Chausath Yogini Temple at Mitaoli, Morena, Madhya Pradesh || The 11th Century Temple that Inspired the Design of the Parliament Building in Lutyen's Delhi

In almost all temples dedicated to them, the yoginis are depicted in different forms and poses. In some they are sitting in Lalitasana. In some they are depicted standing with their animal vehicles. However, in the Chausath Yogini Temple in Mitaoli, the images of the Yoginis have all been replaced by those of shivling. May be that is why the temple is also known as Ekattarso Mahadev temple.

Like a lot of things in our recent travel life, Mitaoli also happened to us by chance. We hadn't really planned to cover Morena during our recent trip to Khajuraho, but a timely advice helped put it on our map on our return journey. And since we were determined to make the most of our trip, we wanted to cover as many places as we realistically could. 

One of the few well-preserved Chausath Yogini Temples in India, the Chausath Yogini Temple at Mitaoli, in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh was built in the 11th centrury. The temple is also known as Ekattarso Mahadev Temple.

One of the few well-preserved Chausath Yogini Temples in India, the Chausath Yogini Temple at Mitaoli, in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh was built in the 11th centrury. The temple is also known as Ekattarso Mahadev Temple. 

 

Like most Chausath Yogini temples, this temple too is circular. Inside the temple, on its outer wall, there are 65 chambers. 64 are for Yoginis and the the 65th is for Devi. Beside this, an open Mandap in the center is dedicated to Lord Shiv.

Like most Chausath Yogini temples, this temple too is circular. Inside the temple, on its outer wall, there are 65 chambers. 64 are for Yoginis and the the 65th is for Devi. Beside this, an open Mandap in the center is dedicated to Lord Shiv. 


The temple lies in an earthquake prone area and is said to have survived several earthquakes of various intensities, without suffering serious damage. The circular Parliament building in New Delhi is supposed to be based on the design of this temple.

The temple lies in an earthquake prone area and is said to have survived several earthquakes of various intensities, without suffering serious damage. The circular Parliament building in New Delhi is supposed to be based on the design of this temple. 


On this trip, we also happened to visit the Chausath Yogini temple at Khajuraho and before this, several years ago, we had visited the Chausath Yogini Temple at Jabalpur. Apparently Chausath Yogini temples are scattered all over central and northern India.

On this trip, we also happened to visit the Chausath Yogini temple at Khajuraho and before this, several years ago, we had visited the Chausath Yogini Temple at Jabalpur. Apparently Chausath Yogini temples are scattered all over central and northern India. 


You can find them in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Odisha. There are also accounts of temples that were lost and these temples were once much more widely distributed across India. You would come across them in Delhi, in Rajasthan, also as far as Bengal and Tamil Nadu. However, these temples are long gone now.

You can find them in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Odisha. There are also accounts of temples that were lost and these temples were once much more widely distributed across India. You would come across them in Delhi, in Rajasthan, also as far as Bengal and Tamil Nadu. However, these temples are long gone now. 


Yoginis were supposed to be mystical women who blurred the boundaries between Divine and Human. They were shapeshifters and had special powers associated with Tantra. They were supposed to have the ability to fly and therefore their temples were mostly built without a roof overhead. They had beautiful bodies and heads of animals.

Yoginis were supposed to be mystical women who blurred the boundaries between Divine and Human. They were shapeshifters and had special powers associated with Tantra. They were supposed to have the ability to fly and therefore their temples were mostly built without a roof overhead. They had beautiful bodies and heads of animals.  


Like a lot of things in our recent travel life, Mitaoli also happened to us by chance. We hadn't really planned to cover it during our recent trip to Khajuraho, but a timely advice helped put it on our map on our return journey. And since we were determined to make the most of our trip, we wanted to cover as many places as we realistically could.

In almost all temples dedicated to them, the yoginis are depicted in different forms and poses. In some they are sitting in Lalitasana. In some they are depicted standing with their animal vehicles. However, in the Chausath Yogini Temple in Mitaoli, the images of the Yoginis have all been replaced by those of shivling. May be that is why the temple is also known as Ekattarso Mahadev temple. 


The Chausath Yogini Temple at Mitaoli is built on top of a rocky hill. There is ample parking space very close to the temple and also a clean washroom at the entrance. One needs to climb about a 100 steps to reach it, and from down below, the climb seems quite difficult. However, once we reached the top I realized that it was easier than it looked.

The Chausath Yogini Temple at Mitaoli is built on top of a rocky hill. There is ample parking space very close to the temple and also a clean washroom at the entrance. One needs to climb about a 100 steps to reach it, and from down below, the climb seems quite difficult. However, once we reached the top I realized that it was easier than it looked. 


Like the temple in Khajuraho, this temple too once had shikharas on top of all Yogini temples, but they were removed in later renovations. Very few tourists make it to this area, and due to the pandemic, it was just the two of use here. It was quite hot and a few local men were lounging about in the shade of a tree outside the temple.

Like the temple in Khajuraho, this temple too once had shikharas on top of all Yogini temples, but they were removed in later renovations. Very few tourists make it to this area, and due to the pandemic, it was just the two of use here. It was quite hot and a few local men were lounging about in the shade of a tree outside the temple. 


The seclusion of the place can make you feel vulnerable here. May be it would be better to go in a bigger group. Getting here too can be challenging because the road can be tricky as well. However, you might come across some interesting birds enroute.

The seclusion of the place can make you feel vulnerable here. May be it would be better to go in a bigger group. Getting here too can be challenging because the road can be tricky as well. However, you might come across some interesting birds enroute. 


Here's how steep stairs look from down below. However, they are not too steep and the height of the steps too is manageable.

Here's how steep stairs look from down below. However, they are not too steep and the height of the steps too is manageable. 


And this is how the temple looks from a distance. Quite picturesque, isn't it? The area too is quite beautiful with far-stretching green fields and clumps of trees visible in the distance. A drive to this temple is recommended if you have a sturdy vehicle and like rural settings. If you are interested in architecture, you will not be disappointed, considering that the Bateshwar temple too is quite close to this place.

And this is how the temple looks from a distance. Quite picturesque, isn't it? The area too is quite beautiful with far-stretching green fields and clumps of trees visible in the distance. A drive to this temple is recommended if you have a sturdy vehicle and like rural settings. If you are interested in architecture, you will not be disappointed, considering that the Bateshwar temple too is quite close to this place. 

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