As soon as Haridwar is named, the scene of Har Ki Pauri emerges before the eyes. The twinkling of Sandhya’s Aarti starts blinding the eyes. On the banks of the Ganges, among the devout devotees and tourists, the voices of the swaying sources of the pandits start resonating the ears. As you know, Ganga is the most revered goddess here. When the descending Ganges enters the plains by the Himalayas, she takes care of the residents here with her glory. We all know where Lord Ganga is, Lord Shiva also cannot be far away from there. Yes, you also know that the city of Haridwar is full of many Shiva temples. But many of you will be unaware of the fact that Haridwar also has many Shakti temples which are among the oldest and most influential Shakti temples.
Visiting Devi temples of Haridwar
Come with me, we go on a search of Shakti i.e. Devi temples of Haridwar.
Kankhal’s Sati Temple
All of you must have read or heard, Sati, the first wife of Lord Shiva, could not bear the humiliation of her husband at the time of the yagna held at the residence of his father Daksha and he had dedicated himself to the fire pit. The residence of Sati’s father Daksha was here in Kankhal, which is one of the oldest inhabited places in Haridwar. This legend of Sati is still alive in the Daksheshwar Mahadev Temple. There is a small temple on the backside of this temple which is considered to be the birthplace of Sati. It is a small and simple temple situated on the banks of the Ganges. You will remember this story of Shiva and Sati, that entire incident took place here. 52 Shaktipeeths were created in the Indian subcontinent after the incident of Shiva carrying the body of Sati into his hands.
Here you can also see the Agni Kund which Goddess Sati had jumped into and dedicated herself to Agni. This temple is not very old. Anyway, what does structure mean to Shraddha.
Sheetla Mata Temple
There is a small temple dedicated to Sheetla Mata in the back of the Daksheshwar Mahadev Temple. The significance of this temple is that it is one of the three Shakti i.e. Devi temples located in Haridwar which form a triangle among themselves. The other two are the Shakti temples, the Mansa Devi temple and the Chandi temple.
Das Mahavidya Temple
Near the Daksheshwar Mahadev Temple is a panoramic temple dedicated to the Das Mahavidya. There are 10 forms of Dasha Mahavidya i.e. Devi, Kali, Tara, Tripurasundari, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Dhumavati, Baglamukhi, Matangi and Kamala. This was my first time to visit any such temple dedicated to Dasa Mahavidya. Earlier I had only read about them. Like Jain temples, this temple, studded with pieces of glass, is very attractive even though it is small.
The temple has 10 forms of the Goddess enshrined in their respective mantras. There is a huge Sri Yantra on the mural.
Shri Yantra Mandir – Most Navodaya Temple of Goddess in Haridwar
It is a relatively new temple. I did not see his name anywhere. Therefore, I am addressing it from Shri Yantra Mandir. The specialty of this temple that attracted me the most is its structure which is made in the shape of Shri Yantra. The Sri Yantra is a geometric representation of the universe on which the Goddess sits. Lalita of the goddess inside the temple is a statue of Tripurasundari form. Also, a huge and beautiful Shree Yantra sits with another small Shree Yantra.
Read more: Sri Lalitha Temple at Naimisharanya
When I came here, many types of programs were being organized in the temple premises. Yagyas were being performed at many places. In another room, a lecture was being given on a subject. For me, this temple is a symbol of unwavering devotion to the Goddess in this holy city. It is a temple where aesthetics is part of the structure and structure of the temple. You must come here to see its unique structure.
Chandi Devi Temple
The Chandi temple is situated atop the Neel Parvat on the eastern bank of the Ganges. To reach this temple, you have to walk 6 km by foot. Can climb uphill or can be reached by ropeway i.e. ropeway. I decided to reach here by ropeway. It took us 10 minutes to reach the base of the temple. From here, we had to climb some more steps to reach the main temple.
It is said that after killing Shumbha and Nishumbha asuras, the goddess rested on the Nile mountain. Both the peaks of Neel Parvat are known as these two Asuras.
Read more: Sri Kanchi Kamakshi Temple of Kanchipuram
A temple dedicated to Hanuman’s mother goddess Anjani is nearby. All the temples here are small and their structure is new. But the statues and places established inside are ancient. If you are sensitive to them, then you can feel the waves coming from them.
Across the Ganges, right next to this temple is the Mansa Devi temple atop the Bilva mountain. It seems as if the two goddesses are looking at each other. Also Haridwar is protecting the city.
It is believed that the main statue of Chandi Devi was established by Adi Shankara.
Mansa Devi Temple
This Mansa Devi temple is situated on the Bilva Mountains on the western side of Haridwar. It is near the bustling center of Haridwar city. You have also done 3 steps here. M Climbing can reach or take the facility of ropeway. I reached here around 4 am. There was such a crowd of devotees here, I felt as if I would be choked. Therefore, decide the time of coming here carefully. It would be good to come here early in the morning.
Mansa Devi is the gentle goddess who fulfills the wishes of the devotees. It is believed that he was born from the forehead of Lord Shiva. That is why she is also called Manas daughter of Lord Shiva.
