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The 64 Yogini Temple Where the Goddesses Fly Out

Though locals were once fearful of the mystery surrounding it, the 9th century 64 Yogini (Chausathi yogini ) temple is a rare treat; one of only four temples in India dedicated to the cult of tantra. Of course, the tantric rituals are no longer practiced in the temple. Now, the presiding deity is a goddess called Mahamaya. She and the yoginis are worshiped in the form of goddess Durga during Dussehra and Basanti Puja.

Located in Hirapur, around 15 kilometers east of Bhubaneshwar, the tranquil village setting amongst paddy fields adds to the ambiance of this temple that has 64 stone yogini goddess figures carved on its inside walls, representing the 64 forms of the divine mother created to drink the blood of demons.

The yogini cult believed that worshiping the 64 goddesses and the goddess Bhairavi would give them supernatural powers. The temple doesn't have a roof to allow the goddesses to fly out and roam around at night.