Chaushati Yogini, the word itself takes me back to the time when I had visited this Sakthi pitha at Hirapur near Bhubaneswar. Especially this being the Dasahara time, I remember how Mahamaya, the central deity of Chaushati Yogini is celebrated.
I had a similar impression when we started our planning some three months earlier. India has got some 12 odd Yogini pithas and Mitawali (near Morena) is one such revered place.
Thanks to Madhya Pradesh Government, the approach road to this place took me back to 1980’s roads of India.
Anyway, somehow we managed to reach the place by 4 pm. Our plan was to rush of to Orchha at the earliest as we now became worried of the roads. As we parked our vehicle, we were attracted towards a chorus singing.
We paused ourselves as we were enthralled by a group of village women who had sat down to sing a simple folklore and praise Mother Durga.
As they finished singing we could not hold ourselves back requesting them to sing again and they happily obliged.
After spending our time, we started to climb up a hillock. And this was not before, one of the ladies invited us to come to her home. When we politely said later, she said have some water from the tube well and head off. We had some really sweet, chill water from the tube well and made our way out. It was quite humbling to see the simplicity and warmth in our villages.
As we approached our climb, we realized the walk would be of some 100 steps up. I kept running up with excitement and literally ran up gasping for breath. The familiar circular structure invite me.
There was a board there stating us to remove our footwear. As I took the final flight of ten steps, I looked around the inner shell of the temple. It had a different feel. The circular inner shell had sixty four small Chambers and there was the central mandapa.
We started to walk around and for me it was a gloomy scene, there were no yogini’s inside. I found Shiva lingas been kept inside these chambers.
The central mandapa was even more disappointing. They had managed to keep three Shiva Lingas where the locals offer prayers.
I was feeling low seeing the plunder that has happened to this magnificent piece of history. This structure that has given India it’s parliament structure was now standing hollow.
With a heavy heart and a tinge of disappointment we headed back to our car, though thankful to Archaeological Society of India (ASI) that such lovely structures and piece of history is preserved the test of time.
Things to check:
- Do not attempt any other route, make the way from Gwalior. This route is safe and has some tar on the road. The other approach roads are really bad.
- There is not much of signage that will guide you except when you are close to the place. So hold on to your GPS maps and human maps too.
- The climb is steep and has close to 100 odd inclined steps. Shoes are a good option
- There is no ASI fees / charges to enter the place and no one asks for money.
- If you are travelling during summer time, carry your own caps and shades.
- Carry your own food & water bottles (BYOB). There are local village shops and I doubt if it could be of much help.
- People are very humble and helpful.
- Finally, ensure “Swatch Bharat”.