The Divine Story of SHIVA SHAKTI, and The SHAKTI PEETHS ::::

Shiva Shakti
The Story of SHIVA SHAKTI, and The SHAKTI PEETHS by Ashu Verma Chaubey
Shiva Shakti

During the nine days of Navratri, devotees from all across the globe throng Devi Peths (temples) in India and its neighbouring countries to get the divine blessings of Mahamaaya- Mahadevi Bhagwati. All the temples be it big or small, old or new, renowned or lesser known become the centre of gravity during this time as if pulling the whole universe towards themselves. Though it is not right to distinguish between the Devi sthaans, as according to Vedas and Puraans, God resides in every atom and every being, but still the Devi temples have been classified as Ashta Dasa or 18 Mahashaktipeeths and 51 Shaktipeeths spread across India and neighbouring countries.

Before we take a glimpse of these Shakti peeths, let’s get to know about how these Shaktipeeths came into existence.

The Legend of Shiva Shakti :

As the legend goes, Shakti was born to Prajapati(king) Daksh, a brahmin, and son of Brahma, as Sati. Sati had an inclination towards Lord Shiva and performed hard penance in order to get Shiva as her husband. King Daksh disliked Shiva for his appearance and lifestyle but Sati was adamant to marry Shiva. Though King Daksh married her off to Shiva but severed his ties with the couple. On the other hand, Sati went on to live with her husband at her home in Mount Kailash.

Later her father Daksh organized an Ashwamegh Yagna, where he invited all the gods but didn’t care to invite Sati or Shiva as he has had altercations with Shiva earlier. But Sati went there in spite of not being invited. She wanted to make her father understand his mistake but King Daksh ignored her and did not even offer prasad for Shiva, due to which Sati felt insulted and humiliated. Struck with profound grief, she cursed her father’s yajna and jumped into the holy fire and self immolated herself.

Shiva Tandaav

Hearing this, Shiva became extremely furious, and carrying her body in his arms, he started doing Tandava- the dance of destruction. Everybody was terrified as ‘Tandava’ had the power to destroy the entire universe, hence Lord Vishnu using his Chakra severed Shakti’s burnt body into 51 pieces and it is those places where Shakti’s body parts and jewellery fell, which came to be known as
As Shiva moved place to place doing Tandava with Sati in his arms, her body parts after being cut by the Sudarshan Chakra started falling to different places on earth and these places came to be known as Devi Shaktipeeths.

Now let’s go on to pay our reverence to these Devi Sthans. According to Shiva Puran and Devi Bhaagwat there are four major Shakti Peeths. They are Bimala Temple inside Jaganaath Temple, Odisha, Tara Tarini near Purushottampur, Odisha, Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, Assam, and Kalighat Temple in Kolkata, West Bengal. According to Adiguru Shankaracharya, there are 18 Maha Shaktipeeths at various locations, out of which Shaktipeeths at Kamakhya Devi, Gaya, and Ujjain are considered as the most important ones.

Now let’s take a trip to the 18 MahaShaktipeeths :::

Jai Ma Bhawani Lankayam Sankaridevi, Kamakshi Kanchika Poore, Pradyumne Shrunkala Devi, Kraunchapattane Chamundeshwari, Alampur Jogulamba, Srisaila Brahmarambhika, Kolhapur Mahalakshmi, Mahutye Ekaveenika, Ujjainyam Mahakali, Peethikayam Puruhitika, Odhiayam Girija devi, Manikyam Dakshavatike. Haritkshetre Kaamrupa, Prayage Madhaweshwari, Jwalayam Vaishnavi Devi, Gayayaam Mangla Gauri, Varanasi Vishalakshi ch Ksshmiretu Saraswatiyana……….

That is ::::::::
1) Shankari Temple at Trincomalee, in Sri Lanka where Maa’s heart had fallen. Here, she is known as Maa Shankari Devi.
2) Sharada Peeth at Sharda in Kashmir(Pakistan Administered), where her right hand had fallen. Here, she is known as Maa Sharda Devi. Sharadha Peeth is currently in a state of ruins today due to it falling in the LOC area.
3) Vishalakshi temple at Varanasi, where her earring had fallen. Here, Ma is worshipped as Maa Vishalakshi.
4) Mangla Gauri temple at Gaya in Bihar, where her breasts had fallen. Here, she blesses her devotees as Maa SarvMangla.
5) Jwalamukhi Temple at Kangra, where her tongue had fallen. At this place, Maa is worshipped as Maa Jwalamukhi.

An interesting fact about this place is that there are seven jyotis that are continuously burning supernaturally for ages and nobody has been able to locate the source of these jyotis and Maa too is worshipped here in the form of a jyoti.
6) Alopi Devi Mandir at Prayag Raj, where Maa’s fingers had fallen. Here Mahamaya is worshipped as Maa Madhaweshwari
7) Kamakhya temple in Guwahati, Assam where Maa’s womb or yoni fell. In this temple, Maa is worshipped as Maa Kamakhya.

