Located on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, Hirapur is a small town known for a hypaethral (open to the sky) temple of 64 Yoginis, called the Yogini Temple. It is said that the temple was hypaethral because the yogini cult used to worship the five natural elements: air, water, fire, earth and ether/sky. Dating back to the 9th century, this small temple is only the second of its kind in Odisha, and one of only four such temples in India. Another is located in Ranipur-Jharial in Bolangar District of Odisha. The other two such temples are in Madhya Pradesh. Its construction is attributed to Queen Hiradevi, the mother of King Subhakar Dev II, of the Bhaumakar dynasty. The yogini cult, in which yoga was practiced along with tantrism, is said to have flourished in India between 8th century AD and 13th century AD. In this, a chakra or wheel with 64 spokes used to be worshipped and Goddess Kali was the presiding deity. Believed to be offshoots of the Saptamatrika, the yoginis were vivacious and embraced life. They were said to be the reincarnations of Goddess Shakti and represented ultimate feminine power. The temple in Hirapur is a circular structure surrounded by a pond and leafy trees, and is unique for many reasons. It is the only temple to have statues on its outer walls. The nine sandstone statues stand for female figures. Each figure can be seen standing on a human head while holding a weapon in one hand. Their shape and form have led historians to believe that they might represent guardian deities. The main door to the shrine is very small. Inside, built into the circular wall, are 60 niches. All but one niche are home to tiny images of yogini goddesses. 

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