Uttarakhand is popularly known as Devbhoomi, the land of gods and the state is dotted with temples. Devotees believe that the land is blessed with the presence of Lord Shiva and His divine consort, Goddess Shakti. There are several revered temples dedicated to Her. The following are a few that worship Goddess Shakti in her various divine incarnations. Pilgrims throng these temples throughout the year, especially during Navratri.
Mansa Devi Temple
The Mansa Devi temple is among the five pilgrimage spots or panch-tirthas in Haridwar. It is said to be the home of Goddess Mansa, a form of Goddess Shakti. It is said that Mansa originated from the mind of Lord Shiva and this temple, perched on the Bilwa parvat, is one of the 51 shakti peeths. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva, enraged and bereaved at the death of Goddess Shakti, had danced the Tandav with Her dead body on his shoulder. Lord Vishnu, trying to stop Lord Shiva's destructive dance, cut Her body into 51 pieces, which fell on Earth. Each site, where these pieces fell, is marked as a shakti peeth. Uttarakhand is home to several of these shakti peeth.
Chandi Devi Temple
Chandi Devi Temple is said to have been the resting place of Goddess Shakti. It is located on the Neel Parvat hill in Haridwar, close to the Mansa Devi Temple. A beautiful location, with River Ganga flowing by, legend has it that Goddess Shakti rested here after killing the demons Shumbha and Nishumbha, in the avatar of Chandi.
Sati Kund is a holy well located in Haridwar, where Goddess Parvati is worshipped. Legend has it that in her previous birth, Goddess Parvati was Sati. It is said that she married Lord Shiva against the wishes of her father, Daksha. Once when Daksha organised a yagya (traditional fire ritual) in his kingdom, he did not invite Shiva. Offended and infuriated, Sati immolated herself in the yagya fire.
The Chandrabadni Temple lies in Tehri Garhwal. It is one of the shakti peetha dedicated to Goddess Sati. It is said that the torso of Sati fell where this temple is located.
Kalimath is a prominent shakti peeth that lies en route to Kedarnath in Rudraprayag. It is the only place where Goddess Kali is revered along with her sisters, Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati. The temple of Goddess Kali is visited by devotees throughout the year, especially during the days of Navratri.
Naina Devi Temple
Located by the stunning Naini Lake in Nainital stands the revered Naina Devi Temple, which is one of the shakti peeths. Legend says that Goddess Sati’s eyes (nayan) fell at this place. The temple is one of the most prominent tourism sites in Nainital.
Kasar Devi Temple
Located in the scenic destination of Almora, stands the popular Kasar Devi Temple, where it is said Goddess Durga had appeared Herself to bless devotees.