Maya Devi Temple – Temple of Adhistri Devi in Haridwar
Maya Devi is the presiding deity of Haridwar. Another name of Haridwar, Mayapuri is also derived from Maya Devi itself. She lives in the heart of this holy city. Mayadevi Temple is a Shakti Peetha. At the time of the unfortunate incident in the yagna organized by Dakshi, the father of Goddess Sati, the goddess’s navel and heart fell here when the angry Lord Shiva raised the dead body of Sati.
This temple is one of the few ancient temples that are still intact. It is also a small temple like other ancient temples. There is a statue of Maya Devi inside the sanctum sanctorum which is surrounded by images of Maa Kali on the left and Maa Kamakhya on the right. Outside the sanctum sanctorum is the pradakshina path where there are ten forms of images of the Dasa Mahavidya. Beneath each image is the name of the goddess and the Bija Mantra written on it.
Read more: 50 Indian city names – based on the names of the goddess
As I mentioned, the three Siddhapeeth temples form a triangle with Mansa Devi Temple at the northern corner, Sheetla Devi Temple at the southern corner and Chandi Devi Temple at the eastern corner. In the middle, northern direction of this triangle is the Maya Devi temple and in the southern part is the Daksheshwar Mahadev temple.
Being the presiding deity, this temple of Goddess is the most important temple in Haridwar city.
Sureshwari Devi Temple
It is an ancient temple dedicated to the Sureshwari form of the Goddess. It is believed that Sureshwari Devi gives the blessings of child happiness to the people and prevents their communicable diseases. According to legends, when Indra was expelled from his kingdom, he did penance at this place to please the Goddess. It was here that Devi appeared to Indra. Today the temple of Goddess Sureshwari is located at the same place.
There is a black temple near the Devi Sureshwari temple.
This temple is situated atop Mount Surkut within Rajaji National Park. To reach here, you have to take the services of trains approved by the Forest Department. Being a national park, you can come here only during the day.
Gangamandir – Most Popular Goddess Temple of Haridwar
It is the most popular Devi temple in Haridwar city. Situated here when the river Ganga comes in the plains Devbhoomi Enters the plains by For this reason, it is also called Gangadwar. Near Brahmakund, it almost touches the banks of the Ganges is an extremely small temple with a Ganesh idol inside it. In the scriptures, Ganga is considered to be a matter of Goddess. Ganga is the main goddess here, whose devotees come here only to get their darshan.
Nothing is more virtuous for a Hindu pilgrim than a dip in the holy waters of the Ganges and taking a bath. If this bath is in the Ganges of Haridwar or the Ganges of Kashi, then it will be iced on the cake.
To be honest, in most of the temples of Haridwar, there is a statue of Ganga somewhere. They are present everywhere in this holy city surrounded by river.
Bilvakeshwar Mahadev Temple
There is a small temple of Bilvakeshwar Mahadev near Haridwar city. It is a Shiva temple that was once under the Bilva tree. Today, there is a neem tree in place of that bilva tree. This is the place where Parvatiji did hard penance to get Shiva as a husband. Perhaps they both met for the first time at this place. There is now only one pool in its memory. It is called Gauri Kund. Here Gauri means Parvatiji used to take bath. This pool is on the far side of a small stream where a small bridge will lead you.
If seen, there is nothing special to see in this temple. But if you have devotion and devotion in Shiva and Shakti then this is a pilgrimage place. This is such a Goddess temple, which I will not forget even to see.
Shri Dakshin Kali Temple
This Kali temple is situated on the banks of the Ganges where the Ganges is called Niladhara. Located near the Chandi temple, this temple is in almost forest area. The calm and serene stream of the Ganges flows southwards here. That is why this temple is called Dakshina Kali. It is also a small temple whose courtyard is somewhat larger than the temple. A lion built in marble may have been added over time. The statue of black color seems ancient but it is difficult to estimate how ancient it is. The specialty of this temple is that midnight worship is done here and khichdi is offered to the Goddess.
Read more: Kali Temple of Kolkata
According to a detailed notice board, this is the place where Lord Shiva Churning of the sea At the time of drinking the poison emitted. After consuming poison, he held that poison in his throat. After poisoning, his body had become so hot that he had taken a bath in the cool water of the Ganges here. That is why Ganga is called Niladhara here. We already know that Lord Shiva is the one who keeps the poison in his throat. Neelkanth Are also called. According to the Hindu calendar in this information board, information about all the rituals and dates related to this temple is also given.
I want to inform the devotees of the Goddess that this temple is the first Siddipith of the ten benches of the Das Mahavidya.
Visit to Shakti Temple
A specialty of these Shakti temples is that the legends related to most of the temples are detailed in the information board of the temple. These tables not only make you aware of their stories, but also give information about which scriptures are mentioned in them. It also informs about which dynasty saints took care of them. All the panels are in Hindi language.
I did not know that there are so many Devi temples in Haridwar. I did read about it in a book called Aghori. For this I want to thank the author of this book.
For me, the Devi temple at Haridwar was nothing short of a discovery. Did you know about all these temples or are you also trying to find them with me?
Translation: Madhumita Tamhane