|Other names:||Chhinnamastika Shakti Peeth|
|Proper name:||Chintpurni Shakti Peeth|
|Elevation:||950 m (3,117 ft)|
|Architecture and culture|
|Primary deity:||Chhinnamasta Shakti Peeth|
Chintpurni (Hindi: चिंतपूर्णी Punjabi: ਚਿੰਤਪੂਰਨੀ) is a major pilgrimage center and one of the Shakti Peethas in India. The Chintpurni shakti peeth (Chhinnamastika shakti peeth) is located in Una district Himachal Pradesh state, surrounded by the western Himalaya in the north and east in the smaller Shiwalik (or Shivalik) range bordering the state of Punjab. The Chintpurni Shakti Peeth is dedicated to the temple of Chinnamastika Devi or Chinnamasta Devi. Chhinnamasta or Chinnamastika temple is one of the 7 major and 51 total Shakti Peethas. Here, Chhinnamasta is interpreted as the severed-headed one as well as the foreheaded-one.
When Lord Vishnu cut up the body of Sati into 51 pieces so that Lord Shiva would calm down and stop his Tandava, the pieces were scattered over various places in the Indian subcontinent. It is believed that parts of Sati’s Forehead fell at this place and is thus considered one of the most important of the 51 Shakti Peethas.
The goddess resident in Chintpurni is also known by the name of Chhinnamastika. According to Markandeya Purana, goddess Chandi defeated the demons after a fierce battle but two of her yogini emanations (Jaya and Vijaya) were still thirsty for more blood. Goddess Chandi cut off her own head to quench Jaya and Vijaya’s thirst for more blood.
She is usually shown holding her own severed head in her hand, drinking one stream of blood spurting from the arteries in her neck, while at her side are two naked yoginis, each of whom drinks another stream of blood.
Chhinnamasta, the headless goddess, is the Great Cosmic Power who helps the sincere and devoted yogi to dissolve his or her mind, including all the preconceived ideas, attachments and habits into the Pure Divine Consciousness. Cutting off the head suggests the separation of the mind from the body, that is the freedom of the consciousness from the material confines of the physical body.
According to Puranic traditions, Chhinnamastika Devi will be protected by Shiva - Rudra Mahadev in the four directions. There are four Shiva temples - Kaleshwar Mahadev in the east, Narayhana Mahadev in the west, Muchkund Mahadev in the north and Shiva Bari in the south - which are nearly equidistant from Chintpurni. This also confirms Chintpurni as the abode of Chhinnamastika Devi.
The Chintpurni temple as a Shakti Peeth
The Chinna Mastika Devi is a divine embodiment of self-sacrifice and there by the Chintpurni shri is considered as a Shakti Peetha. The mythology of Daksha yaga and Sati's self immolation is the mythology liked to the Shakti Peethas. Shakti Peethas are holy shrines of Shakti associated with a mythology that says about the falling of body parts of the corpse of Sati Devi, when Lord Shiva carried it and wandered in sorrow. There are 51 Shakti Peeth associated with the 51 alphabets in Sanskrit. It is believed that Sati Devi's feet fell here.
About the temple
The temple dedicated to Mata Chintpurni Devi is located in District Una of Himachal Pradesh. Mata Chintpurni Devi is also known as Mata Shri Chhinnamastika Devi.
Devotees have been visiting this Shaktipeeth for centuries to pray at the lotus feet of Mata Shri Chhinnamastika Devi
They bring with them their worldly concerns and seek blessings from the Devi.
It is believed that if you ask something from the Devi with a true heart, your wish will be granted.
Apart from the holy shrine, the place is full of picturesque surroundings. Some very nice places for sight seeing, indoor and out door activities are situated in and around Chintpurni. Chintpurni is very well connected through roads and with good number of hotels and dharamsalas erceted in and around chintpurni, accommodation is not a problem at all. You can come here for religious visit, on a holiday or for both, you would enjoy your time there and should return with everlasting memories.
