The untold story of mysterious Shakti Peeths in India! Where are they?

India is referred to as the holy land, it is referred to as the Punya Bhoomi which is marked by many historic events of God himself being in the place. Every place in India and every state has its own relevance which dates back to thousands of years.

But it is unfortunate that many of our own people do not know the real history of India. The main reason for this is most of our history has been twisted and modified hiding the real facts which have made people ignore the importance of Hinduism.

Shakti Peeth’s is one such mysterious story which has remained almost hidden and most people have no idea what are these Shakti Peeths and what exactly do they represent.

The story goes back to the early days where Lord Shiva married Goddess Sati who was none other than Adi Shakti herself. The event of Lord Shiva and Adi Shakti marriage is considered one of the most significant event in Hinduism. Adi Shakti is regarded as the mother of Lord Vishnu, Lord Mahadeva and Lord Brahma. During the creation of the world, Lord Brahma performed Maha Yagna to please Shakti who was embedded in Lord Shiva. The Shakti got separated from Lord Shiva and assisted him in stabilizing the universe. In order to unite Shakti and Lord Shiva back, Brahma orders his son Prajapati Daksha to obtain Shakti as his daughter.  After many years of prayers, Shakti was born in the form of a human with an intention to be married to Lord Shiva and unite them back. Daksha decides to name her Sati which means A pure one.

But along the process, Prajapati Daksha develops sheer enmity towards Lord Shiva after he chops off his father Brahma’s head during an argument. Therefore Prajapati Daksha decides that he will never get Sati married to Shiva in spite of his trusted God, Lord Vishnu advising him. But as Shakti is nothing but another part of Lord Shiva, she naturally got attracted to him and decides to get married to him.

However, Lord Shiva who is known to be Trikala Gnani (One who knows Past, present and future) stays away from Sati realizing the catastrophic effect that would happen to her if he gets married. But Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu felt that without the union of Lord Shiva and Adi Shakti the entire cosmic would lead to imbalance pushed Lord Shiva into marriage. The other matter which worried Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu were the Demon Tarakasuru who had obtained boon that he should only be killed by the son of Lord Shiva and no one else made it impossible for anyone else to rein in the demon.

This made Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma compel Lord Shiva to marry Sati. Despite knowing the future consequences, Shiva finally agrees to marry Sati. After facing many hurdles and humiliations from Daksha, Lord Shiva finally marries Sati and takes her to Mount Kailash where he resides.

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But Daksha’s hatred for Lord Shiva kept growing and finally turned against his own daughter Sati for going against his will. Sati though was Adi Shakti herself possessed human qualities which made her difficult to adjust to the lifestyle of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva who is eternal himself expected Sati also to realise her divine avatar. But Sati somehow failed to realise her real identity and retained the qualities of Humans.

In order to take revenge against Lord Shiva, Daksha organises a maha Yagna in Munimandala, the present Muramalla Andhra Pradesh. Daksha deliberately invites all the deities from Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma and every devatas except Lord Shiva and Sati.  But Sati who was very disturbed from her father’s action decides to attend the event despite not being invited. Sati who had great faith in her father assumes that her father would welcome her with open arms and forget all bitter moments. Lord Shiva who knew the repercussion, advises her not to attend the event. But Tarakasuru who did not want Lord Shiva and Sati to get together disguises himself as Narada Muni and provokes her to attend the event. Sati gets influenced by Takasura’s words, refuses to listen to Lord Shiva and proceeds to attend the event of her father.

When she arrived at her father’s place, what she witnessed was a great humiliation that she ever faced in her life. Her father Daksha speaks to her in most harsh words insulting her and Lord Shiva in every possible way which makes Sati fume with anger. Sati who realises the reason why Lord Shiva prevented her from coming here decides to self-immolate herself in the same Agni Kunda where the Yagna was taking place. Within minutes her body gets charred and falls on the ground.

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This incident angers Shiva to an extent that he decides to kill Daksha who was solely responsible for the death of his beloved wife. He creates Veerabhadra who is known for his anger and destructive capabilities and orders him to destroy the entire city and kill Prajapati Daksha. Within minutes, Veerabhadra destroys the Yagna Kunda and chops off Daksha’s head in anger as a revenge for abetting Sati to kill herself.

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Mahadeva who was engulfed in deep sorrow picks the dead body of Sati and walks away from everyone. He forgets the entire Universe, his responsibilities and mourns for days holding the body of Sati. Lord Vishnu understands that until the body of Sati is with Mahadev, he will not be able to come out of grief and hence decides to relieve Lord Shiva from Sati and orders his Sudarshana Charka to burn the body of Sati which will free her soul. As soon as the Sudarshan Chakra touches the body of Sati, it gets cut into 52 pieces and falls on various places on earth. Lord Mahadeva plunges into more grief and comes to earth searching for Sati.

