Shakti Peeth Shakumbhri, meaning the abode of Shakti Goddess Shakambhari or Shakumbhri, is situated in the Jasmour village area, at a distance of 40 km to the north of Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh state of Northern India. It has two important temples of Hindu deities: one of the Goddess (Devi) Shakumbhri herself and another one, Bhura-Dev temple, located one kilometer away from it to the east, of the deity Bhairava, considered to be her guard. Another temple dedicated to this goddess and quite famous is near the Sambhar Lake, in Rajasthan.Another big temple of Shakumbari devi is located in Badami, of Bagalkot District of Karnataka.
It is said that, at this place, Mother Goddess Shakumbhri killed the mighty demon king (Maha Daitya) Mahishasura. It is also believed that, here she performed worship and meditation (Tapas) for 100 years, having a vegetarian meal (shaka-ahar) only once at the end of every month. During this time, the saints and seers (Rishis/Munis) who came for her worship (Darshan) were welcomed and honoured with vegetarian meals. Because of this the temple was named the Shakumbhri Devi temple and she also got very strongly connected with the cult of vegetarianism among Hindus.
Temples of Shakumbhri Devi
Sikar District Rajasthan
The temple is considered as one of the more ancient temples of maa sakumbhari and the idol considered swayambhu (appeared naturally). the temple is close to the town of udaipur shekhavati and in sikar district. The temple holds colourful navratras festival and there is an ancient mutt or shaktipeeth.
Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh
The temple is on the site of the ruins of a more ancient temple and was constructed by the Pundir Rajputs under Rana Bahadur Singh Pundir who was the representative of the Pundir chief Rana Pitambar Singh Pundir of Jasmour. Though it is not an ancient temple, its devotees consider it to be a Shakti Peetha, a powerful seat of Shakti, the divine feminine. The devotees have a strong faith in the Goddess and the temple attracts a large number of devotees from India as also from outside the country particularly during the Navratree days. The temple is well maintained and is well laid out to have full darshan of the idols in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. It is found from the plaque displayed near the staircase that it was during the early 1960s that a properly covered corridor, connecting the main entrance gate and outer varandah of the temple, was constructed for the convenience and comfort of the devotees. This work was done, with the permission of the Ranas of Jasmour who own the temple, by one Shri Radha Kishan,then Treasurer of the erstwhile Kalsia State (Chhachhrauli)(presently in Yamunanagar District of Haryana)from his personal contribution and also by collecting donations from several devotees.It is indeed an experience of life to visit the main temple as also the nearby Bhuradev Temple seeking their blessings and benedictions.It is rightly said that a visit to these temples with faith and devotion always brings great satisfaction, rewards and contentment in life and family.These temples are easily approachable by road or train from different parts of the country and their location is surrounded by hills and serene environment.
Sambhar Lake, Rajasthan
Another shrine dedicated to Shakumbari Devi is near the famous Sambhar Lake, 90 kilometers west of Jaipur, Rajasthan. This temple is quite ancient and popular estimates put the age of this temple at 1300 years or more.
According to a Hindu tradition, Shakumbhari Devi - tutelary Goddess of Pundir, Audichya Brahmins, [Joshi], Chauhan and Rohilla Rajputs- converted forest to a plain of precious metals. So Shakumbhari Devi is KUL Devi of Pundir and Chauhan. When people worried and felt it as curse rather than blessing, and requested her to retract her favor, she converted the silver to salt, now found in the lake.
Shakumbhri Devi Melas
Twice a year, in the Ashwin and Chaitra months of the Hindu calendar (during the days of Navratra),as also at the time of Holi festival, the famous Shakumbhri melas are organised.It is during these melas, in particular, that the roads from Saharanpur(U.P.) to the Temple are properly maintained so as to facilitate to and fro smooth journey for the devotees. The devotees to Shakumbhri first visit Bhura-Dev temple which is about one kilometer before the Temple and then proceed to the Temple of the Goddess.
The popularity of this temple has been increasing day by day and many devotees from far and near visit this temple for "Darshan" these days. During this famous melas, lakhs of Hindu devotees visit this temple for darshan. It is indeed considered to be a rewarding experience to visit the Temple with devotion and faith in the munificence of the Goddess.
Films on Shakumbhri Devi
- Religious places of Saharanpur Saharanpur district website
- Shakumbhri Devi Temple wikimapia