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18 Shakti Peeth / Ashta Dasha Shakti Peethas

Jai Matadi
1.Lankayam Shankari devi,
2.Kamakshi Kanchika pure /
3.Pradyumne Shrinkhala devi,
4.Chamunda Krouncha pattane //
5.Alampure Jogulamba,
6.Sri shaile Bhramarambika
7./Kolha pure Maha lakshmi,
8.Mahurye Ekaveerika //
9.Ujjainyam Maha kali,
10.Peethikayam Puruhutika /
11.Odhyane Girija devi,
12.Manikya Daksha vatike //
13.Hari kshetre Kama rupi,
14.Prayage Madhaveshwari /
15.Jwalayam Vaishnavi devi,
16.Gaya Mangalya gourika //
17.Varanasyam Vishalakshi,
18.Kashmire tu Saraswati /
Ashtadasha Shakti peethani,
Yoginamapi durlabham //
Sayamkale pathennityam, Sarva shatri vinashanam /
Sarva roga haram divyam, Sarva sampatkaram shubham
The background of the story is like this: There was a great king called Daksha Prajapati who was son of Lord Brahma. He
had 27 daughters and Sati devi is one among them. Sati devi got married to Lord Shiva. When Dashka entered the arena of
a yaga performed by Agni, every one except Lord Shiva stood up as a mark of respect. Daksha felt insulted by Lord Shiva's
behaviour. Later when Daksha conducted a yaga him self , he did not invite his daughter and his son in law.As there was no
invitation from her Sati felt bad. Even then she wanted to attend the yaga against the wish of Lord Shiva.When Sati,
attended the yaga no body has cared for her and she felt insulted by the actions of her sisters and parents. Then when her
father started abusing her husband she could not control her feelings and sacrifed herself at the place of yagna by creating
agni from earth with her right thumb of her foot. Knowing this Lord Shiva got angry and removed one bunch of Jhatha from
his head and hit it on the earth. From that Lord Veerabhadra has born and rushed to yaga spot as dircted by Lord Siva and
killed Daksha by cutting his head. (later Daksha was given life by fxing a goat head) Later Shiva went to the spot and taken
the body of sati from the fre and started dancing with it. The world was terrorized from this Tandava Nritya and requested
Lord Vishnu to stop this Nritya. Knowingly well that Siva would not stop the Nritya unless the body of Sati is removed from
his hands, Vishnu used his Sudarshan chakra and completely cut the Sati's body in to pieces. These body parts have fallen
at various places in India and Srilanka and Where ever these parts have fallen the places are called Shaktipeethas. There
are 18 such places and they are called Ashta ( 8) Dasa (10 ) Shaktipeethas.The list of body parts fallen at these 18 places
are given below. If you observe them carefully some of the parts are not found in that list and people say that the remaining
parts have fallen at other places and as such the shakti peethas are 51 or 108
But this blog is designed based on the above shloka of Adi shankaracharya and confned to 18 peethas only
The order given below is as per the above shloka.
Shankari Devi,Trimkomali
1) Lankayam Shankari Devi:The temple of Shankari Devi supposed to be in Sri Lanka at Trimkomali. At present there is no
temple availble at this place and it is said the temple was destroyed by Portugese people between 16th to 17th century. My
friend who was in air force and posted in Sri Lanka has confrmed the same. As the temple is not there Shankari Devi drawn
by an artist is given.
Body part : Devi's Groin has fallen here.
Goddess Kanchi Kamakshi
Kamakshi Temple, Kanchi
2) Kamakshi Kanchika pure : The goddess is famous by kanchi kamakshi. A very popular shaktipeeth. It is 70 Km from
Chennai. Kanchi Kamakshi temple is situated at about 5 acres of land and has four entrances. The main entrance of the
temple has a Kalabhairavar deity on its left and the Mahishasura Mardini deity on the right. On the centre of the entrance
you can see a huge Dwajasthampa. Moving further to the entrance of the Kamakshi deity you can see a Vinayaga deity.