Pandit Mai Das, a Saraswat Brahman, is generally believed to have established this shrine of Mata Chintpurni Devi in Chhaproh village in the ancient times. Over the time this place became known as Chintpurni after the eponymous deity. His descendants still live in Chintpurni and perform prayers and puja at the Chintpurni temple. These descendants are the official priests at the Temple.
Hindu pilgrimage and marriage records were also used to be kept at this holy place. The Genealogical Society (GSU) of Utah, USA has microfilmed Hindu pilgrimage records for Haridwar and several other Hindu pilgrimage centres. Priests (pandits) located at each site would record the name, date, home-town and purpose of visit for each pilgrim. These records were grouped according to family and ancestral home. The holdings by GSU include Haridwar, Kurukshetra, Pehowa, Chintpurni, Jawalapur and Jawalamukhi.
The temple is open from 4 am to 11 pm.
Devotees usually bring offerings for the Devi. Sweets (e.g. suji halwa, laddoo, barfi), kheer (sugar-coated puffed rice), patasha, coconut (or other fruits), chunni, dhwaja (red-coloured flag), flowers and ghee are some of the offerings that devotees bring. You may bring the prasad from home or you may buy it from one of the shops in the bazaar.
In the center of the Temple is the temple garbha griha. The image of Mata Chintpurni Devi is installed here in the form of a pindi (a round stone). People queue up for a darshan of the Devi and make their prayers and offerings.
Its a kind of a custom at the Temple that the devotees, after the holy Darshan of the Goddess, get their photos clicked by the professional photographers in the Temple complex. The view of the Chintpurni town and the far flung scenic contours is enjoyable from the back-yard of the temple. The photos clicked here of the devotees are life-time memories for them.
Location and travel information
Chintpurni is situated at the altitude of 940 metres and is part, Una district, Himachal Pradesh. The temple is situated on one of the highest peaks of the Sola Singhi range of hills. It is about 3 km west of Bharwain which is located on the Hoshiarpur - Dharmashala road. This road is part of the State Highway network and is normally kept in good shape throughout the year.
Private vehicles are usually not allowed beyond the Chintpurni bus stand which is about 1.5 km from the Temple. You would have to walk this distance. About half of this distance is up a gentle incline and through a very busy market.
The temple is open from 4 am to 11 pm.
Spring : About mid-February to mid-April. The winter starts losing its bite around mid-February.
Summer : Mid-April to end of June. It is hot in summer and light cottons are recommended.
Rainy season : July - September. Still quite warm and, of course, humid. Lots and lots of rain.
Autumn : October - November. Days are pleasantly warm, nights are cool. May need light woollens at night or early mornings.
Winter: December - January. It is quite pleasant during the day and you may get by with one layer of woollens. The winter nights are cold and an extra layer of woollens is required.
In general, temperature in Chintpurni is about 5 degrees lower than in the Punjab and Haryana plains and in Delhi. In 2012,it had a chilling winter as there was a snowfall, reported after a period of 52 years, leading to road jams.
The Navaratra fairs in Aashadh (July), Ashwin (October) and Chaitra (March–April) are very popular with devotees when accommodation is very tight. Other popular days are Sankranti, Purnima and Ashtami.
There are a number of dharamshalas, guest houses and hotels of varying quality in and around Chintpurni. Himachal Tourism runs Hotel Chintpurni Heights (formerly Yatri Niwas) at Bharwain which is only 3 km from the Chintpurni temple. It has a magnificent view of the Swan valley to the south. At night to the west you can see the bright lights of the Temple and its bazaar. Looking towards the northeast are the shimmering waters of the Pong Dam lake.
There are number of hotels and lodges to stay ranging from budget to luxury.On the way to Maa Chintpurni from Gagret hotels and picnic spots starts so there are plenty of options to stay and dine.
There are a number of ways to get to Chintpurni from Delhi and other places in north India.
