Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Saptashrungi Devi Temple – History, Pooja timings, Architecture

Saptashrungi Devi Temple is a Hindu temple near Nanduri village in Kalwant Talukan, Nashik district, Maharashtra, India. It is one of the most important Shakti Peethas in India and is considered one of the three and a half Shakti Peethas in Maharashtra.

The name Saptashrungi is derived from the seven (sapta) peaks (shrunga) surrounding the temple. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Saptashrungi Nivasini, who is said to reside in these seven peaks.

The image of the goddess is said to be Swayambhu (Self-manifested), carved from the rock face of the mountain. The goddess is depicted with eighteen arms holding various weapons.

Quick Facts

  • Address: Vani/Nanduri village, Nasik, Maharashtra
  • District: Nasik
  • Deity: Durga
  • Affiliation: Hinduism
  • Entry Fee: Free
  • Timings: 5:30 AM to 11:00 PM
  • Visit Duration: 1 to 2 hours
  • Dress Code: decent outfit recommended
  • Festivals: Navratri
  • Best Time to Visit: September to December

It is said that when the demon king Mahishasura was wreaking havoc in the forest, the gods and people urged Durga to kill the demon. Then the eighteen-armed Saptashrungi Devi took the form of Durga and killed Mahishasura, and from then on she was also known as Mahishasura Mardhini.

Mahishasura has the shape of a buffalo. At the foot of the hill where the steps are climbed there is a stone buffalo head believed to belong to the demon Mahishasura.

In the epic war Ramayana, when Lakshmana fell unconscious on the battlefield, Hanuman came to Saptashrungi Hill in search of herbs that could restore his life. Saptashrungi Hill is a part of the Dandakaranya forest mentioned in the Ramayana.

It is said that Lord Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana came to these hills to pray to the Goddess and seek her blessings.

On the Markandeye hill, named after the saint Markandeya, there is a cave that is said to be the saint’s residence. The hill is located east of Saptashringi and there is a deep ravine between the two hills.

It is said that Markandeya would recite the Puranas (Hindu scriptures) to entertain the goddess while in this cave.

Another local myth states that a tiger resides in the Garbagriha (sanctum sanctorum) and guards the temple every night but disappears before sunrise. Another myth states that when a man tried to destroy a beehive, the goddess appeared before him to stop him.


ALSO READ: Ambarnath Temple : History , Entry Fees, Best Time To Visit


The Saptashrungi Temple is a two-story shrine with the top floor dedicated to the goddess. The goddess is carved into a cave at the foot of a steep rock face. The goddess is said to have manifested herself in the form of Swayambhu (self-manifestation) on the rock of the steep mountain face.

It is surrounded by seven (Sapta in Sanskrit) peaks (Shrungain in Sanskrit), hence the name: Sapta Shrungi Mata (Mother of Seven Peaks).

The goddess wears a tall crown (like a pope’s tiara) and a silver nose ring and necklace that she wears every day.

Her clothing consists of a robe and a shirt, and she changes into new clothes every day. Before getting dressed for worship, she receives a formal initiation or bath for religious reasons; she reportedly uses warm water two days a week. The courtyard in front of the temple has a trident or trident decorated with bells and lamps.

The goddess has other precious ornaments which are usually kept safely in the vani but are used to adorn the goddess during special festivals.

The goddess idol is painted in bright red and ochre known as Sindoor, which is considered auspicious in the region; however, it is not the color that the eye comes into contact with, but it is made of white porcelain, which shimmers.

The temple has been recently renovated and many facilities have been created. The shrine’s facilities include about 500 steps, which are cut into the hillside from above the road and lead to the temple entrance, a community hall and a gallery where devotees can queue up in an orderly manner to receive darshan of the goddess.

These steps were built by Umabai Dabhade in 1710 AD. In some places in many temples dedicated to Durga or Mata, statues of Rama, Hanuman, Radha and Krishna, Dattatreya and the tortoise can also be seen on the steps.

By Air

The nearest Airport is located in Nashik city city which is about 60 kilometres away. You can catch a taxi from the Airport to take you to the temple.

By Train

Nashik is the nearest railway station and well linked with other major cities of India by rail. Taxis and buses are available outside the station to take you to the temple.

By Road

Several state operated buses ply from Pune and Mumbai to Nashik. One can reach the temple by taking taxis or auto-rickshaws to Saptashrungi temple.

By Ropeway

The Saptashrungi Devi Temple ropeway is a funicular railway that takes pilgrims up to the temple on the top of a hill in Nashik, India.

Timings: 9:00 AM – 6:30 PM [might change, so be sure to check before you go]

Cost:

  • Return Trip – INR 80
  • Return Trip with Wheelchair Assistance – INR 140
  • Super Senior Citizens (above 75 years) and Children (below 12 years) – INR 40 [Prices are subject to change]

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