Shrines of Nine Godesses
Lord Shiva became so sad with the separation of Sati that
he began to wander in three lokas (nether worlds) carrying the dead-body
of Sati in his arms, in a state of frustration. To solve this situation,
Lord Vishnu shot some arrows from his bow and cut down the corpse of Sati
into pieces, in order to delude the attachment of Shiva. The pieces of
the dead-body fell in 51 different parts of the country, those are know as
Shakti pithas — the seats of the deity. Hence the establishment of
51 shakti pithas.
At present, in northern India, nine of above mentioned seats of deity have become most popular due to their panoramic situation, accessibility and increasing number of tourists, visiting the
shrines every year. Perhaps, dedication and faith of the devotees is one of the most important
reasons for the popularity of these places. It is believed that their desires are fulfilled, if visited with pure heart and devotion. On auspicious days millions of devotees collect there to worship the particular deity. Almost all the places are situated in Himalayan Ranges, either on the hill tops or aloof.
The nominations of the deities/places reveal the part of Sati's body, which fell there:
- Kalika Devi:This is the place where hair of Sati fell
- Shakumbari Devi:This is the place where head of Sati fell
- Shri Mansa Devi:This is the place where forehead of Sati fell
- Shri Chamunda Devi:This is the place where goddess Durga killed two demons Chanda & Munda
- Mata Vaishano Devi: The arm of Sati fell here.
- Shri Jwalamukhi: The godess with a flaming mouth, contains ‘tongue’ of Sati.
- The Vajreshwari Devi: Both the breats of Sati fell here in Kangra.
- The Chintapurni Devi: Feet of Sati fell at a place called 'Bharvain' situated very near to Chintapurni.
- The Naina Devi: Both the eyes of Sati are believed to have fallen here.