The Shakti Peethas (holy places of cosmic power) are places of worship consecrated to the goddess 'Shakti', the female principal of Hinduism and the main deity of the Shakta sect. They are sprinkled throughout the Indian subcontinent.
This goddess is often associated both with Gowrī/Parvati, the benevolent goddess of harmony, marital felicity and longevity, with Durga, goddess of strength and valour, and with Mahakali, goddess of destruction of the evil.
History :- There was a great king called Daksha Prajapati who was son of Lord Brahma. He had 27 daughters and Sati devi is one among them. Sati devi got married to Lord Shiva. When Dashka entered the arena of a yaga performed by Agni, every one except Lord Shiva stood up as a mark of respect. Daksha felt insulted by Lord Shiva's behaviour. Later when Daksha conducted a yaga him self , he did not invite his daughter and his son in law.Though Sati felt bad because of the non invitation, she wanted to attend the yaga against the wish of Lord Shiva.When Sati, attended the yaga no body has cared for her and she felt insulted by the actions of her sisters and parents. Then when her father started abusing her husband she could not control her feelings and scarified herself at the place of yagna by creating agni from earth with her right thumb of her foot.Knowing this Lord Shiva removed one bunch of Jhatha from his head and hit it on the earth. From that Lord Veerabhadra has born and rushed to yaga spot and killed Daksha by cutting his head. Later Shiva went to the spot and taken the body of sati from the fire and started dancing with it. The world was terrorized from this Tandava Nritya and to stop this Nritya, Vishnu used his Sudarshan chakra and completely cut the Sati's body in to pieces. These body parts have fallen at various places in India and Srilanka. Where ever these parts have fallen the places are called Shaktipeethas. There are 18 such places and they are called Ashta(8) Dasa (10) Shaktipeethas.
But some people say there are 51 shakti peethas and some say there are 108 shakti peethas. But this blog is designed based on the above shloka of Adi shankaracharya.
This list of Ashtadasa Shakti peethas ( 18 Shakti Temples / Temples of Mother Goddess). It is a clear representation of Aadi Shankaracharya’s Astadasha Shakti peeta Stotram:
Sr. No. Place. Part of the body fallen. Name of Shakti. 1. Trincomalee (Sri lanka). Groin. Shankari devi. 2. Kanchi (Tamil nadu). Back part. Kamakshi Devi 3. Praddyumnam (West Bengal). Stomach part. Sri Srunkhala devi 4. Mysore (Karnataka). Hair. Chamundeshwari devi. 5. Alampur (Andhra Pradesh). Upper teeth. Jogulamba devi 6. Srisailam (Andhra Pradesh). Neck part. Bhramaramba devi. 7. Kolhapur (Maharastra). Eyes. Mahalakshmi devi 8. Nanded (Maharastra). Right hand. Eka Veerika devi. 9. Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh). Upper lip. Mahakali devi 10. Pithapuram (Andhra Pradesh). Left hand. Puruhutika devi. 11 Cuttack (Orissa). Navel. Girija devi 12. Draksharamam (Andhra Pradesh). Left cheek. Manikyamba devi. 13. Guwahati (Assam). Vulva. Kamarupa devi. 14. Prayaga (Uttar Pradesh). Fingers. Madhaveswari devi 15. Jwala (Himachal Pradesh). Head part. Vaishnavi devi. 16. Gaya (Bihar). Breast part. Sarvamangala devi 17. Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh). Wrist. Vishalakshi devi. 18. Dantewada (Chattisgarh). