The four Adi Shakti Peethas are the four shrines dedicated to Goddess Sati. The four temples are amongst the 51 Shakti Peetha Shrines established across the Indian Subcontinent. The Adi Shakti Peetha temples are located in the three Eastern states in India. These shrines are Tara Tarini Adi Shakti Peetha in Odisha, Vimala Adi Shakti Peetha in West Bengal, Kamkhya Adi Shakti Peetha Assam and Kalighat Adi Shakti Peetha Odisha.
Adi Shakti Peetha shrines have their mention in some of the most sacred Hindu literature including Shiva Purana, Devi Bhagvata and Kalika Purana. Every year devotees from all across the world visit the for Adi Shakti Peethas to worship Goddess Sati and the power of womanhood.
What is the history of Adi Shakti Peethas?
The mythological tales related to the Adi Shakti Peethas can be linked to the Puranic God, King Daksha who is regarded as one of sons of Lord Brahamas. The ten manas putra were created and Brahama created Daksha from his right thumb. King Daksha’s daughter was Sati who married to Lord Shiva but her father was unhappy by her choice of husband. After the marriage, King Daksha once performed a grand Vedic Yagna. All the Gods were invited but he did not invite Sati and Shiva. Angered by the disrespect, Sati threw herself into the fire, to make it impure.
Sati was a goddess and later was reborn as Parvati. The grief-struck Shiva and in anger and sorrow of losing Sati, he took her body on his shoulder and began the tandav (dance of cosmic destruction). It was believed that Shiva’s anger had the power to destroy the world. He had vowed that his tandav will not stop until Sati’s body would have completely gone away. In order to calm down Shiva’s rage, other Gods requested Vishnu to find out a solution. Vishnu followed Shiva, wherever he wandered doing the tandav. Vishnu used his Chakra to destroy the corpse of Sati. As Shiva performed the tandav, it is said that different parts of Sati’s body fell at different places the Indian Subcontinent.
There are 51 pieces of Sati’s body that fell at different places and it is believed that in all these places Shakti Peethas have been established and the powerful goddesses are worshipped in these shrines. There four Adi Shakti Peethas are from the 51 Shakti Peethas that have special mention in some of the important religious texts as the Devi Bhagavata, the Kalika Purana, the Shiva Purana, Pithanirnaya Tantra, and the Ashta Shakti. All the four Adi Shakti Peethas are in the eastern states of India. Dakshina Kalika in Kolkata, West Bengal called Mukha Khanda, Kamkhya Temple in Guwahati, Assam called Yoni Khanda, Tara Tarini/ Purnagiri in Berhampur in Odisha called Sthana Khanda and the fourth Vimala Temple in Jagannath Puri, Odisha called Pada Khanda.
The Kalika Purana and Ashtashakti mention it as:
- बिमल़ा पादखंडनच
- स्तनखंडनच तारिणी
- कामाख्या योनिखंडनच
- मुखखंडनच कालिका
- अंग प्रत्यंग संगेन
- विष्णुचक्र क्षेतेन्यच’
- (Bimala Pada khandancha,
- Stana khandancha Tarini (Tara Tarini),
- Kamakhya Yoni khandancha,
- Mukha khandancha Kalika (Dakshina Kalika)
- Anga pratyanga sanghena Vishnu Chakra Kshyta nacha)
Adi Shakti Shrines also have their mention in Brihat Samhita that specifies the location of the four shrines as “रुशिकुल्या तटे देवी, ताराकाश्या महागिरि, तस्य श्रुंगे स्थिता तारा, वशिष्ठ रजितपारा”
- (“Rushikulya* Tatae Devi,
- Tarakashya Mahagiri,
- Tashya Srunga Stitha Tara
- Vasishta Rajitapara)
The trip Tara Tarini temple will lead the devotees to one of the four highly revered ‘Adi Shakti Peethas’ in India. Located in Behrampur city in Ganjam district of Odisha, it is one of the many manifestations of ‘Adi Shakti’ or the Supreme Being worshipped in the Shaktism sect of Hinduism. This beautiful stone temple is situated atop the Kumari Hills or the Tarini Parvat on the banks of river Rushikulya, which is regarded as the elder sister of river Ganga according to Hindu mythology.
