Out of the famous 9 Devi yatras of North India, Maa Shakumbhari Devi is one amongst them. It is also considered as one of the Siddh Peethas of Maa Bhagwati and quite famous in the region for more than a hundred kilometer around.
The name- Maa Shakumbhari Devi
As per mentioned in Shri Durga Saptshati Book, Devi Maa says, that once there was a time when rain stopped for a hundred years on earth. At that time the Sages (Munis) prayed to me and I manifested in front of them and looked at them with a hundred eyes, hence I was called "Shatakshi" and then at that time I nurture this whole world with the various "Shaak"(Hindi word) originating from my body. Till the time it did not rain, my "Shaak" saved the lives of all. Hence I was named, Shakambhari/ Shakumbhari Devi. In that incarnation, I also killed the Durgam Mahadaitya (Demon) and I will be called Durga Devi as well.
Being on roads and asking from the locals, the name Maa Shakumbhari Devi is more than enough for directions. This pious place is situated close to Saharanpur (around 35 Kilometers up North) and the road from Saharanpur main City to Mata's Shrine is being dedicated HER own name itself, i.e. "Mata Shakumbhari Devi Road".
The holy place is situated at a distance of 35-40 km distance from Saharanpur in UP state. It has two important temples of deities, one is of Goddess Mata Shakumbhari Devi and other one is of the Bhairava ( Bhura-Dev) who is considered as the guard of Maa.
Bhura Dev ji's Temple is situated around half a kilometer before Maa's Temple and they say that one should worship Bhura Dev Ji before going to Maa Shakumbhri's Temple. He stood for Maa and fought against a demon for Maa and Maa blessed him for the same that he will be always worshipped before Her by pilgrims coming to her holy Place. In the Online Tour/ Yatra we will take you first through this temple as well.
The land where the temple was first established is owned by Rana Family and the temple was constructed by Rajputs. On Special occasions, Maa Shakumbhari Devi is adorned with jewels and dressed up more beautifully. Aadi guru Sankaracharya ji comes every year as by sayings and meditates here. He found the deities and placed them here in the shrine. At the time of festivals, Sankaracharya group comes to the shrine. They have a large ashram in front of Maa's holy place where they prepare 56 different types of dishes or 56 bhogs or Chhappan Bhog which is then first offered to Maa with great love and dedication and then mised with the rest of the food to distribute amongst the pilgrims. After serving a part of it to the idols with chanting of religious prayers, it is served to gathered devotees who take in their extended palms. Along with the Chappan bhog, two large ladoos of 11 quintals each are made and is distributed to each one of the devotee.
Panoramio of the front of Maa's Temple. See more Panoramio Images and more in the online tour's page
At the time of Jayanti that falls on 14th Januray every year, loads of pilgrims and devotees come to pay their reverence to the Goddess and seek her blessings. It is alleged that Shakumbhari Devi is the slayer of the demon king, Mahishasur.
Umpteen numbers of people come every day to visit this place of pilgrimage. As by sayings, it is considered as seedh peeth rather than Shakti peeth. One kilometer away there is another shrine which is of Maa Rakt Dantika and quite close to a cave. Another temple of Lord Shiv where there are idols of five Mahadevs namely
And other one is Kamleshwar which is in front of this temple and others are just few kilometers away. All these are ancients.
The place being such famous, it is though unfortunate to be in the hands of people who do not do much for the temple or for the pilgrims coming to Maa's place from far and different places on earth. The ambiance is awesome! The temple is situated in a beautiful valley and having a comfortable land under control, yet the temple is old and needs a lot of work on it. Getting Maa's Darshan from a small opening from front, situated in a small room from a distance is not an easy view too.
Jai Maa Shakumbhari Devi!