This temple is different from others in the respect that in this temple ‘womanhood’ is celebrated. Maa Kamakhya is said to bleed for three days in a year and during those three days the water in the surrounding water bodies gets red supposedly due to the menstrual bleed. The temple remains closed for three days, before being opened on the fourth day when devotees throng the temple to pay their respect to Maa.
8) Bhimeswara temple at Draksharamam, Andhra Pradesh where Maa’s left cheek fell. Here Maa is worshipped as Maa Manikyamba.
9) Biraja temple in Jajpur, Odisha, where Maa’s Navel fell off. Here devotees worship Devi as Ma Viraja.

10) Kukkuteswara Swamy temple in Pithapuram, Andhra Pradesh, where Maa’s part of the back had fallen.
Her devotees throng this temple to get a darshan of Maa Puruhitika.

11) Shakambhari temple in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, where Devi’s head fell off. Here Maa is worshipped as Maa Shakumbhari Devi.
12) Eka Veerika (Renuka Temple)Temple at Mahur, Maharashtra where Sati’s left hand fell off. Here Maa blesses her devotees as Maa Ek Veerika(Renuka).
13) Mahalakshmi temple at Kolhapur, Maharashtra where Maa’s left eye had fallen. At this temple, Maa is worshipped as Aai Ambabai.
14) Brahmrambha Mallikarjuna Temple at Srisailam where Maa’s neck had fallen. Her Maa blesses her devotees as Maa Bhramarambhika.
15) Jogulamba Devi at Alampur, Gadwal district, Telangana where Devi’s upper teeth fell. Her Shakti avatar is known as Jogulamba Thali (Yogamba)

16) Chamundeshwari temple at Mysuru, Karnataka where Maa’s hair fell off. Here Maa Chamundeshwari is the presiding Deity.
17) Shrinkala temple at Pradmunyee, Bengal where a part of stomach fell off. Here Maa is worshipped as Maa Shrinkala
18) Kamakshi Amman temple at Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu where her navel had fallen. Her Shakti is known as Maa Kamakshi Amman.

Including these and in addition to these MahaShaktipeeths. There are 51 Shaktipeeths mentioned in Tantra Chudamani where Maa Parwati tells these details to her son Skanda.

We shall now visit these significant Durga Temples which are considered to be on the list of Shaktipeeths, State-wise and pay our reverence to Maa and her swaroops::::

Shaktipeeths in Jammu and Kashmir:::
Amarnath Temple in J&K where Maa’s throat had fallen. She is worshipped as Mahamaya here.

Shaktipeeths in West Bengal:::

She is worshipped as Maa Phullara in Attahas temple in Phullara where her lower lip had fallen, Goddess Bahula at Bahula temple, Ketugram where her left arm had fallen, Maa Mahishmardini in Bakreshwar temple in district Birbhum near Dubrajpur where her center portion between eyebrows had fallen, Goddess Kalika at Kalipeeth (her right toes had fallen here)

Maa Devbharga at Kankalitala in birbhum district where her pelvis had fallen, Ma Vimala at Kiriteshwari temple near Lalbagh court road in murshibad district(her crown had fallen here), Maa Kumari in Ratnavali, district Hooghly where her right shoulder had fallen, Maa Bhraamari/Tristotra at Jalpaiguri on the banks of Teesta river and at Maa Malai Chandi temple at Amta, Howrah where her left leg and part of left knee fell, Maa Nandini at Nandikeshwari temple in Sainthia(her necklace fell here)

Maa Mangal Chandika at Ujaani, Maangalkot where her right wrist fell, Maa Kapaalini in East Medinipur district where her left ankle had fallen, Maa Jogadya at Kshir gram where her great toe had fallen, and Maa Tara at Tarapith, Rampurhat where her third eye had fallen( She is the second Mahaavidya and a main form of Parwati Maa).

Shaktipeeths in Madhya Pradesh:::

Pic Courtesy: All World Temple

Maa Avanti and Maa Mangal Chandika at Bhairavparbat on the banks of Shipra in Ujjaini(also known as Harsiddhi Maa, her elbow had fallen here), Maa Shivani in Sharda Peeth on Trikoot hill at Maihar where her necklace had fallen, Maa Narmada at source point of Narmada river in Amarkantak where her right buttock fell and Maa Kalamadhav at Shahdol, where her left buttock had fallen.

Shaktipeeths in Uttar Pradesh:::

Pic Courtesy: All World Temple

Maa Lalita at Alopi Devi Mandir, Prayag where her fingers had fallen, Maa Vishalakshi and Maa Manikarni at Varanasi at Manikarnika Ghat where her face and earring had fallen, Maa Uma at Katyayani peeth at Vrindavan where her ringlets of hair fell, Maa Jwala Devi at Sonbhadra where her tongue fell and Maa Lalita Devi at Neemsaar, Sitapur where her heart fell. Maa Varahi at PanchSagar where her teeth are believed to have fallen.

Shaktipeeths In Odisha:::

She is worshipped as Maa Biraja at Biraja temple, Jajpur, where her navel had fallen, Maa Tara Tarini at Purushottampur where her breast had fallen and Maa Bimala inside Jagannath temple, Puri, where her foot had fallen.

Shaktipeeths in Himachal Pradesh:::

She is worshipped as Maa Siddhida(Ambika) at Jwalaji, Kangra where her tongue had fallen, Maa JayaDurga at Bajreshwari temple, Nagarkot, district Kangra where her left breast fell, Maa Mahishmardini at Naina Devi temple where her right eye had fallen and Maa Chinnamastika at Chintpurni Mandir where her foot had fallen.

Shaktipeeths in Tamil Nadu:::

She is worshipped as Maa Sarvani at the Bhagwati temple, KanyaKumari( where her spine had fallen). She is also believed to be situated in Yunnan province of China and at Gauri Kunda temple at SitaKunda, Chattogram, Bangladesh and Maa Narayani inside Shiva temple at Suchindrum where her upper teeth had fallen.

Shaktipeeths in Rajasthan:::

Maa Gayatri at Maniband near Pushkar where her wrists had fallen( locally it is famous as Chamunda Mata temple or Shri Rajrajeshwari Puruhuta shaktipeeth. She is worshipped as Maa Ambika at Virat Nagar, Alwar near Bharatpur, where fingers of her left feet had fallen.

Shaktipeeths in Gujarat:::

Maa Chandrabhaga at Prabhas near Somnath temple. It is locally known as Kali mandir and her stomach is believed to have fallen here and Ma Amba at Ambaji where a part of her heart is believed to have fallen.

Shaktipeeths in Andhra Pradesh:::

She is worshipped as Maa Bhuvaneshwari or Vishveshwari in Kotilingeshwar Ghat temple on the banks of Godavari where her cheeks had fallen, as Maa Bhramarambhika/Srisundari at SriSailam where part of her neck had fallen and Maa Purohotika at Pithapuram where her hip part had fallen.

She is also worshipped at the following Shaktipeeths as:::

Maa TripurSundari at Tripura Sundari temple near Udaipur town in Tripura where her right foot had fallen.

Maa Tripur Malini at Devi Talab Mandir, in Jalandhar, Punjab, where her left breast had fallen.

Maa Jaya Durga at Baidyanath Dham, Jharkhand, where a part of her heart fell.

Maa Chandika Devi in Chandi Sthan near Munger town, Bihar. Here her left eye is believed to have fallen.

Maa Savitri or Bhadrakaali at Kurukshetra, Haryana, where ankle fell.

Maa Jayanti at Nartiang village in Jaintia hills where her left thigh had fallen( this Shaktipeeth is locally known as Nartiang Durga Temple) in Meghalaya.

Maa Danteshwari Devi at Danteshwari temple, Dantewada, Chatissgarh. It is believed that her tooth fell here.

Maa Bhadrakaali/Bhramari, on the banks of Godavari in Nashik, Maharashtra where her chin had fallen.

Shaktipeeths outside India::::


She is worshipped as Maa Aparna at Bhabhanipur, Bogra Raajshahi Division and at Karatoyatat near Sherpur( her left anklet fell here), Ma Jashoreshwari at Jeshoreshwari Kali temple where her palms and soles are believed to have fallen, Maa Bhavani at Chandranath temple where her right arm fell, Maa Sugandha at Shikarpur near Barisal town where nose had fallen, Maa Mahalakshmi at Hatta Kali temple(also called Mahalakshmi Greeva peeth at Gotatikar), Sri Shail, where her neck fell and Ma Dhakeshwari at Dhakeshwari temple, Dhaka where Gem of her crown fell.


Maa Gandaki Chandi at Muktinath temple where her right cheek fell, Maa Uma at Mithila(Indo-Nepal border) where her left shoulder fell and Maa Mahashira at Guhyeshwari temple where her knees fell.


Maa Kottari at Hinglaaj Mata temple where a part of her head fell and Maa Mahishmardini at Shivharharay, near Karachi where her eyes fell.


Maa Dakshayani

Maa Dakshayani at Manas, Tibet at foot of Mount Kailash in lake Mansoravar where her right hand fell.

Sri Lanka:::

Maa Indrakshi(Bhuvneshwari) at Nainativu near the ancient capital of Jaffna where her anklets fell. (the idol of the goddess here is believed to have been consecrated and worshipped by Lord Indra, Lord Rama and Ravana too have offered their obeisances to the presiding deity here).

Apart from these important Devi Sthaans, there are many other temples of MahaMaayi Mahadevi, which are considered to be present among Durga Shakti Sthans and the centre of gravity for pilgrims during Navratri or for that matter all the year round.

The sounds of Jaikaara Sheravaali Maai ka, Bol Saache Darbaar Ki Jai reverberate day and night, twenty-four-by-seven at these DeviSthans, depicting the absolute power of the feminine. And one visits a Shakti peeth whenever there is a need of a new conscious pillar for enjoying the energy gifted by Mother Nature. It ignites the flame within us to discover our essence on the path of joyful living.

Hope you enjoyed visiting these Shaktipeeths with me Ashu through this blog. Thanks for being with me all through this journey.

May Maa Bhagwati bless us all with peace, prosperity, health, wealth, and happiness in abundance this Navratri and always.

-Ashu Verma Chaubey

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