Alopi Devi Mandir
Alopi Devi Mandir is a temple situated in Alopibagh in Allahabad in state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is near to the holy Sangam, or confluence, where the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the legendary Sarasvati meet. Kumbh Mela is near to this place.
This temple is peculiar in a way that there is no statue of any Deity in this temple rather there is a wooden carriage or 'doli' which is worshipped. The origin of the name, Alopi (disappeared) Bagh lies in the Hindu belief that when after the death of his wife Sati, the grieving Lord Shiva travelled through skies with her dead body. Lord Vishnu, to relieve him from this agony, threw his Chakra at the corpse, resulting in the fall of various parts of the body at various places in India, which were sanctified by the touch of the Goddess' body parts and hence were thereby deemed holy places for pilgrimage. The last part fell at this location thereby named as "Alopi" (where disappearance was concluded)and the holiest of all.
The other more convincing version dates back to the time when the entire region was covered by dense forests infested with dreaded dacoits. Once upon a time in that forest happened to pass a marriage procession. Marriage processions, in those days used to be the most vulnerable targets of robbers as they used to return loaded with gold and other riches. While deep into the jungle this marriage party found itself surrounded by robbers, robbers after killing all the men and looting the wealth turned to the 'doli' or carriage of the bride. To their dismay when they unveiled the carriage they found there was no one inside. The bride had magically disappeared. The word went around, history became legend and legend became myth. A temple came up at the site where this incident had happened and locals started worshiping the bride as "Alopi Devi" or the 'virgin goddess who had disappeared'. However, this story provides no convincing explanation as to why the place would be deemed so holy.
Alopi Devi continues to be worshiped by thousands of people living in the region who share every festival, marriage, birth and death with their guarding deity.
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