From Delhi: Delhi - Chandigarh - Ropar - Nangal - Una - Amb- Mubarikpur - Thaneek Pura - Bharwain - Chintpurni
From Jalandhar: Jalandhar - Hoshiarpur - Gagret -Mubarikpur - Thaneek Pura - Bharwain - Chintpurni
Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal State Transport departments run buses on the Delhi-Chandigarh-Chintpurni route. Buses running on the Delhi-Chandigarh-Dharamshala and Delhi-Chandigarh-Palampur route stop at either Bharwain or Chintpurni bus stand. Frequent State Transport bus services are also available from important cities of Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Delhi, etc.
A number of trains can be used to travel to Chintpurni. Frequent bus and taxi services to Chintpurni are available from all nearby railway stations. The nearest railway stations is Amb Andaura (station code AADR), which is about 20 km from the Chintpurni temple. Other nearby stations are Una Himachal (station code UHL) at 50 km and Hoshiarpur (station code HSX) at 42 km.
The following trains are best suited:
- Himachal Express (14553): Daily, Delhi to Amb Andaura, Himachal Pradesh. Leaves Old Delhi railway station at 11.30 pm and reaches Amb Andaura station at 8 am.
- Jan Shatabadi (12057): Daily, Delhi to Una Himachal. Leaves New Delhi railway station at 3 pm and reaches Una at 10 pm.
- DMU Shuttle Train Service (74992): Daily, Ambala to Amb Andaura via Nangal Dam and Una.
Nearest airport is at Gaggal in Dharmshala, which is in Kangra district. Distance to Chintpurni is about 60 km. Indian Airlines flies to Dharmshala via Chandigarh. Kingfisher Airlines, Indigo, Go Air also provide flights to Dharmshala, though you may need to verify with these service providers. Other airports are at Amritsar (160 km) and Chandigarh (150 km).
- Delhi - Chandigarh - Ropar - Nangal - Una - Mubarakpur - Bharwain - Chintpurni : 420 km
- Chandigarh - Ropar - Nangal - Una - Mubarakpur - Bharwain - Chintpurni : 150 km
- Jalandhar - Hoshiarpur - Gagret - Bharwain - Chintpurni : 90 km
- Hoshiarpur - Gagret - Bharwain - Chintpurni : 42 km
- Kangra - Jwalaji - Bharwain - Chintpurni : 55 km
- Naina Devi - Nangal - Una - Mubarakpur - Bharwain - Chintpurni : 115 km
- Vaishno Devi - Jammu - Pathankot - Kangra - Bharwain - Chintpurni : 250 km
Nearby places of interest
Thaneek Pura is about 3 km from the Chintpurni Shrine. Apart from its scenic beauty, Thaneek Pura is famous for its temples like Guga Zahar Peer Temple, Radha-Krishna Temple, Mahiya Sidh Temple. There people can also see an ancient deep well that goes down about 60 stairs and a main well further down. Thaneek Pura is also famous for a fair which is an annual event starting on the subsequent day of Krishna Janamashtmi and coincides with Guga Navami celebrations. A grand Yajna and Bhandaara is also organized which is one of the largest of its kind. A wrestling competition is also a part of this fair that is attended by all the famous wrestlers of Himachal, Punjab and other nearby states. This fair continues for three days. Krishna Janamashtami and Shivaratri are also big religious events in Thaneek Pura.
Dharmsal Mahantan is situated 5 km from Chintpurni where Baba Nakodar Das Gaddi, spiritual place. People from Punjab and Himachal Pradesh visit there. Two annual fairs named Sair and Bsoaa in local language are held. This place is as near to the Sheetla Devi temple as to Chintpurni. Dharmsal Mahantan is also famous for its temples like Dodha Zahar Peer Temple, Radha-Krishna Temple, Godadi Sidh Temple. An ancient well called Pap Khandan is also popular where it is thought that the water comes from the Ganges river.
Sheetla Devi temple is located near Dharamsala Mahantan about 5 km west of Chintpurni. A winding, single-lane road leads there from Chintpurni.
Chamunda Devi Temple is situated on the right bank of Baner river in Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh. The temple is connected with Dharamshala - Palampur National Highway.
