Maihar Devi Mandir, A Travel Guide
India’s famous Maihar Devi Mandir is tucked amid the picturesque beauty, situated atop the Trikoota Hill at Maihar, Madhya Pradesh.The city holds immense significance in the Hindu mythology and is considered one of the 51 Shakti Peethas of Goddess Parvati.
The Maihar Devi Mandir is commonly known as Maa Sharda Devi Mandir, named after Goddess Sharadambika, the presiding deity here. The shrine is associated with Shakti and attracts devotees from across the country.
A striking feature of the temple is that it takes 1063 steps to reach the top of Trikoota Hills where the shrine is set. But that does not stop thousands of pilgrims from paying homage to Maihar Mata. The scenic beauty of Maihar, its divine spirituality and serenity make the city a perfect respite from one’s troubles and worries.
History of Maihar Devi Mandir�
The legend of Sati & Lord Shiva…
The history of Maihar Mandir dates back to 502 A.D. There are few interesting stories revolving around the shrine.
According to the legends, Goddess Sati, the daughter of Daksha Prajapati, married Lord Shiva against the will of her father. Daksha was offended with this and he performed a Yagna to avenge Lord Shiva. All the deities were invited in the occasion except Shiva. Goddess Sati felt insulted for not inviting her husband and despite Lord Shiva’s defiance, she went to the Yagna.
Unable to bear the insult of her consort, Sati went into the pier. When Lord Shiva came to know this, he became furious and took the avatar of Virabhadra. He ransacked Daksha’s Yagna and cut off his head in anger.
Suffused in fury, Shiva carried the body of Sati upon him and performed tandava, the dance of destruction. To protect the universe from Shiva’s destruction, Lord Vishnu cut off Sati’s body in 51 pieces with his Sudarshan Chakra. All the places where Sati’s body pieces fell are called as Shakti Peetha.
According to the legends, Maihar Mata Mandir is where Sati’s chest part had fallen.
The story of a cowboy and Maa Sharda…
Another intriguing story goes like that there was once a cowboy who would daily go the Trikoota Hills to graze his cattle. One day, he noticed a golden cow grazing among his cattle but by the evening, it had disappeared. The next day, he followed the cow and saw it entering a cave and the doors closed behind it. Nobody answered his calls but he kept waiting there. After few hours, an old lady opened the door and gave the cowboy some grains in lieu of having her golden cow graze with his cattle.
When he returned home, he noticed that the grains had turned into precious gems and jewelry.
Astonished by this, he went to the king and told him everything. The king asked the cowboy to take him to the place the next day. But that night the king had a dream where the old lady enlightened him, saying that she is Adi Shakti Maa Sharda.
She advised him to build a temple for her idol, placed atop the hill, and make arrangements for devotees to come and offer prayers to her. The king followed all instructions and thus, the Maihar Ka Mandir was built.
About Maihar Devi Mandir
The Maihar Devi Mandir, also known as Sharda Devi Temple, is set atop the Trikoota Hills in Maihar city of Madhya Pradesh. The place around is beautiful and serene and exudes a spiritual aura that attracts devotees in pursuit of academic excellence and wellbeing of their children.
A staggering 1063 steps lead to the temple; however, the pilgrims are not deterred to bear the endurance. Recently, the government has implemented ropeway facilities to make conveyance easier.
The presiding deity of the temple is Goddess Sharadambika, popularly known as Maihar Wali Mata. Legends say that there were two warrior brothers, Alha and Udal, who were staunch followers of Sharda Devi.
It is believed that Alha was gifted immortality by the Goddess because of his devotion and penance for 12 years. Today, there is a pond named after him, right behind the temple. Alha and Udal were the first to see the Goddess in the ancient forest of Trikoota Hills.
Alha used to address Mother Goddess as Sharda Mai and from there the temple got its name as Maihar Devi Mandir.
The temple has individual shrines for Lord Muruga, Lord Bala Ganapati, and Acharya Sri Sankara. A rare sculpture of Sharda Devi and her consort Lord Narsingh is the key highlight of the temple. The puja is held three times a day as per the procedures followed in Srinegri Mutt that preaches Adi Sankara’s philosophy of Advaita. Maha Navaratri and Ram Navami are two festivals that are celebrated here with immense zeal and fervour.
