The famous Chausathi Yogini Temple at Hirapur on Bhubaneswar outskirts, just 10 km away from the city centre, is a well-known ancient site for tantrik rituals. Over the years, it has also become popular for the Chausathi Yogini Mahotsav, a grand cultural festival.
The shrine has images of 62 `yoginis’ standing on different mounts, postures and each exhibiting a distinct style. The image of the ten-armed presiding deity of the shrine, worshipped as Mahamaya, is the largest among the `yoginis’. Historians and archaeologists say the structure belongs to 9th Century.
In fact, it is one smallest and the most preserved ‘‘yogini’ temples in the country. The other yogini temple of Odisha is at Ranipur-Jharial near Titlagarh in Balangir district, the other four are in Madhya Pradesh. The Chausathi Yogini Temple is locally called the Mahamaya Temple. It is actually a hypaethral (open) shrine facing the East. It was discovered by eminent historian and academic, Kedarnath Mahapatra, in 1953 during his tenure as the Superintendent of the Odisha State Museum.
The three day cultural soiree of Chausathi Yogini Mahotsav is organised by city-based organization, Nrutya Prativa and supported by Odisha Tourism. From classical vocal to dance, the festival hosted at a stage near the monument, is a one-of-its-kind experience for visitors. Eminent artistes like vocalist Sunanda Patnaik and Odissi danseuse Sonal Mansingh have performed at the event.
Apart from classical art forms, folk art forms also find a place in the festival. Visitors will enjoy the event best by first discovering the unique tantric site. Even though close to the city, the site is situated in a country set up. Visiting the nearby villages and exploring the scenic beauty of the region in the morning and later watching the cultural display in the evening can make for a great experience.
|Festival Dates||23rd December to 25th December every year|
|Timings||6 PM - 8 PM|
|Venue||Chausathi Yogini Temple at Hirapur, 10 KM from Bhubaneswar|