Jwalamukhi Devi temple – Goddess Jwalamukhi is the deity of the flaming mouth. The temple is built over natural jets of combustible gas, believed to be the manifestation of goddess. About 35 km northeast from Chintpurni mata. Pilgrims usually travel to Jwala ji after having darshan at chintpurni ji. It is believed not to carry Chintpurni mata prasad to Jwala ji mata.
Dharamsala and McLeodganj – About 68 km north of Chintpurni is located Dharamsala, the principal township of Kangra district. Its dense pine and deodar forests, numerous streams, cool healthy air and the nearby snowline make it an attractive place. The Dalai Lama (with his government-in-exile) lives in the upper part of town called McLeodganj.
Masroor Temples – Located 15 km south of Kangra, this village is known for its monolithic rock temples. There are fifteen richly carved temples in Indo-Aryan style. Only known example of rock-cut temples in North India.
Maharana Pratap Sagar on Pong Dam – This reservoir and wild life sanctuary on river Beas covers an area of nearly 450 square kilometres. More than 200 species of migratory birds visit the lake in winter. Water sports like sailing, water skiing and rowing are allowed on the lake. About 20 km west from Chintpurni.
Pragpur-Garli heritage village, located about 25 km northeast from Chintpurni, is India's first classified heritage village. It buildings - some decaying and crumbling - have largely remained unspoiled, giving Garli-Pragpur a medieval ambience.
Sujanpur-Tira and Nadaun – Sujanpur was established by Raja Sansar Chand Katoch, a great patron of painting, in 1758 as his third capital.
Naina Devi Temple is situated on a hill top in Bilaspur District of Himachal Pradesh in India, About 115 km southeast from Chintpurni.
Baba Balak Nath Sidhpeeth - Deot Sidh – Located in Hamirpur district, this shrine to Baba Balak Nath is visited by hundreds of thousands of people every year. Guru Adi Nath, who started the Siddha tradition, is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva.
Kaleshwar is a temple of Shiva, situated 5 km on the Nadaun- Sujanpur road at the meeting place of Beas river and Kunah Khad. This temple is about more than 400 years old. In the month of Baishakh (May–June), during the mel a large number of devotees visit this place to have a glimpse of Shivling. According to the ancient grape-vine, the construction of this temple was started by the Pandavas of Mahabharata fame with the help of Vishva-Karma in the night during their secret exile. But the construction of the temple was abandon by Pandavas as they were spotted by the local people. Later on, this temple was constructed by the king of the Katoch dynasty. This pilgrimage place is considered as sacred as Haridwar in Uttarakhand. The people who are unable to visit Haridwar, immerse the mortal remains of their relatives, in the sacred water there.
Sri Anandpur Sahib is a holy place dedicated to the tenth guru of Sikhism, Sri Guru Gobind Singh. In December 2011, VIRAASAT-E- KHALSA was let open for public, providing people a glimpse and study of historic events of Sikh religion. Location: Sri Anandpur Sahib is located in Punjab, about 56.78 miles (91 km) from Chintpurni site, taking a time duration of about 1 hrs and 52 minutes. By train one passes by there while travelling towards Una through Nangal followed by Maa Chhinmastika Temple in Himachal Pradesh. One can also board a bus from Nangal or direct from Sri Anandpur Sahib to Chintpurni Temple for offering prayers.
- Chintpurni Temple
- Shakti Peethas
- Chhinnamasta Devi
- (Translator), F. Max Muller (June 1, 2004). The Upanishads, Vol I. Kessinger Publishing, LLC. ISBN 1419186418.
- (Translator), F. Max Muller (July 26, 2004). The Upanishads Part II: The Sacred Books of the East Part Fifteen. Kessinger Publishing, LLC. ISBN 1417930160.
- "Kottiyoor Devaswam Temple Administration Portal". http://kottiyoordevaswom.com/. Kottiyoor Devaswam. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
- Hindu pilgrimage and marriage records - BBC News
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