Located at an hour's drive away from Jabalpur, history has to offer one of its oldest religious sites - the Chausath Yogini Temple near Bhedaghat region. Chausath translates to sixty-four in English and the name has a direct relation to the structure of the temple. There are exactly 64 carved figures of Yoginis, each one in her own designated shrine, skirting the inner wall of the circular premises of the temple. As a bonus, the panoramic view of the mighty Narmada from the high open courtyard presents to you a lovely scene to be captured in the camera as well as to be remembered in the mind.
Built by the not-so-famous Kalachuri dynasty way back in the 10th century, Chausath Yogini has seen powers rise and fall uncountable times. However, some of them were not so good for the temple, as its construction suffered severe blows from Muslim rulers in later centuries who were determined to wipe away any reminiscence of Hinduism. However, this temple has stood the test of time and religious hatred and is now a favourite historical retreat for travellers.
Once you climb the 150-something stairs up to the central area, you get a prolific idea of 10th-century central Indian architecture as well the significance of Yoga tantric beliefs. This is also the only place where you will find the grandest couple of Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati riding the symbolic Nandi Bull. The idols of Shiv-Parvati stand in the Gauri-Shankar temple in the centre which is believed to be built at a later time than the original temple with Yoginis.
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