Temples in Uttarakhand: Uttarakhand is a land of diverse culture. Home to iconic temples and holy shrines, Uttarakhand is rightfully called Devbhoomi, or the land of gods. Other than temples dedicated to local gods, goddesses, Shiva or Vishnu, Devi temples and shaktipeeth form a major part of temple culture here.
Devi is a supreme being in Hindu culture and she is also one of the 5 primary forms of Brahman. She is worshipped in different forms in different parts of India, similarly in Uttarakhand; Devi worship forms a crucial part of divinity.
Here are the most powerful Devi temples in Uttarakhand:
Anusuya Devi Temple
Anusuya, meaning free from envy and jealousy, was the wife of an ancient sage named Atri. She has been described in the ancient Hindu epics as a very pious woman who practised austerity, devotion and is described as having miraculous powers. The Anusuya Devi Temple in Chamoli is dedicated to goddess sati and is one of the most important places of Devi worship in Devbhoomi. The temple is situated 30 kms away from Chopta and due to its pure Himalayan beauty, attracts pilgrims from all over the world.
Naina Devi Temple
Marking the northern end of the iconic Naini Lake in Nainital is a small temple dedicated to goddess Naina Devi. The temple is also known as a Mahashakti Peeth and marks the event when the goddess had defeated the demon Mahishasur. The goddess is worshipped here in the form of 2 eyes and it is visited by devotees of the goddess from all across the globe. The Temple in Uttarakhand is located atop a small hillock that gives incredibly scenic views of the surrounding hills and lake. The temple and lake visit can be done together making it a complete experience for the whole family.
Mansa Devi Temple
Situated in the holy town of Haridwar near Har ki Pauri, Mansa Devi temple is located on top of Bilwa Parvat on the Shivalik hill ranges. The temple is home of goddess Mansa Devi which is a form of Shakti which is said to have emerged from the mind of lord Shiva. Mansa is also worshipped as the sister of Naga (serpent) Vasuki. Visiting the temple with a pure heart, mind and conscience, is said to fulfil all the wishes. The temple complex offers a stunning view of the entire town of Haridwar and Ganges below.
Gangotri Devi Temple
Gangotri is situated in the district of Uttarkashi and is also a part of the holy Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand along with Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. Situated on the point of origin of the holy Bhagirathi River, the temple is dedicated to goddess Ganga. The temple is also the starting point for the 20 km long Gaumukh glacier trek that will take the trekkers to the origin of Ganga River. Devotees either go by road or book a Chardham Yatra by Helicopter, either way, the views are immaculate. Surrounded by scenic views, lush greenery and immaculate Himalayan beauty, Gangotri Dham visit is worth every step of the way.
Jhula Devi Temple
The ancient Jhula Devi Temple is located just 7 kms away from the quaint hamlet of Ranikhet. Dating back to the 8th century, the temple is decorated with verdant hills of Kumaon and rolling green hills. The temple is incredibly pious and holds a lot of value in the life of locals as well as Devi Bhakts. Earlier, the people living here used to be attacked by wild animals like tigers and leopards regularly. When the villagers offered their prayers to the goddess she appeared in the dreams of one of the villagers, and ordered them to excavate her idol and build a temple around it. Ever since then the temple remains extremely powerful. Devotees tie up a small copper bell once their wishes are fulfilled.
Kasar Devi Temple
Kasar Devi is a temple like no other. Situated in the city of Almora, Kasar Devi Temple is dedicated to goddess Kasar Devi after whom the village as well as the temple is named. The temple structure dates back to the 2nd century and has always been a place of Shakti worship. It has been visited by some of the most prolific historical figures like Swami Vivekananda. People have been drawn to this temple especially because of its special magnetic fields that makes the meditation experience more relaxing and rejuvenating when compared to other Shakti Peethas.
Kamakhya Devi Temple
Surrounded by mystical green hills of Pithoragarh, atop a small hillock stands the talle temple of Kamakhya Devi. Kamakhya Devi is a form of goddess Parvati and is also worshipped as the goddess of desire. Kamakhya temple is the oldest and the most powerful Shaktipeeth in India out of all 51 shaktipeeths. Assam has one of the most important Kamakhya Devi Temple while the Kamakhya Devi Temple of Pithoragarh is built by Madan Sharma and his family. Devotees come here to worship for marital bliss, freedom from financial problems, and removal of physical and mental problems.
Nanda Devi Temple
Nanda Devi is one of the most important goddess worshipped in Devbhoomi Uttarakhand. Mata Nanda Devi has always been the primary goddess of the locals as well as the rulers since the ancient ages. The temple of Nanda Devi captures a vintage charm and is one of the major attractions of Almora city. Nanda Devi is not just a goddess but it is the name of a mountain range which is also a part of the Himalayas. Goddess Nanda which is a manifestation of goddess Parvati means joy or happiness. This is the main temple for the Nanda Devi Jat Yatra that takes place once every 12 years. Nanda Devi Temple is over 1,000 years old and ever since it’s making, the temple has always been a major place of worship.
Yamunotri Devi Temple
Located in the district of Uttarkashi, Yamunotri temple is dedicated to goddess Yamuna and marks the point of origin of the Yamuna River. The temple is reachable after a trek of 8 to 10 kms from Janki Chatti. Traditionally the Char Dham Yatra starts off from Yamunotri Dham and goes ahead in a clockwise manner. The temple is located off the flank of Bandarpoonch Parvat and lies in very close proximity to the indo-china border. The place is all about offering a tranquil and scenic experience. The temple is another one of the most important Devi temples in Uttarakhand which is very rare as well. People come here during the peak Dham season to offer their prayer and Darshan to the goddess.
Devi worship has taken different forms in India. Visiting these temples in Devbhoomi Uttarakhand will definitely be worth it.