Tara Tarini temple is one of the oldest pilgrimage sites in the country. It is a stern belief by the people of the Hindu faith that the breasts of Sati Devi fell here after her self-immolation, making it one of the most venerated shrines in the country. Every year countless of devotees visit it to seek the Mother Goddess’ blessings. The religious and cultural prominence that Tara Tarini temple enjoys is quite peculiar and uncommon. It is located at a distance of about 35 km from the city of Behrampur.
Tara Tarini temple is also referred to as the Breast Shrine or the ‘Sthana Peetha’ is one of the most revered and ancient places of worship by people of both the Shakta and Tantric sect of Hinduism. The temple gets its name from the twin Goddesses- Tara and Tarini who are worshipped here. Set in the awe-striking geographical backdrop of Odisha, the temple is truly magnificent and one of a kind.
With an altitude of 214 (700 ft) metres on the top of Kumari Hills, this temple is grounded in a perfect scenic setting. The view of the hills and the valleys that the temple has to offer to its visitors is quite extraordinary and keeps attracting lakhs of tourists and pilgrims every year.
Tara Tarini Temple is situated about 35km away from Behrampur in the state of Odisha, India. Frequent taxis and buses are available from Behrampur, Puri and Bhubaneswar to Tara Tarini Temple.
A drive of approximately 1 hour from the city of Behrampur takes you to the foothill, followed by another 2.5 km motorable road to the temple. There are a total of 999 steps to the temple complex from the foothill.
Alternatively, you can choose the ropeway services to reach the shrine conveniently. The ticket fare for the same is Rs 40/ for two-way travel and Rs 28/ for one way. Along with being extremely convenient, the ride also provides an exotic view of the river Rushikulya and its lush green surroundings.
The timings for ropeway services are from 7:15 AM in the morning to 5.30 PM in the evening.
The nearest railway station to Tara Tarini temple is Behrampur which is located at a distance of 32 km from the temple. It is well connected to all the major cities of the country like Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bengaluru.
Bhubaneshwar (174 km) and Vishakhapatnam (240 km) are the nearest airports from the shrine.
The journey from Bhubaneswar which is at a distance 160km away from the shrine can be completed in about 2.5 hours by road.
Kalighat temple is the ancient Kali temple, popularly known as Dakshina Kalika. The journey to the Kalighat Temple is an unforgettable trip to the humble abode of Goddess Kali situated in the city of Joy, Kolkata.
Nestled on the banks of the Adi Ganga River (old course of Ganges) in the southern part of Kolkata, is an ancient Kalighat temple dedicated to Goddess Kali. It is one of the oldest of the fifty-one Shakti Peethas panning all over the Indian subcontinent. Kalighat Temple is popularly known as the “Dakshina Kalika” temple. Located in a small locality called Kalighat, this shrine is one of the most prominent temples in Kolkata.
It is a popular belief that the city of Kolkata got its name from this temple. Kalighat Temple is one of the four Adi Shakti Peethas formed after the self-immolation of Sati Devi. The main attraction in this temple is the presiding deity of Goddess Kali which is made up of black stone and is adorned with gold ornaments. The idol has three huge eyes, a long protruding tongue, and four hands, all of which are made of gold.
Kalighat temple witnesses a footfall of thousands of devotees of Kali visiting this temple to seek the Mother Goddess’ blessings. This Shakti Peetha or divine seat of Shakti pays homage to Dakshina Kali Devi (the benevolent Mother of the World). Tuesdays and Saturdays are considered especially auspicious by the visitors of Kalighat Temple.
The city of Kolkata is famous for its temples dedicated to Goddess kali. What makes the Kalighat temple unique is the image of Goddess Kali in this temple which is different from the other Kali images in Bengal. The present Dakshina Kali idol of touchstone is believed to have been created by two saints — Atmaram Brahmachari and Brahmananda Giri. Legend has it that they were the ones to discover the fossils of Devi sati’s body from the pond called ‘Kalikunda’.
Kalighat temple is considered to be one of the most popular and holiest pilgrimage sites in the country. It is located in a densely populated, small locality called Kalighat in the southern part of Kolkata in the state of West Bengal. Kolkata is well connected to all the major cities of the world. A lot of buses, taxis, and trams are available from all parts of the city to reach the temple.
The nearest railway station is Howrah Railway station which is about 7 km away from the Kalighat temple. Sealdah railway station is at a distance of 8 km from Kalighat.
The Kalighat Temple is at a distance of 20 km from Kolkata Airport which links it to all the major cities of the country.
