it may lead to confusion among non Bengali readers, so I have changed the Joginis to Yoganis.

      Thanks for pointing it out.

      • August 26, 2015 at 11:14 PM

        Not a problem, thanks🙂

  3. August 27, 2015 at 12:38 AM

    This was long due… Good Job !

  4. August 27, 2015 at 12:41 AM

    I think there are more than four 64 yogini temples in India. Mitauli and Naresar are some examples.

    • September 17, 2015 at 11:00 AM

      Thanks Tirtha you are right there are a few more Chausath Yogani Temples in India. I think the Yogini statues in Mitauli are removed and replaced with Shiva Lingas. Naresar also has a Yogini temple but it probably does not have 64 Yoganis.

      If you have more info to had please add it in the next comment.

      Thanks once more for enriching my blog.

      • September 20, 2015 at 11:47 PM

        Thanks.

        I would like to add a point about the Chausath Yogini temple of Bhedaghat that there is a small cave/underground passage/ burrow like structure in front of the entrance of the complex after you ascend the stairs and reach the level land.

    • October 28, 2015 at 10:24 PM

      Tirtha, its sounds interesting, I have missed it completely.

  5. August 27, 2015 at 2:34 AM

    Down the hill to the south was a small park, Walking up the lawn I came to a circular bldg, locked of course, without a roof. I peered over the side and saw that it had murthis positioned around the circle inside. No one seems to know about this. Sculpture seemd to be Kalchuri also. I wish someone could find out the name and get permission to photograph the murthis inside.

    • September 17, 2015 at 10:56 AM

      Dear Kathie, this is a totally unknown to me. Had I known it before I would have definitely have searched for it.

      Just down the hill is the resort of MPTDC, which has a park, we had are lunch there, but I didn’t notice the circular structure.

      Thanks for pointing it out, hope some fellow heritage enthusiast will find it out. Lets hope for the best.

    • September 20, 2015 at 11:40 PM

      I think Kathie Brobeck is talking about Bhedaghat Park built by the local municipal authorities for beautification purpose on the way to Dhuandhar falls. And most probably the murthis and sculptures are not that old but made by local artists who are quite adept at it.

      Another option is Kathie is talking about Bhedaghat rock gardens.

    • October 28, 2015 at 10:26 PM

      Thanks Tirtha for the additional info. I didn’t have the opportunity of visiting both the Bhedaghat Park or the Bhedaghat Rock Garden.

  6. August 28, 2015 at 9:19 PM

    Great read, good to know about this temple.

    • September 17, 2015 at 10:52 AM

      Thanks Indrani. the Chausath Yogani Temple, Jabalpur is a must visit, please don’t miss it.

  7. August 29, 2015 at 11:44 AM

    You have captured the essence in great detail. Good to read about this. Keep posting…

    • September 17, 2015 at 10:51 AM

      Thanks Himanshu for the inspiring comment. Keep blogging…

  8. September 15, 2015 at 4:37 PM

    Hello Rangan Datta
    I simply love history and the description of the statues of Chausath Yogini temple, near Jabalpur, one of the largest Yogini temples is amazing. I learnt that yogini is a female yoga teacher, and the 81 statues of yogini’s were impressive.

    • September 17, 2015 at 10:50 AM

      Thanks Maria for the comment, the temple is amazing if possible do visit it. I have plans for visiting the other Chausath Yogini Temples in India.

  9. September 25, 2015 at 6:39 PM

    Thanks for reminding that old memories again…. i visited this temple when i was a little child… but i missed all the action because you know.. what we do when we at age of 5 year😀 … although now i am all grown up.. i think i should visit this temple one more time.. can you please tell me how much the amount you have on this trip to the Chausath Yogini Temple?? and thanks again for this awesome post😉

    • October 28, 2015 at 10:18 PM

      Thanks Neha for the comment. 5 years is to young to understand the complexities of Tantrickism !!!!

      You should visit the temple again, it is something not to be missed. There is no entry fee to the temple, its free and walking distance from the Bhedaghat boat ride spot.

  10. November 23, 2015 at 1:39 PM

    I also found in the net about another Chausath Yogini site at Dudhai , Lalitpur

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