18 Shakti Peethas

Shakti Peetha is a place of worship consecrated ashes of the Sati of goddess Shakti (Parvati)medak-badrakali-parvati

Lord Brahma performed a yajna (Vedic ritual of fire sacrifice) to please Shakti and Shiva. Goddess Shakti emerged, separating from Shiva and helped Brahma in the creation of the universe. Brahma decided to give Shakti back to Shiva. Therefore, his son Daksha performed several yagnas to obtain Shakti as his daughter in the form of Sati to seprate from Shiva.

Due to Lord Shiva’s curse to Brahma that his fifth head was cut off as he lied in front of Shiva, Daksha started hating Lord Shiva and decided not to let Lord Shiva and Sati get married. However, Sati got attracted to Shiva and finally one day Shiva and Sati got married. This marriage only increased Daksha’s hatred towards Lord Shiva.

Daksha performed a yagna with a desire to take revenge on Lord Shiva near Muramalla, andhra pradesh. Daksha invited all the deities to the yajna except Lord Shiva and Sati. The fact that she was not invited did not deter Sati from attending the yagna. She expressed her desire to attend the yagna to Shiva, who tried his best to dissuade her from going. Shiva eventually relented and Sati went to the yagna. Sati, being an uninvited guest, was not given any respect at the yagna. Furthermore, Daksha insulted Shiva. Sati was unable to bear her father’s insults toward her husband, so she immolated herself.

Enraged at the insult and the injury, Shiva in Virabhadra avatar destroyed Daksha’s yagna, cut off Daksha’s head, and later replaced it with that of a male goat as he restored him to life. Still immersed in grief, Shiva picked up the remains of Sati’s body, and performed the Tandava, the celestial dance of destruction, across all creation. The other Gods requested Vishnu to intervene to stop this destruction, towards which Vishnu used the Sudarshana Chakra, which cut through the Sati’s corpse. The various parts of the body fell at several spots all through the Indian subcontinent and formed sites which are known as Shakti Peethas today.

At all the Shakti Peethas, the Goddess Shakti is accompanied by her consort, Lord Bhairava (a manifestation of Lord Shiva). Shakti is an aspect of the Supreme Being Adi Parashakti, the mother of the Trimurti, the holy trinity in Hindu religion & scriptures.

Parvati married to Shiva after Sati making him calm down and which lead to the birth of  Ganapathi and Subrahmanya.

Shakti Peethas are shrines or divine places of the Mother Goddess. These are places that are believed to have enshrined with the presence of Shakti due to the falling of body parts of the corpse of Sati Devi, when Lord Shiva carried it and wandered throughout Aryavartha in sorrow. There are 51 Shakti Peeth linking to the 51 alphabets in Sanskrit. Each temple has shrines for Shakti and Kalabhairava, and mostly Shakti and Kalabharava in different Shakti Peetha have different names.

4 Adi Shakti Peethas (where major body Part on earth, at the location on which the respective temple is built.

  • Bimala (Pada Khanda) (inside the Jagannath temple of Puri, Odisha),
  • Tara Tarini (Sthana Khanda, Purnagiri, Breasts) (Near Berhampur, Odisha),
  • Kamakhya Temple (Yoni khanda) (Near Guwahati, Assam)
  • Dakhina Kalika (Mukha khanda) (Kolkata, West Bengal)

Shakti refers to the Goddess worshipped at each location, all being manifestations of Dakshayani (Sati), Parvati or Durga;

Legend’s say that there are 51 and some 108 Shakti Pithas where Sati’s Body Part or Ornament fell on earth, at the location on which the respective temple is built. But there is a dispute on this count. Adi Shakaracharya identified 18 Maha Shakti Pithas which are prominent and unambiguous.

# Shakti Place Appellation
1 Sankari devi (Heart) Trincomalee (Sri Lanka) Sankari Peetham
2 Kamakshi Devi (Eyes) Kanchi (Tamil Nadu) Kanchi Kamakodi Peetham
3 Srigala Devi (Stomach) Pandua (West Bengal) Pradyumna Peetham
4 Chamundeshwari devi (Hair) Mysore (Karnataka) Krounja Peetham
5 Jogulamba devi (U teeth) Alampur (Telangana) Yogini Peetham
6 Bhramaramba devi (Neck) Srisailam, (A.P.) Srisaila Peetham
7 Mahalakshmi devi (L Hand) Kolhapur (Mah.) Shri Peetham
8 Renuka Devi (Back) Mahur, Nanded (Mah.) Renuka Peetham
9 Mahakali devi (Tongue) Ujjain (M.P.) Ujjaini Peetham
10 Puruhutika devi (Peeta) Pithapuram (A.P) Pushkarini Peetham
11 Biraja Devi (Naval) Jajpur (Odisha) Oddyana Peetham
12 Manikyamba devi (Naval) Draksharamam (A.P) Draksharama Peetham
13 Kamarupa devi (Vulva) Guwahati (Assam) Kamarupa Peetham
14 Madhaveswari devi (Fingers) Prayaga (Uttar Pradesh) Prayaga Peetham
15 Vaishnavi devi (Head) Kangra, Jwalamukhi (Jammu) Jwalamukhi Peetham
16 Sarvamangala devi (Breat) Gaya (Bihar) Gaya Peetham
17 Vishalakshi devi (Throat) Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) Varanasi Peetham
18 Saraswati devi (Lips) Kashmir Saraswati Peetham

Aadi Shankaracharya’s Stotram :-

Lankayam Shankari devi, Kamakshi Kanchika pure /
Pradyumne Shrinkhala devi, Chamunda Krouncha pattane //

Alampure Jogulamba, Sri shaile Bhramarambika /
Kolha pure Maha lakshmi, Mahurye Ekaveerika //

Ujjainyam Maha kali, Peethikayam Puruhutika /
Odhyane Girija devi, Manikya Daksha vatike //

Hari kshetre Kama rupi, Prayage Madhaveshwari /
Jwalayam Vishnavi devi, Gaya Mangalya gourika //

Varanasyam Vishalakshi, Kashmire tu Saraswati /
Ashtadasha Shakti peethani, Yoginamapi durlabham //

Sayamkale pathennityam, Sarva shatri vinashanam /
Sarva roga haram divyam, Sarva sampatkaram shubham //

Visit these 18 Shaktipeethas and be blessed.

Among these, the Shakti Peethas at Kamkhya, Gaya and Ujjain are regarded as most sacred as they symbolize three most important aspects of mother Goddess viz. Creation (Kamarupa Devi), Nourishment (Sarvamangala Devi/Mangalagauri) and Annihilation (Mahakali Devi). All the three lie in a perfect straight line from Kamakhya to Ujjain via Gaya.

“Om Sri Matre Namaha:”

Live happily