Chausathi Yogini Temple of Hirapur

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Published on: 18 May 2018

Monalisa Behera

Monalisa Behera graduated in Sociology from Miranda House College, Delhi University, and has a Masters in Art History from St Andrews University, Scotland. She is currently pursuing PhD. in Visual Studies from School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU. Her research interests include ancient and medieval Indian art and architecture, iconography and history of religion.

Yoginis are a class of propitiatory goddesses that are associated with various forms of apotropaic Śakta-tantric practices. Their appearance in the Indian religious landscape was marked by construction of open-air shrines, roughly dating from 8th century till the 13th century, before they completely vanished. As a result, the yoginis have remained enigmatic and often prone to misguided interpretations, that largely surrounds tantra in general. Out of the twelve extant yogini temples, the Chausathi Yogini temple of Hirapur in Odisha, is considered one of the earliest of such shrines dedicated to the worship of yoginis.