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Maya Devi temple is in Haridwar.

This temple is an ancient – believed to be built during 11th century. It’s also one of the three Shaktipeeth, where the heart and navel of Goddess Sati fell.

Goddess Maya is considered to be a form of Adi Shakti, People come from all over to visit her during Navratri and Kumbh Mela to get her blessings. And let me tell you, no pilgrimage is complete without doing Devi’s darshan.

Back in the day, the city of Haridwar was even called Mayapuri in honor of the goddess. The temple is also home to idols of goddess Kamakhya and Goddess Kali, who are also forms of Adi parashakti. And get this, folks – it’s believed that the presiding goddess has the power to fulfill any desires or wishes of the person seeking her blessings.

According to legends, it all started with Sati, the divine consort of Lord Shiva. She married him against her father’s wishes, and her father was not happy about it. So, when he decided to perform a Yagya, he invited all the deities except Lord Shiva. Sati found out about it and asked her dad to invite her hubby, but her dad refused and insulted both Sati and Lord Shiva. Not cool, dad.

Sati couldn’t take the insult, so she self-immolated herself in the Yagya’s Agni (fire). When Lord Shiva heard about this, he was so angry that he ordered Virbhadra and Khali to destroy the Yagya and kill Sati’s dad. Lord Shiva then carried Sati’s burnt corpse around the world, moaning and dancing the dance of destruction (tandav). To save the universe from Shiva’s rage, Lord Vishnu ordered his Sudarshan Chakra and cut Sati’s body into pieces. These pieces fell on 52 different places in the Indian subcontinent, and these pieces came to be known as Shakti Peeth. The Maya Devi temple is where Sati’s heart and navel fell, and it’s one of the most revered shakti peeths of all.

The temple itself is small and beautifully built with traditional north Indian architecture. You’ll find stucco pictures depicting different postures of Devi. The temple is located near the Birla ghat.

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