In Hinduism, Shakti Peeth is considered the holiest shrine where thousands of people visit every year to seek the blessings of Goddess Shakti. Shakti Peeth is the temple that is dedicated to Goddess Sati. According to the ancient Hindu texts, there are 51 Shakti Peeths in the world out of which only 18 Shakti Peeths are considered as the major ones.
What are Shakti Peeth Temples?
Dedicated to Goddess Sati, Shakti Peeth temples are the temples that are considered as one of the holiest and important religious places for worship. There are 51 Shakti Peeth temples in total and only 18 Shakti Peeth temples are considered as the main Shakti Peeth temples. Shakti Peeth temples are scattered across different countries in Asia like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Tibet. Maximum of the temples are located in India and being the country with the highest Hindu population in the world, these Shakti Peeth temples attract thousands of visitors. Out of the 18 main Shakti Peeth, 4 temples are known as the Adi Shakti Peeth. Adi Shakti Peeth is the top 4 main Shakti Peeth according to ancient Hindu text. These 4 Adi Shakti Peeths are Kamakhya Temple, Kalighat Kali Temple, Maa Bhairavi Temple, and Vimala Shakti Peeth.
How were the Shakti Peeth Temples created?
Many legends narrate the story behind the creation of the Shakti Temples but the most popular and the most believed is one which is related to the death of Lord Shiva’s wife Goddess Sati.
Lord Brahma had a son named Daksha who later became a king and was called Raja(King) Daksha. King Daksha had many daughters, one of them was Sati. Sati was the youngest daughter of King Daksha. Sati fell in love with Lord Shiva and decided to marry him. But King Daksha opposed her decision of marrying Lord Shiva. Daksha over time developed a hatred for Lord Shiva when he realized that Lord Shiva was the person who beheaded one of the five heads of his father Lord Brahma. Goddess Sati fell in love with Lord Shiva and married him. Daksha was unhappy with his daughter’s decision of marrying Lord Shiva.
One day Lord Brahma was doing a yajna and he invited all the Rishis, Saints, and the Gods but he willingly decided not to invite Lord Shiva and Goddess Sati in the Yajna. Where all the gods and saints were invited, Lord Shiva who is the main god remained uninvited and this became an insult for Lord Shiva and Goddess Sati. Goddess Sati didn’t like how her father mistreated her and her husband to go to Lord Daksha’s palace to confront her father. There King Daksha insulted her and her husband Lord Shiva. As a devoted wife Goddess Sati couldn’t take her husband’s insult and decided to give her life. She immolated herself into the yajna fire and gave her life.
When Lord Shiva knew about this incident, he was full of rage and anger. He produced Virbhadra from his dreads. Virbhadra is the fierce and destructive form of Lord Shiva. He ordered Virbhadra to destroy King Daksha’s yajna and kill him. Virbhadra started his destruction and destroyed Daksha’s palace. When Daksha tried to escape, Virbhadra caught him and plucked out his head from his body. After killing Daksha, Virbhadra returned to Lord Shiva’s abode Kailash Mountains. Lord Shiva then reached Daksha’s palace and picked Goddess Sati’s burnt corpse on his shoulders and started wandering the universe. He was still angry and out of anger, he started doing Tandav, his dance of destruction. His dance was so fierce that it scared the rest of the gods. To save their life they went to Lord Vishnu because only he could help calm down Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva then sent his weapon Sudharshan Chakra and it dismembered Goddess Sati’s body into 51 pieces.
Every place where Goddess Sati’s body parts fell became a Shakti Peeth and the devotees started worshipping them as a form of Goddess Sati.
Out of the 51 Shakti Temples, 33 Temples are located in India and the rest of the 18 temples are located outside India in neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Tibet. Lets us have a look at the Shakti Peeth Temples that are located outside India.