Moving on a straight line further, Goddess Kamakshi is visible. Goddess Kamakshi is surrounded by deities of Ayyapan,
Saraswati, Annaporani and Adisankaracharya on its outer prakaram. The Goddess also has Varahi, Arupalakshmi
Kalvarperumal (one of the 108 Divya Desam of Vaishanavities), Roopalakshmi and Arthanariswarar deities surrounding the
sanctorum of Goddess on its Gayatri Mandapam. There is Santhanasthampam inside the prakaram of Goddess which is
called the Nabisthan of the Goddess. There is a Srichakra Yantra (Sri Kamakoti Peetam) established by Jagadguru Sri
Adisankaracharya in front of the Goddess deity. There is also a temple tank inside the premises. Kamakshi temple has a
close relation with the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam and its successive Sankarcharyas. The temple has a gallery of
Adisankarcharya's Life history inside the temple premises itself. Goddess Kamakshi is the main deity and the temple is one
of the eighteen Shakti peetas. The temple is spelled as Nabisthana - Ottiyana peetam. The temple also has a golden
Gopuram on the sanctorum of the Goddess Kamakshi deity which is visible to all devotees.
Body part : Devi's Back part has fallen here.
Nabha Devi Temple ,Jammu
3) Pradyumne Sharinkhala Devi : The goddess here is called Sri Srukala Devi. The temple is supposed to be in Gujarat.
But I could not fnd it is spite of my staying for 5 days. Some one says it is at Prabhas pattan.Where Somanath temple is
there, the place is called Prabhas.It is 5Km from Veraval. One can go to Somanath by Somanath exp No 1464 which goes
from Jabalpur to somanath via Bhopal, Ujjain, Ahmedabad and Rajkot. Prabhas pattan is 79 Km from Junagaudh. It is said
that the temple was distroyed by Md Ghajani.
Some people say, the temple of Shrinkhala devi is near Kolkatta.It is said that it is in Hugli dist in a place by name Pandua.I
had been to the place where the temple of Shrinkhala devi was supposed to be in the past.but at present there is such
temple in the place. A minar was built there by muslim invaders. There were ruins of temple infront of minar.There is a
temple of Hanseswari mata which is regarded as Shakti peetha which is very close to this place.
Body part : Devi's stomach part has fallen here.
As there is no temple of Devi in both theplaces one can visit Nabha Devi temple in Jammu at a place called Jindrah near
Udhampur. Udhampur is 211 Km from Jammu. It is said that Devi's stomach part with navel has fallen here. As Nabhi(navel)
has fallen here, the deity is called Nabha devi.
Chamundeswari Temple
4) Chamunda Krouncha pattane : The goddess here is called Chamundeswari devi. A very popular temple in Karnataka.
The Chamundeswari Temple is situated on a hill in the neighborhood of Mysore. Krishnaraja III during the latter part of the
18th century built this temple tower. He gifted the Nakshatramalika jewel which has Sanskrit poesies engraved on it. The
temple is adorned with various epitomes of Nandi. The colossal Nandi is 15 feet wide and 24 feet long and was made during
the reign of Dodda Devaraja. It also has a seven foor gopuram. The idol of the Goddess is made of gold and the entrance
with shinning silver.
Body part : Devi's head hairs have fallen here.
Goddess Jogulamba
5) Alampure Jogulamba :The temple is 24 Km from Kurnool in Andhra pradesh.Old temple of Jogulamba was destroyed by
Bahamani sultans in the 14th century. The idols of Jogulamba and her two shaktis Chandi, Mundi were protected from them
and placed in Bala brahmeswara swamy temple untill 2005. Now, a new temple was constructed in the same place and the
godess was shifted in to it. New temple of Jogulamba is very much beautiful to see with a nice granite fooring. It is
surrounded by a water pool. Villagers of Alampur tell an interesting reason for it: "Jogulamba is an Ugra rupa (highly
energetic and hard to worship) and this water pool makes the atmosphere cool so that we can easily worship her".Idol of
Jogulamba is typical. She is in sitting position. She has huge amount of hair with lizard, scorpion, bat and a human scull in
it. Idols of Saptamatrikas, Vighneswara and Veenapani veerabhadra are also present in the temple. Original Chandi Mundi
idols were left in Bala brahmeswara swamy temple and new idols are made and placed in Jogulamba temple. Alampur is
called as "City of Temples". All of them are very old and famous for their sculpture. The entire temple campus was built on
the bank of river Tungabhadra. Out of them, temples of Nava brahmas and the temple of Kanchi kamakshi are most
Body part : Devi's upper teeth row has fallen here.
