Shaktipitha, literally meaning – the seat of power, in the Indian subcontinent, stand testament to the essence of this civilization, the civilization which put mother over God, this civilization where the mortal remains of a woman have been enshrined for ages, to remind every woman that within her lies are a goddess too. The Shaktipīthas takes us to a time that is beyond our comprehension; on
the walls of each shaktipītha temple stories from every age are etched, and on its sacred earth sadhakas fulfill their Sādhanā till date. Shaktipithas unify our country and diversify our culture. They have contributed immensely to the society that has bloomed around them and the propagation and perpetuation of different branches of philosophy within Hinduism. Shāktism has subsequently, through these Shaktipithas contributed immensely to the emancipation and upliftment of women.
According to Hindu Purānas, the 51 Shaktipīthas were consecrated around the mortal remains of Sati, Shiva’s wife. According to oral traditions and written lore, Sati was the daughter of Daksha Prajāpati, who considered Shiva his rival. Sati being an incarnation of Ādi Shakti, despite Her father’s disagreement, married Shiva. To spite Shiva, Daksha organized a grand yajña, and invited all devatas, Brahma, Vishnu, and other celestial beings, deliberately leaving out the invitations to His daughter and Shiva. Sati, being wilful and affectionate of Her father, insisted on attending the yajña, despite Shiva’s urging to not go. The result, as anticipated, was disastrous: Daksha Prajāpati, drunk on his arrogance, humiliated Sati in front of all present, by viciously insulting Shiva and disowning Sati. Sati’s indignant and enraged response to this grave offense was the sacrifice of her own mortal coil by self-immolating through Her yogic powers; what followed was the unleashing of Mahadeva’ss rage: a dance of terror which spared none in its path. Shiva danced the terrible tandav, holding Sati’s charred body in his arms, which caused great cosmic chaos and forced Vishnu to intervene by blowing a discus into her body and severing it into 51 pieces. Wherever a part of her body fell, the land became blessed and sacred. And Shiva retreated into the icy caves of his abode, awaiting the return of his beloved.
The temple is situated on the sacred confluence of river Yamunā and River Ganga. The specialty of this temple is that there’s no murti of Devī here. Instead, devotees worship and empty space – akasha, as Devī. This reflects the deep philosophical idea reverberating through all of the Hindu literature and particularly the Upanishads that Ishvara is everywhere, in everything.