Lankayam Shankari devi, Kamakshi Kanchika pure /Pradyumne Shrinkhala devi, Chamunda Krouncha pattane // Alampure Jogulamba,
Ujjainyam Maha kali, Peethikayam Puruhutika /Odhyane Girija devi, Manikya Daksha vatike //
Hari kshetre Kama rupi, Prayage Madhaveshwari /Jwalayam Vaishnavi devi, Gaya Mangalya gourika //
Varanasyam Vishalakshi, Kashmire tu Saraswati /
Ashtadasha Shakti peethani, Yoginamapi durlabham //
Sarva roga haram divyam, Sarva sampatkaram shubham
But this blog is designed based on the above shloka of Adi shankaracharya and confined to 18 peethas only
The order given below is as per the above shloka.
Kamakshi Temple, Kanchi
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 floor ‘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.
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 flooring. 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 important.
Body part : Devi's upper teeth row has fallen here.
Near by Places: Srisailam Jyotirlinga is 214 Km from Alampur.
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 Mallikarjuna.
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
Shri Maha Lakshmi Devi
Ekaveerika Devi, Mahur
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.
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.
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 offered 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
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 first 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.
Girija Devi Temple
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 flower 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 significance 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.
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 flows 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 fluid.
It is likely that this is an ancient Khasi sacrificial site, and worshiping here still includes sacrifices. Devotees come every morning with goats to offer 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 different 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, offered worship at the Kamakhya site by sacrificing 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). Offerings to the goddess are usually flowers, but might include animal sacrifices. In general female animals are exempt from sacrifice, a rule that is relaxed during mass sacrifices (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 offering 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 satisfied 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 five day festival attracts several thousand visitors.
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 fingers have fallen here.
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 Devi.
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 flames rose from the ground. From that fire, a young girl took birth. She is regarded as Adishakti-the first '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.
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 flight of steps and a motorable road lead to the temple. The sanctum houses the symbol of the Goddess and it also has some finely carved ancient relief sculptures. A small hall or mandap stands in front of the temple. The courtyard also houses a fire 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 flowing 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 find 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 find 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 first wife of Lord Shiva.
Vishnupad Temple is marked by a footprint of Vishnu. This footprint is the significance 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 significance. Some trees are also held sacred by the Hindus and in Gaya one would find Pipal trees, Akshayavat and the undying Banyan which are also offered prayers and offerings in huge numbers by the pilgrims coming into the city.
Gaya is held as an important spiritual center by Hindus as a site which offers 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.
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 finally 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
In 1948, during raids by Pakistani tribal raiders, the village fell into Pakistani hands.
A famous learning centre of Kashmiris, it is identified 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 effect." He however does not explain the "extraordinary effect."
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 flock 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
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 confluence 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 fistful 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 one’s 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 influence of the Marathi language in the region.
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