- A goat-headed 10th century statue of Yogini was stolen from a temple in UP in the 1980s.
- Today, the same statue was handed back to India from the UK.
- The goat-headed Yogini sculpture belonged to a group of stone deities carved in sandstone.
On the occasion of Makar Sankranti today, a 10th century stone idol of goat-headed Yogini was handed over to India today by the High Commission of India, London. HCI announced the recovery and repatriation of the idol that was illegally removed from Uttar Pradesh’s Banda from a temple in Lokhari. The theft had taken place somewhere in the 1980s.
The goat-headed Yogini sculpture belonged to a group of stone deities carved in sandstone and installed in the Lokhari temple. These had been a subject of study by Indian scholar Vidya Dhejia on behalf of the National Museum in New Delhi in the year 1986.
The study was later published under the title ‘Yogini Cult and Temples: A Tantric Tradition’.
In October 2021, the HCI received information on the finding of a goat-headed Yogi sculpture that had matched the description of the one stolen from Lokhari in the 80s. The sculpture was then said to have been found in the garden of a private residence in London.
Notably, another similar sculpture of the buffalo-headed Vrishanana Yogini was stolen from the same temple in Lokhari and was recovered by India in the year 2013. It was repatriated by the Embassy of India in Paris.
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