Navratri special: The origin and existence of the 51 Shaktipeethas

At all Shaktipeethas, Goddess Shakti is accompanied by Lord Bhairava (a manifestation of Lord Shiva).

Navratri special: The origin and existence of the 51 Shaktipeethas

The festival of Navratri is going on and people across the nation are busy worshipping Goddess Durga. The nine-day festival began on October 10 this year. Shaktipeethas are places of worship dedicated to Maa Durga and are spread throughout India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. If you are wondering about how these Shaktipeethas came into existence, there is a popular legend that describes the origins of the various Shaktipeethas.

The Legend:

According to a legend, King Daksha, who was one of the sons of Brahma, performed Vrihaspati Yagna with

the intention of taking revenge against Lord Shiva who had married his daughter Sati against his wishes. The

Yagna took place in Satya Yuga with all dieties invited except Shiva and Sati.

Sati wasn't invited to the Yagna yet she had a strong desire to attend it. Lord Shiva tried his best to stop her from going but eventually had to give in to his wife's desire and he allowed her to go along with his 'ganas' ( followers).

When she reached her parent's house, Sati wasn't given the treatment a daughter would expect. She was instead rebuked and insulted for having been married to a 'yogi'. The way her father insulted Shiva, her husband, was too much for Sati and she set herself ablaze by jumping into the pyre.

Lord Shiva was furious when he learnt about Sati's death and destroyed the place where the Yagna was held. King Daksha's head was severed off his body by the Ganas. After Daksha apologized for his foolish act, Lord Shiva replaced his head with that of a goat.

But the lord was struck by grief with his wife's death and he took Sati's body with him and started performing the dance of destruction, also known as Rudra Tandav.

Looking at Lord Shiva, other Gods requested Lord Vishnu to do something to stop this dance. Lord Vishnu, known as 'the preserver' cut Sati's body into 51 pieces with his Sudarshan Chakra to bring Lord Shiva back to his sanity.

The 51 parts of Sati's body fell at different places which are today known as Shaktipeethas.

At all Shaktipeethas, Goddess Shakti is accompanied by Lord Bhairava (a manifestation of Lord Shiva).

The 51 Shaktipeethas are as follows:

Sr. No.

Place

Organ or Ornament

Shakti

Bhairava

1. 

Hingula (Or Hinglaj), about 125 Km towards North-East from Karachi, Pakistan

Bramharandhra (Part of the head)

Kottari

Bhimlochan

2. 

Sharkrare, a little distance from Sukkar Station from Karachi, Pakistan

Eyes

Mahishmardini

Krodhish

3.

Sugandha, about 20 Km from Barisal, Bangladesh at Shikarpur on banks of Sondh river

Nose

Sunanda

Trayambak

4.

Amarnath in Kashmir, India from Srinagar through Pahalgaon 94 km by Bus, Chandanbari 16 Km by walk

Throat

Mahamaya

Trisandhyeshwar

5. 

Jwalamukhi, Kangra, India from Pathankot alight at Jwalamukhi Road Station from there 20 Km

Tongue

Siddhida (Ambika)

Unmatta Bhairav

6. 

Jalandhar, India from Jalandhar Cantonment Station to Devi Talab

Left Breast

Tripurmalini

Bhishan

7. 

Baidyanathdham, at Deoghar, Jharkhand, India

 

Heart

Jaya Durga

Baidyanath

8. 

Nepal, near Pashupatinath Temple at Gujyeshwari Temple

Both Knees

Mahashira

Kapali

9. 

Manas, under Tibet at the feet of Mount Kailash in Lake Mansarovar, a piece of Stone

Right Hand

Dakshayani

Amar

10.

Biraja in Utkal present Orissa, India

Navel

Vimla

Jagannath

11. 

Gandaki from Pokhara, Nepal about 125 Km on the banks of Gandaki river where Muktinath temple is situated

Temple

Gandaki Chandi

Chakrapani

12.

Bahula, on the banks of Ajay river, at Ketugram 8 Km from Katua, Burdwan, West Bengal, India

Left Arm

Goddess Bahula

Bhiruk

13.

Ujaani, 16 Km from Guskura Station under Burdwan district of West Bengal, India

Right Wrist

Mangal Chandika

Kapilambar

14.

Udaipur, Tripura, at the top of the hills known as Matabari near Radhakishorepur village, a little distance away from Udaipur town of Tripura, India

Right Leg

Tripur Sundari

Tripuresh

15.

Chatral or Chôţţogram at the top of Chandranath hills near Sitakunda station of Chittagong district, Bangladesh

Right Arm

Bhawani

Chandrashekhar

16.

Trisrota, at Salbari village under Boda division of Jalpaiguri district, West Bengal, India

Left Leg

Bhraamari

Ambar

17.

Kamgiri, Kamakhya, at the Neelachal hills near Guwahati, capital of Assam, India

Genital Organ

Kamakhya

Umanand

18.

Jugaadya at Khirgram under Burdwan district, West Bengal, India

Great Toe (Right)

Jugaadya

Ksheer Khandak

19.