Near by Places: Srisailam Jyotirlinga is 214 Km from Alampur.
Goddess Bhramarambhika
6) Sri shaile Bhramarambika : It is in Andhra Pradesh and it is well connected by road than train. One can go by bus or
taxi to Srisailam from Hyderabad. The distance is nearly 232 Km .Nearest railway stations are Vinukonda(120Km),
Markapur(85Km) and Kurnool(190Km). Markapur is in Guntur -Hubli route. It is said that Adi Shankaracharya has visited this
temple and composed Sivananda Lahari here. The goddess is Bhramarambika Devi and the main deity is called Lord
Body part :Devi's neck part has fallen here.
Nearest places: The famous Srisailam dam which is 512M length and 270M height and it is a major hydro power station of
Andhra Pradesh. Alampur Jogulamba temple is 24 Km from Kurnool. It is one of the 18 shaktipeethas.
Airport : Hyderabad
Stay: Accommodation is available easily like Hotels /dharma salas
Maha Lakshmi Temple
Shri Maha Lakshmi Devi
7)Kolha pure Maha lakshmi : Shri Mahalaxmi Temple of Kolhapur is dedicated to Goddess Mahalaxmi, the consort of Lord
Vishnu. It is believed that the Lord resides in this area, along with the Goddess. The temple holds the distinction of being
one of the Shakti Peethas in India and is held in great regard by the people of Maharashtra. One can fnd the mention of the
Mahalakshmi Temple of Kohlapur in the various puranas (holy books) of Hindu religion. It is believed to have been built
somewhere around 700 AD, by the rulers of the Chalukya Empire.The temple holds special signifcance for the devotees,
since it is believed to be one of the six places in India, where one will either get his desires fulflled or obtain salvation from
them. The image of the deity has been placed on a stone platform. The Goddess is shown having four arms and crowned
with a beautiful tiara, which has been made of precious gemstone and weighs approximately 40 kilograms. The crown has
been adorned with an image of the Sheshnag, the serpent regarded as the vehicle of Vishnu.In each of the four hands of
the Goddess is a diferent object, believed to have symbolic value. The lower right hand holds a mhalunga (a citrus fruit) and
the upper right hand holds a large mace (kaumodaki). In the upper left hand is a shield (khetaka), while in the lower left
hand, there is a bowl (panpatra). Besides the idol stands a stone statue of a lion, considered as the vehicle (vahana) of
Goddess Mahalakshmi. The image of Goddess Mahalaxmi looks towards the west (Pashchim) direction.Unusual
Phenomenon On the western wall of the Mahalaxmi Temple of Kolhapur is a small window. It has been built in such a way
that every year, the light of the setting sun falls on the face of the deity for three days. This phenomenon is noticed every
year and it takes place around 21st of March and September
Body part : Devi's eyes (three) have fallen here.
Ekaveerika Devi, Mahur
8) Mahurye Ekaveerika : Ekaveerika devi temple is in Mahur , Maharashtra. This place is famous for Renukadevi temple
and most of the people are not knowing about Ekaveerika temple and quote Renukadevi temple as shaktipeetha. It is in
Yavatmal district in Maharashtra. Kinwat is 50 and Nanded is 126 km from the temple. Nagpur is 210 km by road from
Mahur. It is said that Ekaveerika Devi is the elder sister of Renukadevi.The temple is 800 years old. Here pan patta and
supari ofer as prasad after grinding it as a paste. Other temples which we can see here are Parashuram Temple, Jamadgni
temple and Anasuya temple. Ekaveerika Devi temple is 8 km from Yavatmal in Nanded high way and 300M from the main
road. We could not fnd and poojari in the temple. Opposite to the temple there is one Gomata samadhi. The story about this
samadhi no body could tell us. Mahur assumes prominence as the birthplace of Lord Dattatraya.
60 km from Mahur there is one pracheen shiva temple at Manpur which is 850 years old.
20 km from Yavatmal Chinta mani Ganesh temple is there at Kalam. It is one of the eight Ganesh temples in Vidarbha and it
faces south.
