Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Vani Temple

Saptashrungi or Saptashringi is a site of pilgrimage situated 60 kilometers from Nashik. According to Hindu tradition, the goddess Saptashrungi Nivasini dwells within the seven mountain peaks. (Sapta means seven and shrung means peaks.). Devotees visit this place in large numbers every day.

The legend
This temple is one among the 51 Shakti peethas located on the Indian subcontinent. The Devi is said be swayambhu (self-manifested) on a rock on the sheer face of a mountain. She is surrounded by seven (sapta in Sanskrit) peaks (shrungain Sanskrit), hence the name: Sapta Shrungi Mata (mother of the seven peaks).

The image of the Devi is huge — about 10 feet tall with 18 hands, holding weapons like:
String of Beads Battle Axe, Mace, Arrow, Thunderbolt, Lotus, Bow, Water Pot, Cudgel, Lance, Sword, Shield, Conch, Bell, Wine Cup, Trident, Noose, Sudarsana Chakra.

The idol is always coated with sindoor, which is considered auspicious in this region. She is also known as Mahishasur Mardini, the slayer of the demon Mahishasur, who took the form of a buffalo. At the foot of the hill, from where one starts climbing the steps, there is the head of a buffalo, made in stone which is believed to be a demon.

Mahishasur Mandir
It is believed that the Devi Mahatmya, a sacred book which extols the greatness of Devi and her exploits, was composed at this place by the sage Markandeya. He performed rigorous penance on a hill opposite the one where the Devi resides; it is now named after him. The temple, which is on the side of the cliff, is 1230 meters above sea level. There is an old path with steps cut out of the mountain, which starts right at the foothills at Vani and goes all the way to the mountain.

How to Reach :
It is located in Nanduri, Tal:-Kalwan a small village near Nashik in India. A motorable road has been built, which goes up to an altitude of 1150 meters. From this place one has to climb around 500 steps to reach the shrine, which takes about 45 minutes.

Do Visit