Saptashrungi Devi Temple of Devi / Shakti in the form of Parvathi Saptashrungi Garh Road, Nanduri village, Nashik-422215

This temple is one among the 51 Shakti peethas located on the Indian subcontinent and is a location where one of Sati's limbs, her right arm is considered to have fallen when grief-stricken and agitated Shiva was carrying her dead body round the world on his shoulders, and Vishnu had cut her body into pieces with his Sudarshana Chakra.

Temple Etiquette

  • Footwear not allowed inside

    Footwear not allowed inside
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    Footwear to be left outside the temple. In summer be careful of the hot paving stones.

  • Prasad and donation

    Prasad and donation
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    Use your right hand to accept prasad and give donations. The left hand is considered unclean in India.

  • Dress conservatively

    Dress conservatively
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    Avoid shorts, skirts, tanktops and do not expose legs.

  • Restricted entry

    Restricted entry
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    Entry is normally restricted to temple priests in the sanctum sanctorum. Some temples restrict the entry of non-Hindus

  • Avoid cellphones

    Avoid cellphones
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    Use of cell phones is restricted normally. Photography is restricted in some temples.

  • Circumambulation or pradakshina

    Circumambulation or pradakshina
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    Devotees are to walk around the sanctum sanctorum in a clockwise direction


About Saptashrungi Devi Temple

This temple is one among the 51 Shakti peethas located in the Indian subcontinent. The Devi is said to be swayambhu (self-manifested) on a rock on the sheer face of a mountain. She is surrounded by seven (sapta-in Sanskrit) peaks (shrunga-in Sanskrit), hence the name- Sapta Shrungi Mata (mother of the seven peaks). The image of Devi is huge-about 10 feet tall with 18 hands, holding various weapons. The idol is always coated with Sindoor, which is considered auspicious in this region.

In this temple,  right arm of the Goddess is considered to have fallen,  when grief-stricken and agitated Shiva was carrying her dead body around the world on his shoulders, and Vishnu had cut her body into pieces with his Sudarshana Chakra.
The story behind this event is that King Prajapati Daksha, father of Sati (the first wife of Lord Shiva), was performing a yagna (yagna is defined as a Hindu fire ritual sacrifice) when deities of the Vedic times like Agni, the fire god, and others were invoked by offering oblations such as ghee (clarified butter), milk, grains and so forth.
Sati (also called Shakti) who was Lord Shiva's wife, attended the function without invitation. Daksha who was not fond of his son-in-law, as he considered him a mendicant, purposely did not invite him for the yagna, while he invited all other gods. Sati felt deeply insulted by the slight shown by her father towards her husband , whom she had married out of deep love.  Even then she decided to attend the yagna,  uninvited by her own father.
When she went there, her father compounded the insult,  by totally ignoring her presence and vilifying Shiva.  Sati felt deeply humiliated and hurt, and then in frustration she jumped into the yagna fire and committed suicide.  When this news was conveyed to Shiva, first he sent his assistant to the site to enquire and take revenge.  Shiva also came to the yagna site and created a furor. In a state of grief and anger, he put Sati's dead body on his shoulders and started wandering round the universe. Looking at this grave situation, Brahma and Vishnu decided to intervene and bring back Shiva to his normal self.  It was then decided that Vishnu will follow behind Shiva, and with his Sudarshana Chakra cut Sati's dead body into pieces. Thus Vishnu cut her into 51 pieces (108 pieces are also mentioned in many Puranic texts) as Shiva traveled around the world and these fifty one body parts of Sati, fell at different locations in the subcontinent, and all these places came to be known as Shakthi Peethas (abode of goddess Shakthi or Durga). Her right arm fell on the Saptashrungi hills and the place became holy, and a Shakthi Peetha came to be established here.

It is also said that,  when the demon king Mahishasura was creating havoc in the forests, the devatas and people urged Durga to kill the demon. Then the 18 armed Saptashrungi Devi,  took the form of Durga and slayed Mahishasura, and since then she is also known as Mahishasura Mardhini. Mahishasura was in the form of a buffalo.  At the foot of the hill, from where one starts climbing the steps, there is the head of a buffalo, made in stone, which is believed to be of demon Mahishasura.

In the epic Ramayana war, when Lakshmana was lying unconscious in the war field, Hanuman came to Saptashrungi hills in search of medicinal herbs to restore his life.

Saptashrungi mountain was a part of the forest called Dandakaranya mentioned in the Ramayana. It is mentioned that Lord Rama, along with Seeta, and Lakshmana had come to these hills to pray to the goddess and seek her blessings.

In the hill of Markandeya, named after Sage Markandeya, there is a cave which is said to have been the abode of the sage.  This hill is located to the east of Saptashringi and a deep ravine divides the two hills. While staying in this cave, Markandeya is believed to have recited puranas (Hindu scriptures) to entertain the Devi.

Another local myth is that,  a tiger resides in the garbagriaha (sanctum sanctorum) every night and  keeps a watch on the temple but goes away before sunrise.
The holy flag of Goddess Bhagawati,  flutters in the north of Saptashringa Garh. Hoisting of the flag is a privilege of a particular family. The ritual of flag hoisting on a specific day is witnessed by thousands ofdevotees.  People believe that the Goddess fulfills their wishes. So this place is frequented by devotees throughout the year.

The Devi is decorated with a high crown (like a papal tiara), and a silver nose-ring and necklaces which are the ornaments used every day.  Her attire is in the form of a robe with a blouse, which are changed with new dresses every day.  Before she is dressed for worship she is religiously given a formal abhisheka or bath.  Warm water is reported to be used for two days in a week. The courtyard in front of the temple,  has a trident or Trishula decorated with bells and lamps. There are other precious ornaments of the goddess which are normally kept at Vani in safe custody,  but are used to decorate the deity on special festival days. The Devi's image is painted bright red with ochre called sindoor, which is considered auspicious in this region. However, the eyes are not touched by the colour but are made of white porcelain, shining very brightly.

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