Body part : Devi's right shoulder has fallen here.
Airport :Sonegaon(Nagpur) . Kinwat railway station is the nearest rail head.
For more details please visit my new blog at the following URL address
Hara Sidhi Mata Temple
9) Ujjainyam Maha kali : Maha kali temple is in Ujjain. Here the devi is called as Hara Sidhi Mata and if you ask by Maha
kali temple people may not be able to tell about this. Though it is a shakti peetha people are not aware of this.
Ujjani is famous for Maha Kaleswar Jyothirling. The deity here is called as Mahakaleswara. Ujjain is 50Km(2hrs) from
Indore. Or you can drop at Ujjain while going to Somanath by train.You are allowed to touch the jyotirlinga when rush is not
there. The decoration of the linga is diferent in the morning and evening. One should not miss the evening decoration which
is made with the clay from the river shipra. It is said that the Vibhodhi used in the temple comes from the burial ground.
Body part :Upper lip of goddess sati has fallen here.
Ujjain is place of historical importance and there are many places of tourist interests like Ghat Kalika(Kalidas aradhana
devi ) temple,Char Dham mandir, bethala pipale tree, temple built by king Vikramaditya and Kala Bhirava temple where
liquor is ofered as prasada, Bada Ganapathi mandir ,Mangalanath Temple, Gopal mandir,Iskon mandir,Sandeepani Ashram
and Bhookhi mata temple. You can see the rare potriat of King Vikramadithya in the court hall near Hara Sidhi mata temple.
Stay : Mahakalewara trust Dharma sala which is neat and clean.Local tourist bus is available which takes 4 hours to cover
the above places. MP tourism bus charges Rs50 and private bus charges Rs36.
Food : Pooha is availble in the break fast. Near the main temple Idlis are available in Hotel Shivam
Puruhutika Devi (AP)
10) Peethikayam Puruhutika : It is in Pithapurem in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.The temple of Puruhutika
devi is located within the temple campus of Kukkuteswara swamy. Kukkuteswara swamy temple is present in the outskirts of
the Pithapuram village towards Kakinada. It is a big temple. Just entering in to the temple we will see a pond which is called
as Padagaya sarovaram (Pada Gaya Sarovar). Pilgrims will take holy bath in this pond. Main temple of Kukkuteswara
swamy is present towards the right side of the pond. Puruhutika devi temple is present in the North-East corner of the
Kukkuteswara swamy temple. It is constructed facing South. Puruhutha temple is small but looks very nice with the carvings
of Ashtadasa Shakti peethas on it's walls.The idol of Puruhuthika devi has four hands. They contain bag of seeds (Beeja),
axe (Parashu), lotus (Kamala) and a dish (Madhu patra) from lower-right to lower-left in order.Previously there were two
sects of Upasakas in Pithapuram worshiping Puruhootika devi. The frst one calling her as Puruhootha Lakshmi (Meditating
on Kamala and Madhu patra) and worshiping in Samayachara and the second one calling her Puruhoothamba (Meditating
on Parashu and Beeja) and worshiping in Vamachara. There is also a tale that the original statue of Puruhutika devi was
buried under the temple which was worshiped by them. Pithapuram has many important temples: 1). Kukkuteswara swamy
temple: It is the main temple in Pithapuram.2). Hunkruthi Durga / Humkruthi Durga: Also called as Humkarini Durga. She is
present in the Garbha griha of Kukkuteswara swami towards the left.3). Rajarajeswari: She is the Deveri (wife) of
Kukkuteswara swamy. Also present in the same campus.4). Sripada Srivallabha Dattatreya: This temple of Lord Dattatreya
is present in the South-West corner of the temple.5). Kunthi madhava: This is an old temple of Lord Sri Krishna located in
Pithapuram village.
Body part :Devi's left hand has fallen here.
Girija Devi Temple
Girija Devi
11) Odhyane Girija devi :It is in Jajpur in Orissa. The presiding deity of Jajpur Asta dasha shakti peetha is Goddess Girija
Devi. Goddess Girija Devi is also worshipped with various names such as Goddess Birija Devi, Goddess Virija.
