Goat Head Yogini


    In News 

    • Recently, the Union Minister of   Culture announced that a 10th century stone idol of Goat Head Yogini is being returned to India.  
      • It had been illegally removed sometime in the 1980s from a temple in Lokhari, Banda, Uttar Pradesh.


    • The sculpture is of a goat-headed Yogini that originally belonged to a group of stone deities in sandstone and was installed in Lokhari temple.
    • These had been the subject of a study by Indian scholar Vidya Dahejia on behalf of the National Museum in New Delhi in 1986 which was later published under the title, “Yogini Cult and Temples: A Tantric Tradition.
    • It is learned that the said sculpture had briefly surfaced in the art market in London in 1988. 
    • In October 2021, the High Commission of India received information about the finding of a goat-headed Yogini Sculpture that had matched the description of the Lokhari set, in the garden of a private residence near London.
      • India Pride project Singapore and Art Recovery International, London swiftly assisted the High Commission of India, London in the identification and recovery of the Statue while the High Commission of India processed the requisite documentation with local and Indian authorities.

    Image Courtesy: LM

    Similar sculpture

    • Interestingly, a similar sculpture of the buffalo-headed Vrishanana Yogini, apparently stolen from the same temple at Lokhari village, had been recovered and repatriated by the Embassy of India, Paris in 2013. 
      • The Vrishanana Yogini was installed in the National Museum, New Delhi in September 2013.

    Government’s initiative

    • The Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs has been engaging in repatriating antiquities and artefacts belonging to India. 
    • In the last seven years, 75% of India’s stolen heritage has been returned to India. Further, since 1976, a total of 54 antiquities have been retrieved from foreign countries. 

    Key Facts 

    • Lokhari is a small village situated in the Mau sub-division in the Banda district of Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh. 
    • Yoginis are a group of powerful female divinities associated with the Tantrik mode of worship. They are worshipped as a group, often 64 and are believed to possess infinite powers.

    Source: PIB