Located at Bhedaghat, which is also a most popular tourist destination and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Jabalpur, Chousath Yogini temple is one of the prominent tourist attractions in Bhedaghat. It is located around 25 km from Jabalpur and often known as a great attraction for sightseeing.
For boating, Panchvati Ghat is famous in Bhedaghat and Dhuandhar Fall is best for ropeway ride. Chausath Yogini temple features the rich cultural background it has traced for ages. Yogini is a female yoga practitioner or a modern enlightened woman and spiritual teacher in both Buddhism and Hinduism. A Yogini is also a sacred force or a sacred incarnation of Parvati, a Hindu Goddess.
They are revered as 64 yoginis or Chausath Yogini. They are known to be very powerful and sorceress that can cause destruction.
Chausath Yogini Temple is India’s one of the oldest heritage sites. It is located on the hilltop of Bhedaghat. It was built in 10th century during the rule of Kalchuri Dynasty and it was made of granite. Later on, Mughal intruders destroyed the beautiful statues and defaced them.
The temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga and 64 yoginis as different forms of her. Though the temple has been damaged partially, it speaks of ancient dynasties which ruled here. The story behind the temple is based on hearing.
Mohammed Gauri reached the city around 11th century when he was busy destroying the temples in India. For his religious faith and money, he destroyed this temple and all of the statues. But when he reached the central temple of Parvati and Lord Shiva with Nandi bull, he couldn’t because honey bees attacked him. Then he ran away from there.
The temple has 150 stairs also made of granite. It has a circular structure with outer diameter of 131 feet and inner diameter of 116 feet with the panoramic view of River Narmada. The cloister of the temple includes 84 pillars and has 81 cells, with 3 entries, one on south east and two on the west. The Yogini statues stood on the cells around the temple’s periphery.
The Gauri-Shankar temple at the center was built by Queen Alhanadevi in 1155 (around two centuries later). The temple has stone idol of Lord Shiva and Parvati on the bull. This image is rarely seen in any temple in India. You will find Lord Shiva alone in most temples dedicated to him.