(, ) is a site of pilgrimage situated 60 kilometers from Nashik
. According to Hindu
tradition, the goddess Saptashrungi Nivasini dwells within the seven mountain peaks. (Sapta
means seven & shrung
means peaks.) It is located in Vani, a small village near Nashik in India
. Devotees visit this place in large numbers every day.
This temple is one among the 51 Shakti peethas located on the Indian subcontinent. The Devi is said be swayambhu (self-manifested) on a rock on the sheer face of a mountain. She is surrounded by seven (sapta-in Sanskrit) peaks (shrunga-in Sanskrit), hence the name- Sapta Shrungi Mata (mother of the seven peaks).
The image of the Devi is huge-about 10 feet tall with 18 hands, holding various weapons like;
The idol is always coated with Sindoor, which is considered auspicious in this region. She is also known as Mahishasur Mardini, the slayer of the demon Mahishasur, who took the form of a buffalo. Hence, at the foot of the hill, from where one starts climbing the steps, there is the head of a buffalo, made in stone which is believed to be a demon.
It is believed that the Devi Mahatmya, a sacred book which extols the greatness of Devi and her exploits was composed at this place by the sage Markandeya, who performed rigorous penance on a hill opposite the one on which the Devi resides, which is now named after him. The temple, which sort of sticks to the cliff, is 1230 meters above sea level.... Read More