Kamakhya Devi or Kamrupa Devis one of the oldest and the most revered shrines dedicated to Goddess Shakti in India. It celebrates womanhood and is considered extremely auspicious amongst the followers of Hinduism and some tantric worshippers.
Located on the Neelachal hills, in the western part of the beautiful city of Guwahati is the Kamakhya Devi temple, also known as the Kamarupa Devi temple. It is one of the oldest of the fifty-one Shakti Peethas panning all over the country. Kamakhya Devi Temple is also one of the four Adi Shakti Peethas lying in the lap of nature in the Kamgiri area of Assam. The lore of this temple revolves around the lives of God Shiva and Goddess Sati. With no sculpture or image of ‘Shakti’ present in the temple, it is the “Yoni” or the female genitalia which is worshipped by the devotees here at Kamakhya Devi Shakti peetha.
What is extraordinary about The Kamakhya temple is its celebration of womanhood. The incredible power of a woman to give birth is cherished here at Kamakhya. Kamarupa Devi also referred to as the “Bleeding Goddess” by some people that is the expression of ‘Shakti’ or feminine power that lives within each and every woman. The serenity of this temple is unparalleled and the breathtaking beauty of the hills of Assam makes it one of the most mesmerizing and peaceful temples in the country to visit.
The Kamakhya Devi Temple pays homage to Goddess Sati and is one of the eighteen Maha Shakti Peethas located all over India. More than 25 lakh tourists and pilgrims from across the globe visit this magnificent place of worship annually witness a perfect blend of faith and scenic beauty which gives them a unique sense of calm and helps them in being at peace with their own self.
Kamakhya Devi Temple is situated in the state of Assam, India. Located at a distance of approximately 8 KM from the city of Guwahati, this temple is easily approachable by a cab or a taxi, which run frequently from the city. Buses of the Assam Tourism Department also regularly ply to and from the various parts of the cities to the temple.
Kamakhya railway station is the nearest railway station to the temple.
The Temple is at a distance of 20 km from Guwahati Airport which links it to all the major cities of the country.
Popularly known as Pada Khanda, Vimala temple is nestled in the Jagannath temple complex in Puri, Odisha. Vimala temple is one of Adi Shakti Peetha shrines dedicated to Goddess Shakti in India. Located in the Jagannath temple complex in Puri, Odisha is this extraordinary temple which is considered to be the tantric consort of Jagannath and the guardian of the whole Temple Complex. Devotees pay their offerings to Devi Vimala before worshipping Lord Jagannath. She is considered to be an incarnation of the Mother Goddess ‘Shakti’ by people of the Hindu faith.
Vimala temple faces east and is located in the southwest corner of the inner enclosure of the temple complex. The sacred pond, Rohini Kunda is present next to the temple. In spite of being a small shrine in the temple complex, this Shakti Peetha is highly revered amongst the Shakta and Tantric worshippers.
Vimala Temple also enshrines seven Mother Goddesses along with the main deity that includes Brahmi, Maheswari, Andri, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, and Chamunda. Goddess Vimala is worshipped as the peaceful form of Shakti.
It is believed that Vimala Temple is where Sati Devi’s feet feel after her self-immolation and it is thus worshipped as the “Pada Khanda” or the Feet Shrine in Hinduism. This majestic temple on the western corner of the tower of Jagannath is made up of laterite and sandstone. The deity, Vimala (Bimala) Devi is highly venerated and considered to be a tantric manifestation of the Mother Goddess. Every year countless devotees visit this temple looking for the Goddess to bestow her blessings upon them.
Vimala temple is considered to be one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in the country. It is located in the Jagannath temple complex in Puri in the state of Odisha along with 30 other temples. Puri is well connected to all the major cities of the world. Vehicles aren’t permitted inside the temple complex.
Puri is connected to Bhubaneswar via mini -buses run by the state transport department while jeeps are available from Konark. There are two bus terminals in the city.
The nearest railway station is in Puri. Bhubaneshwar railway station is also
The Temple is at a distance of 56 km from Bhubaneswar Airport which links it to all the major cities of the country.
The four Adi Shakti Peethas are considered as some of the most important religious shrines with deep-rooted historical and mythological tales of origin. The temples celebrate Navratri at a large scale. Citywide celebrations occur and the Adi Shakti Peethas are decorated and vibrant in the true essence of goddess Shakti.
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