Kalipeeth, (Kalighat, Kolkata), India

Right Toe

Kalika

Nakuleesh

20.

Prayag near Sangam of Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

Finger (Hand)

Lalita

Bhava

21.

Jayanti at Kalajore Bourbhog village of Khasi hills under Jayantia Parganas of Sylhet district, Bangladesh

Left Thigh

Jayanti

Kramadishwar

22.

Kireet at Kireetkona village, 3 Km from Lalbag Court Road station under district Murshidabad, West Bengal, India

Crown

Vimla

Sanwart

23.

Varanasi at Manikarnika Ghat on banks of Ganga at Kashi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Earring

Vishalakshi & Manikarni

Kalbhairav

24.

Kanyashram, Kanyakumari the Bhadrakali temple within the precincts of Kumari temple, Tamil Nadu, India

Back

Sarvani

Nimish

25.

Kurukshetra, at Haryana, India

Ankle Bone

Savitri

Sthanu

26.

Manibandh, at Gayatri hills near Pushkar 11 Km towards north-west from Ajmer, Rajasthan, India

 

Two Bracelets

Gayatri

Sarvanand

27.

Shri Shail, at Jainpur village towards north-east 3 Km from Sylhet town, Bangladesh

Neck

Mahalaxmi

Sambaranand

28.

Kanchi, on the banks of Kopai river 4 Km towards north-east from Bolpur station of district Birbhum, West Bengal, India

Bone

Devgarbha

Ruru

29.

Kalmadhav on the banks of Shon river in a cave over hills near to Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh, India

Buttock (Left)

Kali

Asitang

30.

Shondesh, at the source point of Narmada river in Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh, India

Buttock (Right)

Narmada

Bhadrasen

31.

Ramgiri, at Chitrakuta on the Jhansi Manikpur Railway line in Uttar Pradesh, India

Right Breast

Shivani

Chanda

32.

Vrindavan, near new bus stand on Bhuteshwar road within Bhuteshwar Mahadev Temple, Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

Ringlets of Hair

Uma

Bhutesh

33.

Shuchi, in a Shiva temple at Shuchitirtham 11 Km on Kanyakumari Trivandrum road, Tamil Nadu, India

Teeth (Upper Jaw)

Narayani

Sanhar

34.

Panchsagar place not known

Teeth (Lower Jaw)

Varahi

Maharudra

35.

Kartoyatat, at Bhawanipur village 28 Km distance from interior Serpur. Alight at Bagura station under district Bagura, Bangladesh

 

Left Anklet (Ornament)

Arpana

Vaman

36.

Shri Parvat, near Ladak, Kashmir, India. Another belief: at Srisailam in Shriparvat hills under Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, India

Right Anklet (Ornament)

Shrisundari

Sundaranand

37.

Vibhash, at Tamluk under district East Medinipur, West Bengal, India

Left Ankle

Kapalini (Bhimarupa)

Sarvanand

38.

Prabhas, 4 Km distance from Veraval station near Somnath temple in Junagadh district of Gujarat, India

Stomach

Chandrabhaga

Vakratund

39.

Bhairavparvat, at Bhairav hills on the banks of Shipra river a little distance from Ujjaini town, Madhya Pradesh, India

Upper Lips

Avanti

Lambkarna

40.

Jansthan, at Godavari river valley near Nasik, Maharasthra, India

Chin (Two Parts)

Bhramari

Vikritaksh

41.

Sarvashail or Godavaritir, at Kotilingeswar temple on the banks of Godavari river near Rajamundry, Andhra Pradesh, India

Cheeks

Rakini or Vishweshwari

Vatsnabh or Dandpani

42.

Birat, near Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India

Left Feet Fingers

Ambika

Amriteshwar

43.

Ratnavali, on the banks of Ratnakar river at Khanakul-Krishnanagar, district Hooghly, West Bengal, India

Right Shoulder

Kumari

Shiva

44.

Mithila, near Janakpur Railway station on the boarder of India-Nepal

Left Shoulder

Uma

Mahodar

45.

Nalhati, on a hillock near Nalhati station of Birbhum district, West Bengal, India

Tubular Bones of the Feet

Kalika Devi

Yogesh

46.

Karnat place not known

Both Ears

Jayadurga

Abhiru

47.

Vakreshwar, on the banks of Paaphara river, 7 Km distance from Dubrajpur station, district Birbhum, West Bengal, India

Portion between the eyebrows

Mahishmardini

Vakranath

48.

Yashor, at Ishwaripur, district Khulna, Bangladesh

Hands & Feet

Yashoreshwari

Chanda

49.

Attahas, 2 Km distance from Labhpur station district Birbhum, West Bengal, India

Lips

Phullara

Vishvesh

50.

Nandipur under a Banyan tree within a boundary wall near Sainthia Railway station, district Birbhum, West Bengal, India

Necklace

Nandini

Nandikeshwar

51.

Lanka place not known (One opinion is this temple is in Trincomalee, but destroyed during portuguese shelling. Only a pillar remains. This temple is near to the more famous Trikoneshwara temple)

Anklets

Indrakshi

Rakshaseshwar

 

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