Site Name: Maya Devi Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Haridwar, Uttarakhand state, India
Highlights: The original temple of Haridwar; one of Shakti Peethas
Nearest Railway Station: Haridwar
Nearest Airport: Dehradun - 35 kms from Haridwar
How to reach: Well connected by road
Hotel: A lot of options including low cost and free accommodation such as ashrams
Restaurants: Varieties of options - but only vegetarian
Haridwar is a religious city located on the banks of the beautiful Ganges river in Uttarakhand state of India. The city is an ancient city and has so many sacred places and temples for Hindus. It is considered as one of the seven most sacred sites of Hindus. Haridwar is dotted with a lot of religiously important sites such as temples and ghats. Let us explore a popular temple named Maya Devi temple in this article.
Maya Devi Temple is one of the most important temples of Haridwar. (The other two important temples are Mansa Devi temple and Chandi Devi temple). It is located to the east of Har Ki Pauri river ghat.
Maya Devi is one of the few ancient temples of Haridwar. It is believed that it was constructed originally in the 11th century CE.
As per the legend, Daksha once organized for a grand yagna. He invited everyone except his son in law Lord Shiva for this event. He did this to insult Shiva. However, Sati went to attend the yagna. There, unable to bear the insult to this husband, Sati immolated herself in the yagna fire. Shiva carried Sati's charred body on his shoulders and started performing the fearsome Tandava dance. As the Devas requested Vishnu to calm down Shiva, he used his discus to cut off Sati's body into 51 pieces. Those 51 pieces fell on different parts which are later called as Shakti Peethas. The site where her heart (as per some tradition, navel) fell is called as Maya Devi temple.
The temple of Maya Devi is very small and built as per the typical North Indian temple architectural style. The main shrine has Maya Devi flanked by Kali, Tara and Kamakhya. Besides these deities, the metal idol of Chamunda is also found in the shrine. In the prakara, there is sub-shrine of Sheetala Devi. All around the temple, the stucco images depicting different postures of Devi are found.
Near Maya Devi temple, the old Bhairav temple and Ganga temple are located.