About a week back I chanced upon a copy of Bhaskararaya‘s commentary on Sri Lalita Sahasranama.
I posted an article on this with the intention of posting some more on the subject.
Somehow I never got around dong it.
Reason was I wanted to get to know further details on Shakti worship and Tantra Shastra.
Though I am reasonably with the Tantra Shastra I had reservations.
Now , as it happens when I think of writing some thing, the reference books keep coming to me, with out my seeking them.
I have now two excellent references.
So the post.
Shati Peethas Locations
Apart from worshiping God as an Impersonal principle, Hinduism treats them as Personal Gods with Human Attributes.
Thus one would find Upanishads,Purusha Suktha efining or describing th Brahman as the Ultimate Reality,we also have Narayana Suktam,Sri Suktam,Vishnu Suktam,Durga Suktam, Rudra and Chamaka, not to speak of the innumerable Slokas.
In the case of Shaki or Devi Worship, the worship has gone into greater lengths and as a personal God, her Body parts are reported to have been scattered over a wide area, after the Self immolation of the Sati Devi at the Daksha Yaga.
There are various and differing versions as to the number of parts that have fallen.
“Bimala Pada khandancha, Sthana khandancha Tarini (Tara Tarini), Kamakshya Yoni khandancha, Mukha khandancha Kalika (Dakshina Kalika) Anga pratyanga sanghena Vishnu Chakra Kshyta nacha”
In Puri, inside the Jagannath Complex,Pada Bimala,
In Berhampur,Odisha, Breasts,
In Gwahati,Assam, Yonikanda, the Genital Organ,
In Kalighat,Kolkata, Mukhakanda ,Face,
AThese are the Four Adi Shakti Peethas
Further explaining the importance of these four Pithas, the “Brihat Samhita” also gives the location of these Pithas as (In Sanskrit) “Rushikulya* Tatae Devi, Tarakashya Mahagiri, Tashya Srunga Stitha Tara Vasishta Rajitapara” (Rushikulya is a holy river flowing on the foot hill of the Tara Tarini Hill Shrine”-The Astashakti and Kalika Purana.
Apart from this there are Fifty two Shakti Peethas spread over India,Bangladesh,Sri Lanka,Tibet and Pakistan.
According to the Pithanirnaya Tantra the 52 peethas are scattered all over India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and Pakistan. The Shivacharita besides listing 52 maha-peethas, speaks about 26 more upa-peethas. The Bengali almanac, Vishuddha Siddhanta Panjika too describes the 52 peethas including the present modified addresses. A few of the several accepted listings are given below. One of the few in South India, Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh became the site for a 2nd-century temple.
There is also a version which states that there are 64, 108.
Suggestions to improve the post are welcome.
The Fifty two Peethas List
- “Shakti” refers to the Goddess worshipped at each location, all being manifestations of Dakshayani, Sati; later known as Parvati or Durga;
- “Bhairava” refers to the corresponding consort, each a manifestation of Shiva;
- “Body Part or Ornament” refers to the body part or piece of jewellery that fell to earth, at the location on which the respective temple is built.
||State in India/Country
||Body Part or Ornament
||Amarnath, from Srinagar through Pahalgam 94 km by Bus, Chandanwari 16 km by walk
||Jammu and Kashmir
||Attahas village of Dakshindihi in the district of Bardhaman, near the Katwa railway station
||Bahula, on the banks of Ajay river at Ketugram, 8 km from Katwa, Burdwan
||Bakreshwar, on the banks of Paaphara river, 24 km distance from Siuri Town, district Birbhum, 7 km from Dubrajpur Rly. Station
||Portion between the eyebrows
||Bhairavparvat, at Bhairav hills on the banks of Shipra river in the city of Ujjaini
||Bhabanipur union, at Karatoyatat, 28 km distance from interior Sherpur upazila, Ratnapore District
||Left anklet (ornament)
||Chhinnamastika Shaktipeeth at Chintpurni, in Una District of Himachal Pradesh
||Gandaki, Pokhara about 125 km on the banks of Gandaki river where Muktinath temple is situated
||Goddess Saptashrungi (Goddess with 18 arms), at Vani in Nasik
||Chin (2 parts)
||Hinglaj (Or Hingula), southern Baluchistan a few hours North-east of Gawadar and about 125 km towards North-west from Karachi
||Bramharandhra (Part of the head)
||Jayanti at Nartiang village in the Jaintia Hills district. This Shakti Peetha is locally known as the Nartiang Durga Temple.
||Jessoreswari, situated at Ishwaripur, Shyamnagar, district Satkhira. The temple complex was built by Maharaja Pratapaditya, whose capital was Ishwaripur.
