Categories: Hindu Shrine

Adi Shakti Peethas:Four Major Sacred Shrines

The Shakti Peethas, also known as Shakti Pithas, are sacred shrines in Hinduism’s Shaktism tradition, dedicated to different forms of Adi Shakti, the primal feminine power. These sites are believed to be where the body parts of the goddess Sati fell after her tragic death, as mentioned in ancient Puranas. This article will focus on the Adi Shakti Peethas, four major sacred shrines revered by countless devotees seeking blessings from the divine feminine.


Shiva carried Sati’s charred body, causing chaos

According to popular legend, Goddess Sati, daughter of King Daksha, loved Lord Shiva deeply, but he was unaccepted by her father. Ignoring his warning, Sati attended a Yajna (grand sacrifice), where Daksha insulted Lord Shiva. Consumed by grief and anger, she immolated herself in the sacred fire. Devastated, Shiva carried her charred body, causing chaos. To restore balance, Lord Vishnu dismembered Sati’s body into 51 parts, which became 51 Shakti Peethas. In various Puranas, like Srimad Devi Bhagavatam, there are references to different sets of Shakti Peethas, numbering 51, 52, 64, and 108. While most of these sites are in India, some are also found in neighboring countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan.

Scriptural Reference

The concept of Shakti Peethas finds mention in several ancient texts, including Shiva Purana, Srimad Devi Bhagavatam, Kalika Purana, AshtaShakti, and Pithanirnaya Tantra. These scriptures recognize four major Adi Shakti Peethas, each representing a specific part of Sati’s body. These four Peethas are the Vimala Temple (Pada Khanda) in Puri, Odisha; Tara Tarini (Stana Khanda) near Brahmapur, Odisha; Kamakhya Temple (Yoni Khanda) in Guwahati, Assam; and Kalighat Kali Temple (Mukha Khanda) in Kolkata, West Bengal.

Vimala Temple (Pada Khanda)

Vimala Temple, Puri, Odisha, India

The Vimala Temple, also known as Bimala Shaktipeeth, is situated within the sacred Jagannath Temple complex in Puri, Odisha. It is dedicated to Goddess Bimala, representing the feet (Pada) of Sati. The temple holds a prominent position among all Shakti Peethas and reflects a syncretism of Vaishnavism and Shaivism. Goddess Bimala is worshipped in her peaceful form and is described as the prowess of delusion as well as the prowess of action, will, and Maya Shakti.

Tara Tarini (Stana Khanda)

Tara Tarini Temple, Golanthara, Odisha, India

Tara Tarini or the Siddha Bhairavi Temple in Mantridi village, Golanthara, located 20 km from Berhampur, Ganjam, Odisha, is revered as one of the four Adi Shakti Peethas in India. Goddess Bhairavi is the presiding deity in this ancient temple, and legend has it that she is worshipped by fishermen and sailors before embarking on their voyages. The temple complex features 108 sub-shrines dedicated to various Hindu deities, making it a significant pilgrimage site for devotees.

Kamakhya Temple (Yoni Khanda)

Kamakhya Temple, Assam, India

The Kamakhya Temple, situated on the Nilachal Hill near Guwahati, Assam, is one of the seven important Shakti Peethas described in the Kalika Purana. This temple is dedicated to the Tantric goddesses and is home to several Kali avatars, including Dasa Mahavidya (Kamakhya Devi, Dhumavati, Matangi, Bagola, Tara, Kamala, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Bhuvaneshwari, and Tripura Sundari). The main temple has seven Sikharas resembling a hive of bees, and the inner sanctum houses a small natural underground spring symbolizing the Yoni. The Ambubachi Mela, also referred to as the Tantric fertility festival, is a yearly Hindu congregation that takes place at the Kamakhya Temple.

Kalighat Kali Temple (Mukha Khanda)

Kalighat Kali Temple, West Bengal, India

The Kalighat Kali Temple in Kolkata, West Bengal, is revered as the Mukha Khanda of the Adi Shakti Peethas, symbolizing the face of Goddess Sati. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Dakshina Kali, one of the ferocious forms of Shakti. Devotees throng this temple to seek the blessings of Goddess Kali and partake in various rituals and ceremonies held throughout the year.


Krishna Das is an experienced article writer. He writes about Hinduism in his spare time.

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