Western Odisha is a place of many historic sites. Worship places of different religions and cults in different times of the past were being discovered around many places of western Odisha. One such very rare site of 64 yogini temple which was first to be discovered was at Ranipur-Jharial or Sindrikela.The other being at Haripur in Eastern Odisha. Ranipur Jharial was discovered by Major General Campell in 1853 and the temple is said to be made around 900 years ago.
Around 100 KMs away from Bolangir towards Raj Khariar, Ranipur Jharial is near Bangomunda. Situated on an open stone, the 50-meter dia roundel surrounds the 64 yogini statues, is made of sandstones. Damaged due to weathering only 63 are seen in good condition. Lord Siva in a dancing pose is at the center under four pillars.
More than 50 small temples scattered all over indicate the importance of the place in the past. Said to be a place of different cults ,from Buddhism, Saivasim to tantric practices.
At a distance, the unique brick-made temple of Lord Indralat is said to be the highest brick-made temple and was built around the 7th century has some portion of Jaganmohan demolished.
All the statues of 64 yoginis with animal heads are made out of sandstone. Once neatly carved, now has weathered badly.
Once a place of worship for many religious and cult groups now stands in a dilapidated condition. If restored, the place can add to the chain of tourist places around western Odisha and a major attraction for tourists.
…….see you soon with another location of interest and with another subject.