Chausath Yogini Temple, Bhedaghat, Jabalpur, M - a heritage site dedicated to Goddess Durga- largest one!!

Chausath Yogini Temple, Jabalpur, MP

Chausath Yogini Temple, Jabalpur, MP.
There are hundreds of Hindu temples  across north India that are  either damaged or in ruins due to invasion by the Muslim rulers of Delhi after 12th century. They not only plundered the temples but also damaged them as they were against idolatry. The purpose of plundering was to lay their hands on the treasures in most of the Hindu temples.  The invasions were more of a political nature than that of religion. Destruction of Hindu temples, etc., declined  considerably during the Mogul period. Chausath Yogini temple in Jabalpur is one of the oldest temples in this region, but it is a damaged one for political reason. 
Location map,

.Chausath Yogini Temple located atop the hill in a lush green serene environment in  Bhedaghat (famous for marble rocks), about 5 km from Jabalpur city, MP, is one of the oldest heritage sites in India. From the top of the hill, you can have a fine view of the surroundings and the Narmada river.  It is dedicated to Goddess Durga and there are  64 yoginis or shaktis - different forms of the Goddess.  A Yogini is a female attendant of the mother goddess who is kind to her devotees, but destroyer of people with evil mind.  Built of granite rock in the 10th century A.D, the temple  can be accessed  through  150  steep stone  steps leading  to the shrine.  This partially damaged temple is the legacy of the the ancient rulers of this region. 

The complex has  81 shrines instead of  customary 64  arranged in a  in  a circular form  and for each yogini there is a main shrine where Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati are seen riding  the sacred bull - Nandi. The temple came up during the reign of Kalchuri Dynasty.  The scholar Shaman Hatley noted,  ''it is the most imposing and perhaps best known of the yogini temples".  The covered walkway  covers all the 81 cells for yoginis around the inside of its circular wall.

enticing Yogini image, Bhedaghat, MP

Above image: The Yogini stone image at Chausath Yogini temple, Bhedaghat, MP. In seated form, naked up to the wait, Yogin, wearing jewelry  has an  enticing body with sensuous look. very careful stone carving work.........

 Among the Yogini images, one is that of Kamada, giver of sexual love and conjugal happiness.  Special worship is done to the Yoni image called Yoni puja. Yogini images are in seated form and are voluptuous.  Craved from the rectangular slab of stone, each  bejeweled Yogini half naked up to the waist has sedative look with ornate throne, small images below and flying deities above.

Yogini temple, Jabalpur, MP. 

Above image: Yogini temple, near Jabalpur, MP. Yogini images inside the circular perimeter wall and walkway.....................

Chausath Yogini Temple. Jabalpur.

Chausath Yogini Temple. Jabalpur.

Chausath Yogini Temple, Jabalpur, MP

One of the oldest heritage sites in India, the structure of Chausath Yogini temple  has close similarity  with those of Khajuraho, a world famous heritage site. The temple, as the record point out, was built early in the 11th Century CE by King Yuvaraja II of the dynasty of the Kalachuris of Tripuri; he lived around 975-1025 CE. It is the largest Yogini temple built during this dynasty. 
Yet another tourist destination is The Marble Rocks in Bhedaghat which is close-by.