In order for Sati to be reborn and fulfil her wish to unite with Shiva, the scattered pieces would require Lord Shiva himself to perform pooja at all places which would give ultimate freedom to the soul. Lord Mahadeva goes searching for all the pieces of Sati on earth and establishes a Shakti Peeth in each of the places where he found the body parts to be lying. Mahadev appoints Lord Bhairav as a protector at each and every Shakti Peeth to protect Sati.

As a result, 52 Shakti Peeth was established by Lord Shiva himself where Adi Shakti herself lies in the form of Sati and Bhairava standing as a protector for Sati. As a mark of love that he had towards Sati he himself stands beside her in the form of Shiva Linga in Shakti Peeth symbolizing that he can never be separated from his wife.

And this is the real meaning of Shakti Peeths where Goddess Adi Shakti herself rests. It is said there are 52 Shakti Peeths where body parts of Adi Shakti was found. However, there have been arguments on the number of Shakti Peeths saying there were 108 Shakti Peeths and not just 52.

Some of the Shakti Peeths and the body parts found are as follows:

A. Amarnath, from Srinagar through Pahalgam 94 km by Bus, Chandanwari 16 km by walk
B. Shri Parvat in Ladakh
Jammu and KashmirA. Throat
B. Anklet
At a village also named as Attahas or Ashtahas around 2 km east of Labhpur village road in the district of BirbhumWest BengalLipsPhullara
Bahula, on the banks of Ajay river at Ketugram, 8 km from Katwa, BurdwanWest BengalLeft armGoddess Bahula
Bakreshwar, on the banks of Paaphara river, 24 km distance from Siuri Town [a district headquarter], district Birbhum, 7 km from Dubrajpur Rly. StationWest BengalPortion between the eyebrowsMahishmardini
Bhairavparvat, at Bhairav hills on the banks of Shipra river in the city of Ujjaini. These Shaktpeeth known as Harsiddi temple.Madhya PradeshElbowAvanti
Bhabanipur, located in the Upazilla of Sherpur, Bogra, Rajshahi Division. Also located at Karatoyatat, it is about 28 km distance from the town of Sherpur.BangladeshLeft anklet (ornament)Aparna
Chhinnamastika Shaktipeeth at Chintpurni, in Una District of Himachal PradeshHimachal PradeshFeetChhinnamastika
Gandaki, Pokhara about 125 km on the banks of Gandaki river. Locals call as Bindyabasini Temple or Bhadrakali Temple.[9]NepalTempleGandaki Chandi
Goddess Bhadrakali on banks of Godavari in Nashik city (Saptashrungi)MaharashtraChin (2 parts)Bhramari
Hinglaj (Or Hingula), southern Baluchistan a few hours North-east of Gawadar and about 125 km towards North-west from KarachiPakistanBramharandhra (Part of the head)Kottari
Jayanti at Nartiang village in the Jaintia Hills district. This Shakthi Peetha is locally known as the Nartiang Durga Temple.MeghalayaLeft thighJayanti
Jessoreswari, situated at Ishwaripur, Shyamnagar Upazila, Khulna Division. The temple complex was built by Maharaja Pratapaditya, whose capital was Ishwaripur.BangladeshPalms of hands and soles of the feetJashoreshwari
Jwalaji, Kangra from Pathankot alight at Jwalamukhi Road Station from there 20 kmHimachal PradeshTongueSiddhida (Ambika)
Kalipeeth, (Kalighat, Kolkata)West BengalRight ToesKalika
Kalmadhav on the banks of Son River in a cave over hills near to AmarkantakMadhya PradeshLeft buttockKali
Kamgiri, Kamakhya, in the Neelachal hills in GuwahatiAssamGenitalsKamakhya
Kankalitala, on the banks of Kopai River 10 km north-east of Bolpur station in Birbhum district, Devi locally known as KankaleshwariWest BengalPelvisDevgarbha
Kanyashram of Balaambika – The Bhagavathy temple in Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of mainland India, Tamil Nadu (also thought to be situated in Yunnan province, China)Tamil NaduBackSarvani
Karnat, Brajeshwari Devi, KangraHimachal PradeshLeft BreastJayadurga
Kireet at Kireetkona village, 3 km from Lalbag Court Road station under district MurshidabadWest BengalCrownVimla
Locally known as Anandamayee Temple. Ratnavali, on the banks of Ratnakar river at Khanakul-Krishnanagar, district HooghlyWest BengalRight ShoulderKumari
‘A.Locally known as Bhramari Devi in Jalpaiguri near a small village Boda on the bank of river Teesta or Tri-shrota (combination of three flows) mentioned in Puranas
B.Ma Malai Chandi Temple at Amta, Howrah
West BengalA. Left leg
B. Part of Left Knee
Manas, under Tibet at the foot of Mount Kailash in Lake Manasarovar, a piece of StoneChinaRight handDakshayani
Manibandh, at Gayatri hills near Pushkar 11 km north-west of Ajmer. People know this temple as Chamunda Mata Temple.RajasthanWristsGayatri
