Monday, 22 October 2012

64 Yoginis at Hirapur, near Bhubaneswar, Odisha - Text

64 Yoginis at Hirapur, near Bhubaneswar, Odisha - Text
The 64-Yogini Temple at Hirapur, near Bhubaneswar came into public knowledge by the famous historian and archaeologist Sri Kedarnath Mohapatra in 1953. Describing his discovery he narrates,


‘In course of my official tour for surveying the antiquities and the palm-leaf manuscripts in the villages under Balianta Police Station of Puri district in January 1953, I unexpectedly got information from a village chowkidar, while camping in the historical village Alwarpur about the existence of a circular enclosure containing the images of various gods and goddesses of Hirapur, two miles away from my camp. This information arose hope of discovering some unknown monument, resembling the famous circular cloister existing in Ranipur Jharial in Balangir district, Orissa, which I had got the chance of visiting twice before.

In the early morning of 24 January 1953, I hastened with my informant, and to my overwhelming joy, I could discover another hypaethral temple of 64 Yoginis at that place, which resembled the three other such temples in many aspects, that had been known before.’

Hirapur Yogini Temple is the smallest of all 64 Yogini temples in India. The outer diameter of this circular temple is 30-feet. The circular enclosure is built with sandstone blocks measuring a height of 8-feet. The entrance is connected to the circular enclosure by a vestibule. The foundation of this circular enclosure is with laterite stone. The circular enclosure is open-aired, and does not have a roof. Such temples are known as hypaethral temples.

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