Mitaoli – Chausath Yogini Temple

Travelling from Garhi Padhavali, in next 15 minutes, we were at the base of the hillock in Mitaoli.

The temple was on the top, there is proper stairs to climb, almost 100 steps. Takes 10 minutes to reach the top. There is a wide cultivated field view from top on all sides. Mostly agricultural land with hardly any trees.

Only Mihir & I went to the top, rest were exhausted due to heat. It was a spectacular view of the temple that was worth the climb. The unique round shape of the temple was something I saw for the first time.

I had read about it being an inspiration for the Parliament Sansad Bhavan structure, however, that is not the case. This was one of the Chausath (64) Yogini Temple called as Ekattatso Mahadeva Temple. There are many cells on the outer circular peripheral wall which is supposed to house a Yogini image, instead there were Shiva Linga in each of them. Some of them were empty. There are other yogini temples spread across India.

(Prominent Chausath Yogini Temples other than this one are located at Bhedaghat near Jabalpur,Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, Hirapur and Jharial in Odhisa. The yogini cult was a secretive practice confined to few groups and individuals. Its secrets are very securely guarded by its proponents and practitioners that if you are an outsider then it is very hard to know its rituals and practices. One can know and understand this cult only after becoming one and joining their community.

But the trick is that when one becomes a part of that community, one also takes an oath to guard its secrets as others.The interior of this circular enclosure has a pillared colonnade which has sixty-five cells. Usually, the cells should be numbered sixty-four to house that number of yoginis. If there is an extra, as the case here, this extra cell is usually added to house an image of Shiva as Shiva is overall lord of all the yoginis. The circular enclosure is hypaethral except the covered roof over the cells. Hypaethral is an important characteristic of a yogini temple as many of their rituals and practices were carried out directly under the sky. This hypaethral nature of the temples also suggested linkage to astronomy however there has been no evidences found of any instruments used during such studies. At the center of the enclosure stands a large circular pavilion with two concentric rings of pillars. This shrine is dedicated to Shiva as he is the overlord of the yoginis.It is also said that Mitawali, Padavali and Bateshwar made a golden triangle in which a university existed about a 1000 years ago! The supposed teaching centre was said to be a hub to impart education in Mathematics, Astrology and Hinduism to the children with the help of sun rays! – Sourced from Puratattva.in).

We were on schedule, hence, decided to go ahead to Kakanmath, which lies in Sihoniya District, some 23 kms further.

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