Mithila, near Janakpur railway station on the border of India and NepalNepalLeft shoulderUma
Nainativu (Manipallavam), Northern Province, Sri Lanka. Located 36 km from the ancient capital of the Jaffna kingdom, Nallur. The murti of the Goddess is believed to have been consecrated and worshipped by Lord Indra. The protagonist, Lord Rama and antagonist, Ravana of the Sanskrit epic Ramayana have offered obeisances to the Goddess. Nāga and Garuda of the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata; resolved their longstanding feuds after worshipping this Goddess.Sri LankaSilambu (Anklets)Indrakshi (Nagapooshani / Bhuvaneswari)
Nepal, near Pashupatinath Temple at Guhyeshwari TempleNepalBoth KneesMahashira
On Chandranath hill near Sitakunda station of Chittagong Division. The famous Chandranath Temple on the top of the hill is the Bhairav temple of this Shakthi Peetha, not the Shakthi Peeth itself.BangladeshRight armBhawani
Panchsagar Near Lohaghat (in Champawat District of Uttarakhand) nearly 100 km from nearest railway station Tanakpur.UttarakhandLower teethVarahi
Prabhas, 4 km from Veraval station near Somnath temple in Junagadh district. Local People call this temple as Kali Mandir, It is nearby Triveni Sangam.GujaratStomachChandrabhaga
Prayaga Madhaveswari known as Alopi Mata near Sangam at AllahabadUttar PradeshFingerLalita
Present day Kurukshetra town or Thanesar ancient SthaneshwarHaryanaAnkle boneSavitri/BhadraKali
Sharda Peeth on top Trikoot Hill, at MaiharMadhya PradeshRight breastShivani
Nandikeshwari Temple, locally known as Nandikeshwari Tala, is situated in Sainthia (Nandipur) town of Birbhum District.West BengalNecklaceNandini
Kotilingeswar Ghat temple on the banks of Godavari river near RajamundryAndhra PradeshCheeksRakini or Vishweshwari
Naina Devi temple in Bilaspur district of Himachal PradeshHimachal PradeshRight EyeMahishmardini
Shondesh, at the source point of Narmada River in AmarkantakMadhya PradeshRight buttockNarmada
Srisailam in Shriparvat hills under Kurnool districtAndhra PradeshRight anklet (ornament)Shrisundari
Shri Shail, at Joinpur village, Dakshin Surma, near Gotatikar, 3 km north-east of Sylhet townBangladeshNeckMahalaxmi
Shuchi, in a Shiva temple at Suchindrum 11 km on Kanyakumari Trivandrum roadTamil NaduUpper teethNarayani
Sugandha, situated in Shikarpur, Gournadi, about 20 km from Barisal town, on the banks of Sonda river.BangladeshNoseSugandha
Udaipur, Tripura, at the top of the hills known as Tripura Sundari temple near Radhakishorepur village, a little distance away from Udaipur townTripuraRight legTripura Sundari
Ujaani, at Mangalkot 16 km from Guskara station under Burdwan districtWest BengalRight wristMangal Chandika
Varanasi at Manikarnika Ghat on banks of the Ganges at KashiUttar PradeshEarringVishalakshi & Manikarni
Vibhash, at Tamluk under district Purba MedinipurWest BengalLeft ankleKapalini (Bhimarupa)
virat nagar district alwar, near BharatpurRajasthanLeft toesAmbika
Vrindavan, near new bus stand on Bhuteshwar road within Bhuteshwar Mahadev Temple, Katyayanipeeth. Vrindavan www.katyayanipeeth.org.inUttar PradeshRinglets of hairUma
Jalandhar, from Jalandhar Cantonment Station to Devi Talab.PunjabLeft BreastTripurmalini
Baidyanath DhamJharkhandHeartJaya Durga
KancheepuramTamil NaduOdyanam(Navel)Kamakshi
Jogadya (যোগাদ্যা), at Kshirgram (ক্ষীরগ্রাম) near Kaichar under Burdwan districtWest BengalGreat ToeJogadya (যোগাদ্যা)
Pithapuram under Kakinada Port TownAndhra PradeshHip PartPurohotika
Jwaladevi Temple, Shaktinagar, SonbhadraUttar PradeshTongueJwala Devi
Chandika Sthan , near Munger townBiharLeft EyeChandika Devi
Danteshwari Temple, DantewadaChhattisgarhTooth or daantDanteshwari devi
Juranpur, NadiaWest Bengal
Taratarini, GanjamOdishaBreast/StanTaratarini
Nalhateswari, NalhatiWest BengalStomach/NauliKalika

Few among these Shakti Peeths were destroyed by Mughals rulers and Muslim kings who occupied the place and converted them into Mosque. They looted, destroyed and ultimately the whole sanctity of the place was lost. One such example is Pandua temple in West Bengal which suffered in the hands of Mughals and foreign invaders. It is said that today the place is converted into a Muslim Minar and no pooja takes place either to Lord Shiva or Shakti. Even Jogulamba Temple in Andhra Pradesh is said to have been attacked by Muslim rulers, but the Hindu warriors were successful in saving the temple and reinstalled the Goddess.

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