Shakti Peeth Temples located outside India
These are some Shakti Peeth Temples that are located outside India
Jeshoreshwari Shakti Peeth Temple
Place: Ishwaripur Village
Jeshoreshwari Shakti Mandir is located in Ishwaripur Village of the Khulna District in Bangladesh. Jeshoreshwari Mandir is a shakti mandir dedicated to Goddess Sati and she is worshipped in the form of Goddess Kali in the Jeshoreshwari Shakti Mandir in Bangladesh. Along with Goddess Kali, Lord Shiva also appears in the form of Chanda in this temple. It is said that Jeshoreshwari Shakti Peeth is the place where the hands or the palms of Goddess Sati fell. Jeshoreshwari Mandir is also known as Jeshoreshwari Kali Temple in Ishwaripur Village. According to some legends, the temple was first discovered by the army general of King Pratapaditya when he saw a stone carved in the shape of hands. Later, King Pratapaditya who was a devotee of Goddess Kali built a Kali Temple. Recently, the Indian Prime Minister visited Jeshoreshwari Temple during his visit to Bangladesh.
Guhyeshwari Shakti Temple
Guhesyeshwari Shakti Peeth Temple is located in the city of Kathmandu in Nepal. It is one of the two famous Shakti Peeth temples of Nepal. The Pashupati Nath temple of Kathmandu is just a kilometer away from the Guhyeshwari Temple. Here the knees of Goddess Sati fell. In the Guhyeshwari temple, Goddess Sati is worshipped in the form of Devi Mahashira. Lord Shiva is also present in the temple in the form of Kapali. The name of the temple comes from the Sanskrit word “Guha” which means cave and the Sanskrit word “Ishwari” which means Goddess. In other words, Guhyeshwari means “Cave Goddess”. The temple was built by King Pratap Malla and is a commonplace of worship for the Hindus in Nepal and India. Guhyeshwari Temple is mainly famous for the tantric worshippers who visit the temple to seek blessings from Devi Mahashira.
Bhawani Shakti Temple
Place: Bogra District
The Bhabanipur Shakti Peeth Temple, also known as the Bhawani Shakti Mandir, is located in the Bogra District of Bangladesh. It is one of the 7 Shakti Peeth Temples that are located in Bangladesh. In the Bhawani Shakti Peeth, Goddess Sati is worshipped as Aparna Devi, and Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of Bhairava in this temple. It is said that this is the place where the left anklet of Goddess Sati fell. The Bhawani Shakti Mandir has numerous temples of the different deities which are visited by the Hindu people living in Bangladesh and some Indian Hindu people who go on a pilgrimage. The temple premise has 5 Shiva Temples out of which 1 Shiva Temple is dedicated to the Patal Bhairav form of Lord Shiva. Some other temples include Lord Vishnu Temple and Krishna Temple.
Hinglaj Mata Mandir
Place: Hingol National Park, Balochistan
Hinglaj Mata Mandir is a Shakti Peeth which is located in the Balochistan region of Pakistan. The temple is located inside a cave in the Hingol National Park. Hinglaj Mata Mandir is one of three Shakti Temples and one of the major temples in Pakistan. This is the place where the upper portion of Goddess Sati’s forehead fell. In the Hinglaj Mata Shakti Peeth Mandir, Goddess Sati is worshipped in the form of Hinglaj Devi and Lord Shiva in the form of Bhairav. The Hinglaj Temple doesn’t consist of any manmade idol of Goddess Sati or Hinglaj Mata, but a small round piece of stone covered with sindoor is worshiped by the devotees. Every year around 2,50,000 people from India visit Hinglaj Mandir. There are Hinglaj Temple in Gujarat and Rajasthan for the people who couldn’t visit Hinglaj Temple in Pakistan.
