“Tantra”, by definition, is considered as a mystical or magical text of Hindu and Buddhist origin, dating all the way back to the 7th century. This involves principles of mantras relating to meditation, yoga and rituals.
To many however, ‘Tantra’ is considered as a long running Hindu tradition honoring goddesses. It is an ancient practice that is still currently being done all over the world based on several ancients-old literature and carvings specifically found in different parts of India.
For those looking to find out more about the ancient Hindu practice of ‘Tantra’, below are the top five best Tantric temples to visit in your lifetime:
Chausath Jogini Temple
Located in the outskirts of Bhubaneshwar, India is one of the most popular Tantric temples, the Jogini Temple. This temple showcases the idols of Yoginis (or demi-goddesses) lined in a circular hall around a main deity. The Jogini idols represent different forms of the strength of the feminine form.
The Kamakhya Temple is the abode of ten ‘Mahavidhyas’ or avatars of goddess Durga. Found in Guwahati, India, the Kamakhya Temple is a frequently visited temple by Tantric worshipers. Formed out of the religions of Hinduism and Buddhism, this temple is one of the oldest Shakti Peethas in India and holds separate temples for each of the goddesses or ‘Mahavidyas’.
Kal Bhairav Temple
Known as a temple for the unique practice of offering liquor to Kal Bhairav, another form of Lord Shiva, the Kal Bhairav temple in Ujjain, India is one of the most popular temples in Madhya Pradesh. As the tradition of offering liquor and meat is a common practice followed in the Tantric tradition, this temple is well known for this practice as this is a rare ritual that is not usually done in other temples around the country.
Built under the Chandella dynasty and housing sculptures which are considered as the greatest masterpieces in Indian art, the Khajuraho Group of Temples are considered as ancient relics that are most popular for its erotic carvings. Due to this, many researchers consider the Khajuraho Temples as part of India’s ancient Tantric customs and traditions.
Dedicated to Shakti or the Goddess Chandi, the Vaital Temple is considered a famous Tantric temple. Located in Bhubaneshwar, India, the temple houses carvings related to the goddesses, which likewise depicts several Hindu mythologies.
The five temples above mentioned are definitely must-see’s especially for Tantric followers. These ancient places of worship not only represent the Tantric traditions and customs, but it just as well upholds the feminine power being represented this age-old practice.