Chausath Yogini Temple, Hirapur
On the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, 15 km south-east of the city, is this small circular temple known as the Yogini Temple that dates to the early 9th century. It is hypaethral (open to the sky) and belongs to a genre of architecture completely apart from the major Orissan school. Although it seems that temples of this type existed throughout India at one time, today only four remain. Two of them are in Orissa; the shrine at Hirapur and one in the far western reaches of the state at Ranipur-Jharial.
The temple's circular wall, which is barely 2 meters high, contains 64 niches within its inner circumference. All except one of these contain an image of a Yogini Goddess. Some of the Goddesses are portrayed with sensual bodies and jewelled bodices, others with horrific shrunken features, still others with animal heads. To get here, simply take an auto-rickshaw.