Sugandha Devi Temple
Place: Shikarpur Village, Barisal
Sugandha Devi Temple is one of the main Shakti Peeth Temples located in the Shikarpur Village of Barisal District of Bangladesh. In this temple, Goddess Sati is worshipped in the form of Sugandha Devi and Lord Shiva appears in the form of Tryambak Mahadev. Sugandha Devi Temple is the place where the nose of Goddess Sati fell and it became a Shakti Peeth. It is one of the most famous Hindu Temple located in Bangladesh and it is visited by many Hindu worshippers from Bangladesh. Some Hindu pilgrims from India also visit the temple. This temple is well known for the Shiva-Chaturdashi Festival which is celebrated every year.
Gandaki Chandi Temple
Place: Muktinath, Mustang District
Gandaki Chandi Shakti Peeth is one of the two Shakti Dham of Goddess Sati in Nepal. It is a part of the Muktinath Dham which is a temple of Lord Vishnu located in Muktinath of Mustang District of Nepal. In the Gandaki Chandi Temple, Goddess Sati appears in the form of Goddess Chandi Kali, and Lord Shiva appears in the form of Chakrapani. It is the place where the right cheek of Goddess Sati fell. Gandaki Chandi Temple got its name from the Gandaki River and the temple is situated at the banks of the Gandaki River. Muktinath is an important place of worship for the people following the Vaishnav principles.
Place: Bourbhag Village, Sylhet District
Maa Jayanti Shakti Peeth Temple is located in the Bourbhag Village of the Sylhet District of Bangladesh. In the Maa Jayanti Temple, Goddess Sati appears in the form of Goddess Jayanti, and Lord Shiva appears in the form of Lord Kradishwar. This is the place where the left thigh of Goddess Sati fell due to which the place was earlier known as Bamur. The name of the place was later changed to Baurgram and is commonly known as Bourbhag Village. The local Hindu people of Bangladesh know this place as Maa Jayanti Kalibari. Every year major festivals are celebrated in this temple and people from Bangladesh and India can be seen gathering together in this temple. It is an important place of worship for the Hindu people.
Dakshayani Shakti Mandir
Place: Kailash Mansarovar
There is a Shakti Peeth named Dakshayani Shakti Peeth Mandir located at the foot of the Kailash Mountains in Tibet. The Dakshayani Temple is also known as the Manasa Shakti Peeth because, in the Dakshayani temple, Goddess Sati appears in the form of Manasa Devi, and Lord Shiva appears in the form of Amar. Dakshayani peeth is the place where the right hand of Goddess Sati fell. There isn’t any idol of Goddess Dakshayani in this place but she is worshipped as a Stone Slab which is located at the bottom of the Kailash Mountains near the Kailash Mansarovar lake. Kailash Mountains is known as the abode of Lord Shiva and it is considered a Holy place for Hindu Worshippers. Every year thousands of people go on Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
Country: Sri Lanka
Shankari Shakti Peeth Temple is located in the Trincomalee District of Sri Lanka. The Shankari temple is considered a part of the Koneswaram Temple. In this temple, Goddess Sati appears in the form of Goddess Shankari, and Lord Shiva appears in the form of Trikoneshwar. This is the place where the heart of Goddess Sati fell. The Shankari temple was first founded by the saint Adi Shankaracharya but the original temple was ruined by the foreign Portuguese Invaders. The idol of the main deity Goddess Shankari was somehow preserved and a new temple was built in the place of the old temple. In the Shankari Temple premise, there is another Shiva Temple which is dedicated to the Trikoneshwar form of Lord Shiva.
The Chandranath Shakti Peeth Temple is located at the top of Chandranath Hill in the Sitakunda Village of Bangladesh. The temple is situated at the height of 1020 feet above sea level. In the Chandranath Temple, Goddess Sati is worshipped in the form of Goddess Bhavani, and Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of Lord Chandrasekhar. The right arm of Goddess Sati fell at the top of Chandranath Hill and the Chandranath Shakti Peeth is created there. The temple and the hill where the temple is located have their name from the Chandrasekhar avatar of Lord Shiva. The Chandranath Temple is one of the most beautiful temples which is created with beautiful white marble stones and ancient architecture.