Monday, May 27, 2024

Did this ancient Temple inspire the design of the Indian parliament?

Many of these curious visitors have compared this temple with the Indian parliament building, as both are circular in style. Many have drawn conclusions that this temple was the inspiration behind the Sansad Bhawan. Yes, it is Chausath Yogini temple of Madhya Pradesh.

Standing atop an isolated hill of about hundred feet high, this circular temple commands a splendid view of the cultivated fields below. it is non otherthan a great temple called Chausath Yogini temple. The Chausath Yogini temple is in Mitaoli village. Near Padaoli in Morena district 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Gwalior. According to an inscription dated to 1323 CE (Vikram Samvat 1383), the temple was built by the Kachchhapaghata king Devapala (r. c. 1055 – 1075). It is said that the temple was the venue of providing education in astrology and mathematics based on the transit of the Sun. The Archaeological Survey of India has declared the temple an ancient and historical monument under Act No. LXXI of 1951, dt.28/11/1951.

This temple is so named because of the presence of multitude of shivalingas inside its cells. This circular temple is one among the very few such temples in India. This is a yogini temple dedicated to sixty-four yoginis. It is externally circular in shape with a radius of 170 feet and within its interior part it has 64 small chambers.Within the main central shrine there are slab coverings which have perforations in them to drain rainwater to a large underground storage. The pipe lines from the roof lead the rain water to the storage are also visible. The design of the temple has withstood earthquake shocks, without any damage to its circular structural features, in the past several centuries. The temple is in the Seismic Zone III.

The term Yogini is often viewed with fear and wary reverence, as these devis are associated with tantric cult and dark supernatural powers. While there are various theories on the start of this cult, there is a general believe that Yogini worship started sometime around 7th century CE and remained popular well into the 15th century CE, especially in eastern India. Yoginis find mention in various old texts that include Agni Purana (9th century CE), Kalika Purana (10th century CE), Skanda Purana, Chaturvarga Chintamani (13th century CE), and different tantric texts, such as Maya tantra, Kamakhya tantra any many more.

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