Jajpur is located at a distance of 120 Kms from Bhuvaneshwar, the capital city of Orissa. Jajpur has a rich cultural and
historical reference in several hindu scriptures. This place was ruled by King Jajati Kesari in the 10th Century. Hence, the
name of the town became Jajpur. Once it was the capital city of Kalinga emperors. Jajpur is also called as Baithangi
Theertha or Birija Kshetram. The whole idol of Goddess Girija Devi is decorated with fower garlands and gold jewelry. We
can see only the face of Goddess Birija. The idol is decorated with silver crown full of jewels. Goddess Girija Devi blesses
her devotees with her pleasant smiling face and charming looks. Another signifcance aspect of this temple is , a well near
the main temple of Girija Devi in which devotees perform ritual rites to their ancestors. It seems the depth of the well is
somewhere around 4 to 5 feet but it never dried up till now.
Body part : Devi's navel has fallen here.
12) Manikya Daksha vatike : Drakasharama is located in East Godavari district near Kakinada. Rajahmundry is the nearest
airport. Draksharama constitues one of the fve Arama kshetras of Andhra Pradesh, sacred to Shiva, the other four being
Kumararama, Ksheerarama and Bheemarama and Amararama. Draksharama, Sree Sailam and Kaleshwar together
constitute the three sacred Shivalingams of Andhra Pradesh, giving it its ancient name Trilinga Desh. Draksharama is one of
the important centers of Shiva worship in Andhra Pradesh.Several legends tie together the fve Pancharama temples
dedicated to Shiva. Legend also has it that Vyasa installed the Shivalingam at Draksharama. Legend also has it that
Draksharama was the site of Daksha yagna. Since it is believed that Sati immolated herself at the site of her father's
sacrifcial hall, no sacrifcial yagna rituals are performed here.The Bhimeswara temple at Draksharama has two prakarams.
The outer prakaram is pierced with four entrances each with a gopuram. The gopuram on the west is a fve tiered one. The
entrance to the inner prakaram is on the south. A pillared two storeyed verandah lines the inner prakaram
(tiruchutrumaaligai in the ancient temples of Tamilnadu). The sculptural work in the mukha mandapam depicts clear
Chalukyan features.There are shrines to Lakshmi Narayana, Sankaranarayana, Ganapati and the Navagrahas.The sanctum
is two storeyed. The walls surrounding both levels are beautifed with sculptural work. Two fights of stairs lead to the upper
level of the sanctum. Bhimeswara is enshrined in the form of a ten feet high Shivalingam in the sanctum. Shiva's consort
here is Manikyamba.Mahashivaratri and Navaratri are some of the festivals celebrated heHistory: This temple was built by
the Eastern Chalukyan King of Vengi - Bhima, during very troubled times (9th -10th centuries), when his kingdom was under
attack by the Rashtrakootas. Inscriptions reveal that he had to fght as many as 360 battles. Chalukya Bhima also built the
Chalukya Bhimeswaram temple at Samalkota nearby. The Draksharamam temple contains as many as 400 inscriptions
going back to the 11th century. These inscriptions can be traced back to the Eastern and the Western Chalukyas as well as
the Cholas and Kalinga rulers.How to reachAir : The nearest airport to Draskharamam is in Vijayawada at Ryali Templea
distance of 185 km. Rail :The nearest rail head is in Kakinada at a distance of 17 km. Road : One can easily reach
Draskharam by bus from Kakinada and Rajahmundry.
Body part : Devi's left cheek has fallen here.
Kamakhya temple
13) Hari kshetre Kama rupi : This shakti peetha is in Assam near Gauhati. The deity is called Kmamkhya Devi. This temple
consists of three major chambers. The western chamber is large and rectangular and is not used by the general pilgrims for
worship. The middle chamber is a square, with a small idol of the Goddess, a later addition. The walls of this chamber
contain sculpted images of Naranarayana, related inscriptions and other gods. The middle chamber leads to the sanctum
sanctorum of the temple in the form of a cave, which consists of no image but a natural underground spring that fows
through a yoni-shaped cleft in the bedrock. During the Ambuvaci festival each summer,the menstruation of the Goddess
Kamakhya is celebrated. During this time, the water in the main shrine runs red with iron oxide resembling menstrual fuid.
It is likely that this is an ancient Khasi sacrifcial site, and worshiping here still includes sacrifces. Devotees come every
morning with goats to ofer to Shakti.
