The Mansa Devi

The famous and ancient temple of goddess Mansa Devi is located near a famous city of India, Chandigarh. A few kilometres away from Chandigarh is a town called Manimajra and the temple is situated here. Mansa Devi is one of the main 'Shakti Pith'. The head of goddess 'Sati', the consort of Shiva, had fallen here. A big festival is celebrated during the spring 'Nav-Ratras'. Millions of people visit the temple on this occasion. One can get plenty of buses for Manimajra from Chandigarh bus-stand. In addition all other types of transport facilities are available.

The History of Mansa Devi temple

Several fables connected with this temple goddess are known but the most authentic-story is as Akbar, a place Manimajra near Chandigarh, on which stands the Mansa Devi temple, was an estate of a Rajput landlord. The emperor used to receive grains as land tax from farmers and landlords. Once crops failed due to natural vagaries and the Rajput landlords failed to pay taxes. Therefore they requested the emperor to wave off the taxes. Although, the mugal emperor Akbar was a humane king, yet he paid no heed towards the humble plea of landlords and imprisoned them.

The news of imprisonment of the landlords spread far and wide. A poet devotee of Durga goddess, named Garib Dass, organised a mass worship and oblations to sacrificial fire. Goddess be- came happy and appeared before the devotee and asked him to express his desire. The poet Garib Dass said to mother, "Kindly get all the imprisoned landlords released." The mother became happy and benedicted him and disappeared.

By the grace of mother, the landlords won the case in emperor's court and the land tax was exempted by the judge that year. The landlords on their return to home came to know about the appearance of goddess and subsequent blessings. All of them constructed a temple in the name of goddess Mansa Devi-Mansa means desire fulfilment and became famous in the world as such.

After the establishment of the shrine once Maharaja Patiala, who was an ardent devotee of goddess, saw her in dream. She told him that she has appeared at place called Mani-majra. So he should construct a temple and earn her blessings. The king followed her instructions and constructed a huge temple complex which was also named after Mansa Devi. The king constructed a temple of Durga in Patiala also.

Mansa Devi Temple (Haridwar)

There is another Mansa Devi temple located on Shivalik-mountain-peak near Haridwar. It is not counted as a 'Shakti-Peeth' but it is gaining tremendous popularity at present. The pilgrims visiting Haridwar visit this temple as a routine and put a thread round a tree for fulfilment of desires. The temple has been constructed at an ascent of 1 km. The distance can be covered through a trolly also.

The idol of Mansa Devi, in the temple, is having five faces and three arms. On the left side is the place of sacrificial fire (Havan Kund) and the temple of Sheetia Devi. On the right hand side is the temple of Chamunda Devi and Lakshmi Narayan. In front of the main temple, is the temple of Lord Shiva. On the west is an ancient temple and principal temple of Shiva. Several idols of gods and goddesses have been placed on the outer walls of main temple.

The Story of Mansa Devi

(Goddess on Shivalik mountains near Haridwar). When the snake's offering in sacrifice was being conducted by Janmejaya, then god Brahma spoke to gods, "The population of snakes has decreased in the world in a big way. Now a saint named 'Zart-Karu' will have a son named 'Asteek'. He will stop the snake sacrifice." On enquiry of the gods Lord Brahma replied that wife of saint 'Zart- Karu' also will bear the same name. She will be sister of snake king 'Vasuki'. She will give birth to 'Asteek' and he will liberate the snakes.

Then a snake, named 'Aelapatr', said to the snake king Vasuki, "Keeping in view the plight of snakes, I feel you should give the hand of your sister 'Zart-Karu' to saint 'Zart-Karu'. When he will come for alms and ask for her hand, you should immediately offer her."

Meanwhile ocean-churning (Samundar-Manthan) took place. Vasuki was used as a rope in ocean-churning. So gods carried Vasuki to Lord Brahma and the lord asked him to marry his sister to saint Zart-Karu, as told by 'Aelapatr'. Vasuki ordered all the snakes of oworld to locate 'Zart-Karu' and asked them to inform him about the saint's wish to marry his sister.

Readers, this may be foretold that the wife of the same saint 'Zart-Karu' later became famous as 'Mansa Devi'. As per the story, the saint Zart-Karu had vowed to marry a girl of his own name and the girl should be offered in alms, so that the responsibility of looking after her does not fall upon him. Only on meeting the above condition the saint was ready to accept any girl as wife. So to fulfil the wishes (Mansa) of ancestors, wishes of gods and the vow of saint, the sister of 'Vasuki', 'Zart-Karu' became famous as wish fulfilling goddess.

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