||Palms of hands and soles of the feet
||Jwalaji, Kangra from Pathankot alight at Jwalamukhi Road Station from there 20 km
||Kalipeeth, (Kalighat, Kolkata)
||Kalmadhav on the banks of Shon river in a cave over hills near to Amarkantak
||Kamgiri, Kamakhya, in the Neelachal hills near Guwahati
||Kankalitala, on the banks of Kopai River 10 km north-east of Bolpur station in Birbhum district, Devi locally known as Kankaleshwari
||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)
||Karnat, Brajeshwari Devi, Kangra
||Kireet at Kireetkona village, 3 km from Lalbag Court Road station under district Murshidabad
||Locally known as Anandamayee Temple. Ratnavali, on the banks of Ratnakar river at Khanakul-Krishnanagar, district Hooghly
||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
||Manas, under Tibet at the foot of Mount Kailash in Lake Mansarovar, a piece of Stone
||Manibandh, at Gayatri hills near Pushkar 11 km north-west of Ajmer
||Mithila, near Janakpur railway station on the border of India and Nepal
||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.
||Indrakshi (Nagapooshani / Bhuvaneswari)
||Nepal, near Pashupatinath Temple at Guhyeshwari Temple
||On 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.
||Panchsagar exact location not known (thought to be near Haridwar)
||Prabhas, 4 km from Veraval station near Somnath temple in Junagadh district
||Prayag near Sangam at Allahabad
||Present day Kurukshetra town or Thanesar ancient Sthaneshwar
||Ramgiri, at Chitrakuta on the Jhansi Manikpur railway line
||Sainthia, locally Known as Nandikeshwari temple. Only 1.5 km from the railway station under a banyan tree within a boundary wall, Birbhum district
||Sarvashail or Godavaritir, at Kotilingeswar temple on the banks of Godavari river near Rajamundry
||Rakini or Vishweshwari
||Vatsnabh or Dandpani
||Shivaharkaray, a little distance from Sukkur Station from Karachi
||Shondesh, at the source point of Narmada River in Amarkantak
||Shri Parvat, near Ladak, Jammu and Kashmir. Another belief: at Srisailam in Shriparvat hills under Kurnool district
||Right anklet (ornament)
||Shri Shail, at Joinpur village, Dakshin Surma, near Gotatikar, 3 km north-east of Sylhet town
||Shuchi, in a Shiva temple at Suchindrum 11 km on Kanyakumari Trivandrum road
||Sugandha, situated in Shikarpur, Gournadi, about 20 km from Barisal town, Bangladesh, on the banks of Sonda river.
||Udaipur, Tripura, at the top of the hills known as Tripura Sundari temple near Radhakishorepur village, a little distance away from Udaipur town
||Ujaani, 16 km from Guskara station under Burdwan district
||Varanasi at Manikarnika Ghat on banks of the Ganges at Kashi
||Vishalakshi & Manikarni
||Vibhash, at Tamluk under district Purba Medinipur
||Virat, near Bharatpur
||Vrindavan, near new bus stand on Bhuteshwar road within Bhuteshwar Mahadev Temple, Katyayanipeeth. Vrindavan
||Ringlets of hair
||Jalandhar, from Jalandhar Cantonment Station to Devi Talab.
||Birajong in Paro
First relating to Brahmanda Purana, one of the major eighteen Puranas, it mentions 64 Shakthi Peetha of Goddess Parvati in the Bharat or Greater India including present day India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Another text which gives a listing of these shrines, is the Shakthi Peetha Stotram, written by Adi Shankara, the 9th-century Hindu philosopher.
According to the manuscript Mahapithapurana (c. 1690 – 1720 CE), there are 52 such places. Among them, 23 are located in the Bengal region, 14 of these are located in what is now West Bengal, India, 1 in Baster (Chhattisgarh), while 7 are in what is now Bangladesh.
Rishi Markandeya composed the ‘Devi Saptashati’ or the seven hundred hymns extolling the virtues of the Divine Goddess at the shaktipeetha in Nashik. The idol is also leaning a little to the left to listen to the sages composition. The Saptashati or the “Durga Stuti” forms an integral part in the vedic form of Shakti worship.
Preserving the mortal relics of famous and respected individuals was a common practice in ancient India – seen in the Buddhist stupas which preserve the relics of Gautama Buddha. It is believed by some that these 64 peethas preserve the remains of some ancient female sage from whom the legend of Kali could have emerged and then merged with the Purusha – Prakriti (Shiva Shakti) model of Hindu thought.