About the Idol
The idol of Mother Sharadambika is sculpted from five unique metals, namely, Gold, Silver, Copper, Brass and Lead. It is believed that the Goddess is a form of Maha Saraswati who incarnated as Upaya Bharati to play an integral role in Acharya Adi Sankara’s mission to form Sanatana dharma. Built by the Nupula Deva in 502 A.D., the goddess is an epitome of wisdom and compassion.
The idol is holding a honeypot in the right hand. On the left hand, she is showing the Chin Mudra and holds a book. Thousands of pilgrims seek the blessings of Maihar Mata for salvation, academics, and boon for their children. The dark-colored deity with wide open eyes adorns stunning sarees and jewelry, particularly during special occasions.
Opening And Closing Timings Of Maihar Devi Temple
� The Maihar Mandir remains open all 7 days in a week.
Temple Opening Time – 5.00 a.m.
Morning Darshan/Puja Timing – 5.00 a.m. to 8.00 a.m.
Evening Darshan/Puja Timing – 4.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.
Temple Closing Time – 9.00 p.m.
The temple timings may change during special days and festivals.
Festivals Celebrated at Maihar Mata Mandir
Maha Navaratri is the most important festival celebrated at Maihar ka Mandir.
The 10-days Navaratri festivity is held in the months of September or October. It commences with Maha Abhishek of the Goddess, followed by Laksharchana and Devi Mahatmiya Parayana for the next four days.
On the 9th day, i.e. on Navami, the priests perform Vidyaramba Puja and Chatha Chandi Yagna. During this festival, the deity comes in astounding appearances like Maheswari, Brahmi, Gajalakshmi, Indrani, Vaishnavi, Gaumari and Chamundeshwari.
Thousands of pilgrims flock the temple during Maha Navaratri, accompanying their children to commence their academics with the blessings of Goddess Sharadambika. Ram Navami, held in the month of March, is another popular festival celebrated here.
Best Time to Visit
Summer can be hot and humid in Maihar, Madhya Pradesh. The city also sees good rainfall during the monsoon season. The best time to visit the Maihar Temple is from October to March, when the weather is cool and pleasant. It is also the ideal time to witness grand Navaratri celebration in the temple. However, make sure you book your hotel well in advance during the festival because it attracts heavy footfall from around the country, especially the West Central India.
Location & How to Reach Maihar Devi Mandir
The Sharda Maa Temple or Maihar Devi Mandir is located in Maihar in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh. It is well-accessible via rail and road. There is no direct air connectivity for Maihar Devi Mandir.
How To Reach Maihar Devi By Air:
Maihar does not have its own airport. The nearest ones are Jabalpur Domestic Airport (160 km.) and Khajuraho Airport (140 km.). One can board a flight till Jabalpur or Khajuraho and then take a train, bus or car to reach the temple.
How To Reach Maihar Devi By Train:
Maihar Railway Station is a part of West Central Railways and is served by regular trains from many cities of Madhya Pradesh and other parts of India.
Jabalpur is a major rail hub near Maihar. There are around 26 long-distance Jabalpur to Maihar trains that aid in easy accessibility. To return, one can board Maihar to Jabalpur train that connects to several other cities in India.
For devotees coming from Katni, there are 37 Katni to Maihar trains that take around 50 minutes to reach the city. Maihar to Katni train is also available from Maihar Railway Station, with the first train available at 01.05 a.m.
During Navaratri, thousands of devotees from Allahabad visit the temple to seek blessings of Goddess Sharadambika. For easy connectivity, there are 64 Allahabad to Maihar trains running between the stations. To return, the first Maihar to Allahabad train starts at 1.15 a.m. in the morning.
Apart from these, there are regular trains running between Satna and Maihar cities. There are also 8 Bhopal to Maihar trains running between the stations for quick accessibility.
How To Reach Maihar Devi By Road:
Maihar has well-maintained roadways, with regular buses plying to and fro Lucknow, Bhopal, Kanpur, Mumbai, Satna, Katni, Jabalpur, Mumbai, etc.
Hotels Near Maihar Devi Mandir
There are few good hotels near Maihar Devi temple, with accommodation charges starting from INR 1200/- onwards. Some nice places to stay are Hotel Sun Shine, Hotel Yash Palace, Kadambari Hotel, Hotel Akriti, and Sanskar Yatri Niwas.
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