The Kalika Purana, an ancient work in Sanskrit describes Kamakhya as the yielder of all desires, the young bride of Shiva,
and the giver of salvation.Shakti is known as Kamakhya.
The Kamakhya Temple in Assam symbolizes the "fusion of faiths and practices" of Aryan and non-Aryan elements in
Assam. The diferent names associated with the goddess are names of local Aryan and non-Aryan goddesses (Kakati 1989,
p38).The yogini tantra mentions that the religion of the Yogini Pitha is of Kirata origin.According to Banikanta Kakati, there
existed a tradition among the priests established by Naranarayana that the Garos, a matrilineal people, ofered worship at
the Kamakhya site by sacrifcing pigs (Kakati 1989, p37).
The goddess is worshiped according to both the Vamachara (left hand path) as well as the Dakshinachara (right hand path)
modes of worship (Kakati, 1989 p45). Oferings to the goddess are usually fowers, but might include animal sacrifces. In
general female animals are exempt from sacrifce, a rule that is relaxed during mass sacrifces (Kakati 1989, p65).
According to the Kalika purana, Kamakhya Temple denotes the spot where Sati used to retire in secret to satisfy her amour
with Shiva. According to a legend the Koch Bihar royal family was banned by Devi herself from ofering puja at the temple. In
fear of this curse, to this day no descendants of that family dares to even look upward towards the Kamakhya hill while
passing by. Without the support of the Koch royal family the temple faced lot of hardship. By the end of 1658, the Ahoms
under king Jayadhvaj Singha had conquered the Lower Assam and their interests in the temple grew. In the decades that
followed the Ahom kings, all who were either devout Shaivite or Shakta continued to support the temple by rebuilding and
renovating it.
Rudra Singha (reign 1696 to 1714) was a devout Hindu and as he grew older he decided to formally embrace the religion
and become an orthodox Hindu by being initiated or taking sharan of a Guru, who would teach him the mantras and become
his spiritual guide. But, he could not bear the thought of humbling himself in front a Brahmin who is his subject. He therefore
sent envoys to Bengal and summoned Krishnaram Bhattacharyya, a famous mahant of Shakta sect who lived in Malipota,
near Santipur in Nadia district. The mahant was unwilling to come, but consented on being promised to be given the care of
the Kamakhya temple to him. Though the king did not take sharan, he satisfed the mahant by ordering his sons and the
Brahmins in his entourage to accept him as their spiritual guru.
When Rudra Singha died, his eldest son Siba Singha (reign 1714 to 1744), who became the king, gave the management of
the Kamakhya temple and along with it large areas of land (Debottar land) to Mahant Krishnaram Bhattacharyya. The
Mahant and his successors came to be known as Parbatiya Gosains, as they resided on top of the Nilachal hill. Many
Kamakhya priests and modern Saktas of Assam are either disciples or descendants of the Parbatiya Gosains, or of the Nati
and Na Gosains. Being the centre for Tantra worship this temple attracts thousands of tantra devotees in an annual festival
known as the Ambuvaci. Another annual celebration is the Manasha Puja. Durga Puja is also celebrated annually at
Kamakhya during Navaratri in the autumn. This fve day festival attracts several thousand visitors.
Body part : Devi's Vulva (yoni) has fallen here.
14) Prayage Madhaveshwari : It is in Prayag (Allahabad) in Uttar Pradesh. The temple
here it is called as MATAJI ka temple (or LALITA ) by the locals. You can go by auto or riksha from the rail way station.
Ananda bhavan and Hanuman temple are the othere place of interest. Since this temple is little away from the main road,
you have to sepcify for this particualrly as it is not very famous. Evening at 7 pm every day Harati is performed. Locals are
not calling the devi as Madhaveshwari.
Body part : Devi's fngers have fallen here.
Jwalamukhidivi Jwala mukhi Temple
15) Jwalayam Vaishnavi devi : Jwalamukhi temple is in Himachal Pradesh at Kangra
Other Deities at Kangra are Mahakali, Unpurna, Chandi, Hinglaj, Bindhya Basni, Maha Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ambika and Anji
Ancient legends speak of a time when demons lorded over the Himalaya mountains and harassed the gods. Led by Lord
Vishnu, the gods decided to destroy them. They focused their strengths and huge fames rose from the ground. From that
fre, a young girl took birth. She is regarded as Adishakti-the frst 'shakti'.
There is a copper pipe in this temple through which natural gas comes out and the priest of the temple lights this.
Body part : Devi's head part has fallen here.
MangalaGouri Temple,Gaya
(a rare photo)
16) Gaya Mangalya gourika : The Mangalagauri temple in Gaya (Bihar) has been mentioned in Padma Purana, Vayu
Purana and Agni Purana and in other scriptures and tantric works. The present temple dates back to 1459 AD. The shrine is
dedicated to Shakti or the mother Goddess in the predominantly Vaishnavite pilgrimage center of Gaya. Mangalagauri is
worshiped as the Goddess of benevolence. This temple constitutes an Upa-Shakti Pitha - where it is believed that a part of
the body of Shakti fell - according to mythology. Here Shakti is worshiped in the form of a breast symbol, a symbol of
nourishment.The temple is facing east, and is built on top of the Mangalagauri hill. A fight of steps and a motorable road
lead to the temple. The sanctum houses the symbol of the Goddess and it also has some fnely carved ancient relief
sculptures. A small hall or mandap stands in front of the temple. The courtyard also houses a fre pit for the home. There are
also two minor shrines dedicated to Shiva and images of Mahishasura MardiniGaya is one of the most famous spiritual
destinations in India. Gaya is located in Bihar and stands on the bank of Falgu River. Gaya in India is held holy and pious by
both Hindu and Buddhists. The narrow by lanes with age old buildings, beautiful natural surroundings with rocky hills on the
three sides and river fowing by the city on the western side makes the city look beautiful and elates the spiritual atmosphere
of the place.
The city derived its name from the demon, Gayasur who is said to have resided in this area. It is said that Lord Vishnu killed
the demon by crushing him under his feet. On his being crushed, the demon got transformed into numerous rocky hills that
form the topography of the city today. Then the deities decided to sit over the dead demon and that is the reason why one
can fnd numerous temples over these surrounding rocky hills. It is said that any one who touched him or looked at him were
fred of all sins. Mangla Gauri, Rama Shila, Brahmayoni and Shringa Sthan are the places where one can fnd temples on the
hill tops and which comprise of the pilgrimage circuit of the city.
The Mangla Gauri shrine in Gaya, one of the most holy sites has two rounded stones which symbolizes the breasts of the
Goddess Sati, who is regarded as the frst wife of Lord Shiva.
Vishnupad Temple is marked by a footprint of Vishnu. This footprint is the signifcance of the act of Lord Vishnu crushing
Gayasur under his foot. The temple that stands today was rebuilt by Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar in the 18th century. As per the
Buddhist tradition and culture, this footstep mark is regarded that of Lord Buddha who is said to be the avatar of Vishnu.
The temples and the Ghats that are present by the River Falgu are also of great spiritual signifcance. Some trees are also
held sacred by the Hindus and in Gaya one would fnd Pipal trees, Akshayavat and the undying Banyan which are also
ofered prayers and oferings in huge numbers by the pilgrims coming into the city.
Gaya is held as an important spiritual center by Hindus as a site which ofers salvation to the souls. Buddhists hold Gaya as
an important pilgrimage center because of the presence of the Brahmayoni or the Gayasia hill where Buddha preached the
Fire Sermon or the Adittapariyaya Sutta.
Body part : Devi's breast part has fallen here.
Goddess Visalakshi
17) Varanasyam Vishalakshi : It is most famous jyotirlinga out of 12(14). It is well connected by train from New Delhi,
Kolkatta, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and other major cities. The deity is known as Lord Kasi Visweswar and goddess is
known as Kasi Visalakshi. You can do abisheka yourself .Original temple was destroyed many times and fnally by
Auranagazeb and rebuilt byMaharani Ahilya Bai in 1776.
Stay: Many dharmasalas and hotels are available
Places of interest: The new Viswanath temple in the university complex
Body part : Devi's wrist has fallen here.
18) Kashmire tu Saraswati : The Sharda Temple is located in Kishanganga Valley just across the Line of Control (LoC) in
Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK) in a small village called Shardi at the confuence of River Kishanganga and River Jhelum
which fows from Kashmir.
In 1948, during raids by Pakistani tribal raiders, the village fell into Pakistani hands.
A famous learning centre of Kashmiris, it is identifed by noted historians and chroniclers including Al Beruni (1130 ad) and
M A Stein, who visited the temple in 1892, (in Rajtarangini) as one of the most important temples of the Hindus equivalent to
the Shiva Lingam of Somnath, Vishnu of Thaneshwar and Surya of Multan.
Abul Fazl in Ain-i-Akbari (16th century) says that on every eighth day of the month at the time of full moon, the temple
"shakes and produces the most extraordinary efect." He however does not explain the "extraordinary efect."
The temple is so vital to Kashmiris that Kashmiri language has the script of Sharda, which is little similar to Devanagari.
Kalhana in Rajatarangini has said, devotees of Durga and Shiva from all over the country would fock to the temple of
Sharda which can be approached from Bandipur in North Kashmir, about 80 km from Srinagar.
Through centuries the temple had remained the object of worship and devotion of lakhs of pilgrims from all over the country.
Though in ruins now, the entire temple complex inspires grandeur and awe.
The temple had a massive library attached to it which had priceless works on art, science, literature, architecture, music,
humanities, medicine, astrology, astronomy, philosophy, law and jurisprudence and sanskrit etc. The library was used by
scholars from even neighbouring countries.
Kashmir was also called "Shardapeeth" (the base of Sharda), the name being derived from the temple.
Body part : Devi's right hand has fallen here
Saraswathi Temple , Kashmir
As it is not possible to visit this shaktipeetha, one can visit the famous Sarwathi temple in Basara in Nizamabad district of
Andhra Pradesh. Basara is 200 km from Hyderabad.
Gnana Saraswathi
Basara temple:
Located on the banks of river Godavari, the Gnana Saraswathi Temple at Basara situated about 40 kms from Nizambad
district head quarters and 70 Kms from Nirmal town of Adilabad district. Situated at a distance of 205 kms (approx) from
Hyderabad, the Saraswati temple at Basara is one of the two famous Saraswati temples in India, the other being in Jammu
& Kashmir. Legend has it that Sage Vyasa during his stay here used to bring daily three handfuls of sand after a bath in
Godavari and kept it at a place, which transformed as the images of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali. How ever, according to
Brahmandapuranam, Adikavi Valmiki installed Saraswati and wrote Ramayana here. There is a marble image of Valmiki and
his samadhi near the temple. It is believed that this temple is one of the three temples constructed near the confuence of
Manjira and Godavari rivers by Ashtrakutas. According to another school of thought Bijialudu a Karnataka king, who ruled
the province of Nandagiri with Nanded as his capital in the sixth century, constructed the temple at Basara. The image of
Lakshmi stands besides Goddess Saraswati in the sanctum sanctorum. Due to the presence of Saraswati, Lakshmi and
Kali, Basara is considered as the abode of the divine trinity on the Bank of the River Godavari which is 40kms from
Nizamabad on Adilabad district border.
Now a days there is heavy rush of pilgrims coming to Basara to perform Akshara abhyasam for the children. According to
the legend Maharishi vyasa and his disciples and sage Suka decided to settle down in a cool and serene atmosphere after
the kurukshetra war. In the quest for the peaceful abode, he came to Dandaka forest and pleased with serenity of the region
selected this place. After his ablutions in the river Godavari Maharishi Vyasa used to bring three fstful of sand and place it in
three small heaps and made images Sarada, Laxmi, Gowri with his mystic power and later conducted prayers. This idol
made of sand has its face smeared with turmeric. Eating a little bit of this turmeric paste, it is believed, will enhance ones
wisdom and knowledge. Many people, in fact, take their kids to Basara for Akshara abhyasam before commencing formal
school education. Special poojas and celebrations are held at the temple during Maha Sivarathri, beginning 15 days before
(Vasantha Panchami) and continuing 3 days after the festival. Devi Navarathrulu is celebrated for ten days during Dasara.
Since Maharishi Vyasa spent considerable time in prayers, the place was then called Vasara and turned into Basara due to
the infuence of the Marathi language in the region.
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