Yoginis, who are fascinated by dance and music are said to be attracted by open pandals and there is one at Hirapur Chausath Yogini shrine. The Shrine of Chausath Yoginis discovered in 1953 is left to the vagaries of nature or protected by ASI apathetically.
Do fairies and angels exist in real life? We are not sure. But Indian literature and mythology bear ample testimony to the presence of supernatural beings and their subtle life form on this mundane planet. Greek, Egyptian and Hebraic religions are also full of angelic references. They are as realistic as angelic Yoginis. Novelist Anatole France’s ‘Revolt of Angels’ is a case in point. Real or imaginary, spirit stories, fantasy or dreams are all part of our literature right from Ramayana to Harry Potter! A ninth century temple, built by Queen Hiradei of Bramha Dynasty exclusively in honour of 64 angelic beings called Chausathi Yoginis in local parlance, is situated at Hirapur, about 6-kilometre from Bhubaneswar. This historical site, now under the supervision of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), has a small circular sandstone temple within a diameter of 25 ft. It is also called Mahamayi temple, a hub of ancient Tantric cult, which came under attack by invaders in 16th century.
The Yoginis, each representing a wild animal, demon, Vriksha or tree, surrounds Goddess Kali, the presiding diety of the temple. Kali stands over a human head symbolising victory of heart over head or mind. There is an idol of Bhairav which is being worshipped near Kali. Four Yoginis and four Bhairavs surround a Shiva idol at the centre of inner circle. The Yogini idols are naked and wear jewelleries around their waist and neck. Each idol has been assigned an animal vehicle suggesting the Yogini’s authority over the animal instinct. They also wear bracelets, armlets, necklaces, and anklets. The chlorite stone idols have delicate features such as slim waists, broad hips and round breasts. They express anger, sorrow, joy, desire and happiness as feelings portrayed in performing arts. Yoginis who are fascinated by dance and music are said to be attracted by open pandals and there is one at Hirapur Chausath Yogini shrine. These cult figurines are associated with ancient Tantric rituals of Odisha. Strangely, there are 54 Yogini idols at Hirapur in addition to eight idols that stand guard at Chandi or Mahamayi temple. Hence, it calls for investigation as there are 62 idols altogether against 64 as two are apparently missing. A study of Yoginis may unravel the mystery behind the subtle beings. It is believed that an explorer into niche life may attract curse from the spirits. According to Brahmapurana, an investigator studying occult life of Yoginis may expose their sanctity. Yoginis are believed to be subtle beings who conquer animal instinct and natural elements. They are semi-divine and beyond material attachment. Their enormous supernatural powers make them adorable and their blessings sought by occult practitioners. Yoginis find mention in ancient texts including Agni Purana (9th century), Kalika Purana (10th century), Skanda Purana and Kamakhya Tantra. Much research needs to be done into the angelic mysteries of Yoginis. The Shrine of Chausath Yoginis discovered in 1953 is left to the vagaries of nature or protected by ASI apathetically. A similar temple is seen at Ranipur-Jharial in Bolangir district of Odisha. There is also an 11th century Chausath Yogini temple at Mitawali in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh.