Shakthi Peeth is a place of worship of Shakti or Devi, the female representation of divine power in Hinduism. It is believed that these places of worship, scattered around Indian subcontinent are the places where the body parts of Lord Shiva’s concert Sati has fallen after Lord Vishnu cut through her corps with his Sudarshana Chakra.
The Legend of Shakthi Peethas
Sati, the consort of Shiva was the daughter of Daksha Prajaapati . Sati married Shiva against the wishes of her father. Daksha performed a great yagna (with the sole aim of insulting Shiva), to which he invited all of the gods and goddesses except his son in law Shiva. Sati had expressed her desire to attend the Yagna to Shiva who had tried his best to dissuade her from going. Shiva eventually allowed her to go escorted by his Bhooth ganas (followers). But Daksha did not respect the uninvited guest. Moreover he insulted Shiva in front of others . Unable to bear the insult Sati immolated herself by jumping into the Yagna fire. Enraged at the insult and the injury, Shiva destroyed Daksha’s sacrifice, cut off Daksha’s head, and replaced it with that of a goat as he restored him to life. Still crazed with grief, he picked up the remains of Sati’s body, and danced the dance of destruction through the Universe. Fearing that his Krodh will destroy the world, Lord Vishnu intervened to stop the dance. Vishnu with his Sudarshana Chakra, cut through the corpse of Sati. The body parts of Sati fell at several places in Indian subcontinent which includes Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Tibet. These places become centres of Devi Worship, and is known as Devi peethas.
Below are the 53 Devi Peethas
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Devi’s Ottiyana (Ornament covering stomach) fell here. Devi is worshipped as Kamakshi and Bhairav as Kala Bhairav
Kamakshi Amman Temple is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Kamakshi a divine form of Parvati. It is located in the historic city Kanchipuram, near Chennai, India and is popularly associated with Adi Sankaracharya, one of the greatest Hindu saints. Along with Madurai Meenakshi, Thiruvanaikaval Akilandeswari, Vishalakshi Varanasi, Kamakshi is an important part of worship of Parvati.
It is interesting to note that the main deity is seated in a majestic Padmasana posture, a yogic posture signifying peace and prosperity, instead of the traditional standing pose in most other temples of Parvati. The goddess holds a sugarcane bow and lotus and parrot in the lower two of her arms (Many of the Hindu god forms generally have four arms) and has the two divine instruments Pasa and Angusa in her upper two arms.
Indrakshi / Nagapooshani
Location – Sri Lanka, in Nainativu, Jaffna
Hand Bhairava – Rakshaseshwar / Naayanar
Indrakshi was created and worshipped by Indra itself. Asura King Ravana also worshipped Indrakshi here.
Location – near from Sukkur Station from Karachi, Pakistan
Devi’s Eyes fell here. Devi is worshiped as Mahishmardini Bhairava – Krodhish
Location – situated in Shikarpur, Gournadi, about 20 km from Barisal town, Bangladesh, on the banks of Sonda river. Devi’s Nose fell here. Devi is worshipped as Sunanda Bhairav –Trayambak ( Rudra)
A large number of worshippers visit here on Shiva Chathurdashi , an occasion on the 14th Moon during march . The temple of Devi Sunanda is in the village Shikarpur which is 10 miles North of Barishal. The temple of Tryambak is in Jhalkati rail station. Ponabalia is under the village Shamrail situated on the bank of the river Sunanda (at present known as Soundha).
Amarnath in Kashmir
Devi’s Throat fell here. Devi is worshipped as Mahamaya . Bhairav as Trisandhyeshwar
Location – From Srinagar through Pahalgam 94 km by Bus, Chandanwari 16 km by walk . On the bypass Road, behind Bahu Fort, the city forest surrounds the ancient Mahamaya temple overlooking the river Tawi. A small garden surrounded by acres of woods provides the best view of the city.
Devi’s Tongue fell here . Devi is worshipped as Siddhida (Ambika) Bhairav as Unmatta Bhairav
Location: In Patankot, go to Jwalamukhi road station which is 20km from the temple.
There is a copper pipe in this temple through which natural gas comes out and the priest of the temple lights this. This flame is worshiped as a manifestation of the goddess Jwalamukhi. The nine flames have been named after Goddesses – Mahakali, Unpurna, Chandi, Hinglaj, Bindhya Basni, Maha Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ambika and Anji Devi. These flames burn continuously without any fuel or assistance and may be seen erupting from a rock-side.
Location – It is situated at a distance of approximately 65 kilometers from Palanpur and 45 kilometers from Mount Abu and 20 kilometers from Abu Road near the Gujarat and Rajasthan border.
Devi’s Heart fell here . Devi is worshipped as Ambaji
In the holy temple of “arasuri ambaji” there is no image or statue of goddess the holy “shree visa yantra” is worshiped as the main daity. No one can see the yantra with naked eye. Taking photos of the yantra is probhited. A large mela on Bhadarvi poornima (full moon day) is held.
Guhyeshwari Mahamaya Temple
Location – In Nepal, behind Pashupathi Nath Temple.
Devi’s both knees fell here. Devi is worshipped as Mahashira , Bhairav asKapali
Location: Tibet at the feet of Mount Kailash in Lake Mansarovar, a piece of Stone
Devi’s Right Hand fell here . Devi is worshipped as Dakshayani. Bhairav as Amar
Location – Utkal present Orissa, India
Devi’s Naval fell here. Devi is worshipped as Girija/Viraja/Biraja. Bhairav as Jagannath
Biraja Temple is one of the ancient Hindu temples located in the Jajpur district of Orissa, India. The main idol is Devi Durga who is worshiped by the name Biraja. The temple covers a large area, and it has several Shiva linga and other deities. Jajpur is also known as Biraja Kshetra. Devi here is mounted on a lion and holds a spear on one hand and the head of Mahishaswar on the other. Festivals are held at Durga Puja and Kali puja.
Location– Pokhara, Nepal about 125 km on the banks of Gandaki River where Muktinath temple is situated. Behind Muktinath Temple. Travel by foot 126 kms from Pokara. Cross the Gandaki River. The site is located just beside the Muktinath Temple.
Devi’s Temple fell here. Devi is worshipped as Gandaki Chandi Bhairava as Chakrapani
12 . Bahula
Location – on the banks of Ajay river, at Ketugram 8 km from Katwa, Burdwan, West Bengal, India
Devi’s Left arm fell here . Devi is worshipped as Goddess Bahula , Bhairav as Bahula Bhiruk
Location – 16 km from Guskara Station under Burdwan district of West Bengal, India
Devi’s Right Wrist fell here. Devi is worshipped as Mangal Chandika and Bhairav as Kapilambar
Location – at the top of the hills known as Tripura Sundari temple near Radhakishorepur village, a little distance away from Udaipur town of Tripura, India
Right Leg fell here. Devi is worshipped as Tripura Sundari and Bhairav as Tripuresh
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On the top of the hill is the Bhairav temple of this Shakti Peetha
Location – On the Chandranath hill near Sitakunda station of Chittagong District, Bangladesh. The famous Chandranath Temple on the top of the hill is the Bhairav temple of this Shakti Peetha, not the Shakti Peeth itself.
Devi’s Right Arm fell here. Devi is worshipped as Bhawani and Bhairav as Chandrashekhar
It is said that Mahadeva has himself pronounced that he will visit Chandrashekhar Mountain regularly during Kali yuga.
Location – at Salbari village under Boda division of Jalpaiguri district, West Bengal, India
Devi’s Left Leg fell here . Devi is worshipped as Bhraamari and Bhairav as Ambar
Location – at the Neelachal hills near Guwahati, capital of Assam, India
Devi’s Genital Organ fell here . Devi is worshipped as Kamakhya and Bhairava as Umanand
Kamakhya is located on a hill – Neelachala Parvat or Kamagiri near the city of Guwahati in Assam. Shakti, residing on the Kamagiri hill is known as Kamakhya, the granter of desires. Assam traditionally has been known as the Kamarupa Desa and has been associated with Tantric practices and Shakti worship.
This temple was destroyed in early 16th century, and then rebuilt in the 17th century by King Nara Narayana, of Cooch Bihar. Images of the builder and related inscriptions are seen in the temple.
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.
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 . 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.
The goddess is worshiped according to both the Vamachara (Left-Hand Path) as well as the Dakshinachara (Right-Hand Path) modes of worship. 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
Location – at Khirgram under Burdwan district, West Bengal, India
Devi’s Great Toe (Right) fell here. Devi is worshipped as Jugaadya and Bhairav as Ksheer Khandak
Location – (Kalighat, Kolkata), India
Devi’s Right Toes fell here. Devi is worshipped as Kalika and Bhairav as Nakuleesh
Kalighat temple has references in 15th century texts. The original temple was a small hut. The present temple was built by the Sabarna Roy Choudhury family of Barisha in 1809. They offered 595 bighas of land to the Temple deity so that worship and service could be continued smoothly. It is believed by some scholars that the name Calcutta was derived from Kalighata. In the early days traders halted at Kalighat to pay patronage to the goddess. The temple was initially on the banks of Hooghly. The river over a period of time has moved away from the temple. The temple is now on the banks of a small canal called Adi Ganga, connecting to Hooghly. The present dakshina Kali idol of touchstone was created by two saints – Brahmananda Giri and Atmaram Giri. It was Padmabati Devi, the mother of Laksmikanta Roy Choudhury who discovered the fossils of Sati’s finger in a lake called Kalikunda. This made Kalighat as one of the 51 Shakti Pithas
Location – near Sangam at Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Devi’s Finger (Hand) fell here. Devi is worshipped as Lalita and Bhairav as Bhava
Prayag is one of the ancient pilgrimage centers of India, and it represents the confluence of the rivers Yamuna and Ganga, near (in) the city of Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. Prayag is revered in the hymns of the Rig Veda. Tradition regards the region between the Ganga and the Yamuna as the most fertile region on earth.
Prayag is referred to as Triveni Sangamam – where it is believed that the subterranian river Saraswati also meets the Ganga along with the Yamuna.
Location – Kalajore Baurbhag village of Falzur Pargana under Jayantia Thana of Sylhet district, Bangladesh. This Shakti Peetha is locally known as Falizur Kalibari.
Devi’s Left Thigh fell here. Devi is worshipped as Jayanti and Bhairav as Kramadishwar
Jayanti is a small forest village within Buxa Tiger Reserve in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal, India. It is located along the Jayanti River, forming a natural border with the Bhutan hills. It is popular with hikers for its beautiful views of the surrounding landscape and wild fountains. The 13km trek from Buxaduar to Jayanti is especially popular, passing through the dense forest of the Buxa Tiger Reserve. Jayanti also features a stalactite cave known as the Mahakal cave. The nearest railway station is Rajabhatkhawa.
Location -at Kireetkona village, 3 km from Lalbag Court Road station under district Murshidabad, West Bengal, India
Devi’s Crown fell here. Devi is worshipped as Vimla and Bhairav as Sanwart
Location at Manikarnika Ghat on banks of Ganga at Kashi, Uttar Pradesh, India
Devi’s Earring fell here. Devi is worshipped as Vishalakshi & Manikarni and Bhairav as Kalbhairav
According to legend, the city was founded by the Hindu deity, Lord Shiva, around 5,000 years ago. Thus making it one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the country. It is one of the seven sacred cities of Hindus. Many Hindu scriptures, including the Rigveda, Skanda Purana, Ramayana, and the Mahabharata, mention the city.
Location – Kanyakumari the Bhadrakali temple within the precincts of Kumari temple, Tamil Nadu, India
Devi’s Back fell here. Devi is worshipped as Sarvani and Bhairav as Nimish
Kanyakumari takes its name from the Kumari Amman or Kanyakumari Temple, situated in the town, on the sea-shore, the very confluence of the three water-bodies – Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. In his work on ancient India, Ptolemy had identified Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin) along with the Gulf of Mannar as a centre for pearl fishery. He also identifies Korkai, a place to the east of Kanyakumari as an emporium of pearl trade
25.Kurukshetra or Thanesar
Location – at Haryana, India
Devi’s Ankle Bone fell here. Devi is worshipped as Savitri and Bhairav as Sthanu
Location – at Gayatri hills near Pushkar 11 km towards north-west from Ajmer, Rajasthan, India
Devi’s Two Bracelets fell here. Devi is worshipped as Gayatri and Bhairav as Sarvanand
27 . Shri Shail
Location – at Jainpur village, near Gotatikar, towards north-east 3 km from Sylhet town, Bangladesh
Devi’s Neck fell here. Devi is worshipped as Mahalaxmi and Bhairav as Sambaranand
Location – on the banks of Kopai River 10 km towards north-east from Bolpur station of district Birbhum, Devi locally known as KankaleshwariWest Bengal, India
Devi’s Bone fell here. Devi is worshipped as Devgarbha and Bhairav is worshipped as Ruru
Location – on the banks of Shon River in a cave over hills near to Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh, India
Devi’s Buttock (Left) fell here. Devi is worshipped as Kali and Bhairav as Asitang
Location – at the source Point of Narmada River in Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh, India
Devi’s Buttock (Right) fell here. Devi is worshipped as Narmada and Bhairav as Bhadrasen
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Location – at Chitrakuta on the Jhansi Manikpur Railway line in Uttar Pradesh, India
Devi’s Right Breast fell here. Devi is worshipped as Shivani and Bhairav as Chanda
Location – near new bus stand on Bhuteshwar road within Bhuteshwar Mahadev Temple, Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India
Devi’s Ringlets of Hair fell here. Devi is worshipped as Uma and Bhairav as Bhutesh
Location – in a Shiva temple at Suchindrum 11 km on Kanyakumari Trivandrum road, Tamil Nadu, India
Devi’s Teeth (Upper Jaw) fell here. Devi is worshipped as Narayani and Bhairav as Sanhar
Location – place not known (thought to be near Haridwar)
Devi’s Teeth (Lower Jaw) fell here.
Location – at Bhabanipur village 28 km distance from interior Sherpur. Alight at Bogra station under district Bogra, Bangladesh
Devi’s Left Anklet (Ornament) fell here. Devi is worshipped as Arpana and Bhairav as Vaman
Every year, two festivals take place at the Bhabanipur Temple premises. One is on the auspicious occasion of Maghi Purnima in the Bengali month of “Magh/Falgun” and another is on the auspicious occasion of Ram Nabomi in the Bengali month of “Chaitra”/”Baishak”.
There is a legend saying that while once a conch-bangles dealer was passing by the side of a lonely pond in a dense jungle near the then Bhabanipur temple, a little girl with a tip of vermilion on her forehead approached him and told him that she was the daughter of the Natore Rajbari (Palace). She bought a pair of conch-bangles from him and requested him to collect the price of that bangles from the then Maharani Bhabani from a basket kept in the Rajbari at a specified place. Her appearance and polite words overwhelmed the conch-dealer. The Maharani (Queen) rushed to the place/site with her men and the conch-dealer as soon as she heard this from him. On the earnest prayer by the conch-dealer, Ma Bhabani raised from that pond showing her two wrists with the conch-bangles worn. The Maharani and the men present there were surprised, and the divinity of Mother Bhabani spread throughout this subcontinent. This is that sacred “Shakha-Pukur” where the devotees take their holy bath when they go there.
Location – near Ladak, Kashmir, India. Another belief: at Srisailam in Shriparvat hills under Karnool district, Andhra Pradesh, India
Devi’s Right Anklet (Ornament) fell here. Devi is known as Shrisundari and Bhairav as Sundaranand
Location – at Tamluk under district Purba Medinipur, West Bengal, India
Devi’s Left Ankle fell here. Devi is known as Kapalini (Bhimarupa) and Bhairav as Sarvanand
Location – 4 km distance from Veraval station near Somnath temple in Junagadh district of Gujarat, India
Devi’s Stomach fell here. Devi is known as Chandrabhaga and Bhairav as Vakratund
Location – Located at Bhairav hills on the banks of Shipra River a little distance from Ujjaini town, Madhya Pradesh, India
Devi’s Upper Lips fell here. Devi is known as Avanti and Bhairav as Lambkarna
Location – at Godavari river valley near Nasik, Maharasthra, India
Devi’s Chin (Two Parts) fell here. Devi is known as Bhramari and Bhairav as Vikritaksh
Sarvashail or Godavaritir
Location at at Kotilingeswar temple on the banks of Godavari River near Rajamundry, Andhra Pradesh, India
Devi’s Cheeks fell here. Devi is worshipped as Rakini or Vishweshwari and Bhairav as Vatsnabh or Dandpani
Location – Near Bharatpur , Rajastan , India
Devi’s Left Feet toes fell here. Devi is worshipped as Ambika and Bhairava as Amriteshwar
Location – on the banks of Ratnakar river at Khanakul-Krishnanagar, district Hooghly, West Bengal, India
Devi’s Right Shoulder fell here. Devi is worshipped as Kumari Bhairav as Shiva
Location – near Janakpur Railway station on the boarder of India-Nepal
Devi’s Left Shoulder fell here. Devi is worshipped as Uma and Bhairav is known as Mahodar
Nalhati,known as “Nalateshwari Temple”
Location – near Nalhati station of Birbhum district, West Bengal, India
Devi’s Tubular Bones of the Feet fell here. Devi is known as Kalika Devi and Bhairav as Yogesh
Location -place not known
Devi’s Both Ears fell here. Devi is known as Jayadurga and Bhairav as Abhiru
Location – on the banks of Paaphara river, 24 km distance from Siuri Town, district Birbhum,7 km from Dubrajpur Rly. Station West Bengal, India
Devi’s middle portion between the eyebrows fell here. Devi is worshipped as Mahishmardini and Bhairav as Vakranath
The word Bakreshwar comes from the name of Lord Shiva worshipped in the locality. Bakra means bent or curved. Ishwar means God. Mythologically it is said that in Satya Yuga during the marriage ceremony of Lakshmi and Narayan, Astabakra Muni (then known as Subrata Muni) was insulted by Indra. The muni was so enraged that he developed 8 cripples in his body (Ashtabakra Muni means a sage with 8 curved cripples, probably kyphoscoliotic). Ashtabakra Muni was blessed by lord Shiva here after many years of Tapashya (meditation). This place is also famous as one of the 51 Shakti Pithas where there is a temple dedicated to Adi Shakti. This is a major pilgrimage spot for Hindus.
Location – situated at Ishwaripur, Shyamnagar, district Satkhira, Bangladesh. The temple complex was built by Raja Pratapaditya, whose capital was Ishwaripur.
Devi’s Palms of Hands & Feet fell here. Devi is worshipped as Jashoreshwari and Bhairav as Chanda
49 . Attahas
Location – village of Dakshindihi in the district of Bardhaman, near the Katwa Rail Station, in West Bengal, India
Devi’s Lips fell here. Devi is known as Phullara and Bhairav as Vishvesh
The place is in Bengal near Birbhum. Image of Devi and the Shiva temple is nextto the Devi temple. It is a major pilgrimage and tourist attraction.
From Birbhum to Ahmedpur to Labhpur (6.5 miles). Attahas is just East of Labhpur, around
115 miles from Kolkata. The temple of Vairab is beside the temple of Fullora. A deity made
of stone. It is so large that the lower leap of the goddess is about 15 to 18 feet wide
The temple is locally Known as “Nandikeshwari” temple.
Location – Earlier Nandipur/Now in Sainthia Town. Only 1.5 km from Railway Station under a banyan tree within a boundary wall, Birbhum district, West Bengal, India
Devi’s Necklace fell here. Devi is worshipped as Nandini and Bhairav as Nandikeshwar
Hinglaj (Or Hingula)
Location – southern Baluchistan a few hours North-east of Gawadar and about 125 km towards North-west from Karachi, Pakistan
Devi’s Bramharandhra (Part of the head) fell here. Devi is worshipped as Kottari and Bhairav as Bhimlochan
It is said that the head of Sati fell at Hingula or Hinglaj and is thus considered the most important of the 51 Shakti Peeths. At each of the Peeths, Bhairaba ( a manifestation of Shiva) accompanies the relics. The Bhariaba at Hinglaj is called Bhimalochana. The Sanskrit texts mention the part as ‘Brahmadreya’ or vital essence.
In the Ramayana, after slaying Ravana, Lord Ram came to Hinglaj to atone for his sin of ‘Brahmhatya’ (killing a Brahmin). Ravana was a Brahmin and a great devotee of Lord Shiva and Durga. Lord Ram meditated at Hinglaj as it was a very important shrine.
Danteshwari (Kuldevi of Bastar state)
Location – Dantewada 80 km’s from Jagdalpur Tehsil, Chhattisgarh
Devi’s Daant (Teeth) fell here. Devi is worshipped as Danteshwari and Bhairav as Kapalbhairv
Padmavati Devi (Padmavatipuri Dahm)
Location – 80 km’s from Satana Madhya Pradeah
Devi’s Padm fell here. Devi is worshipped as Padmavati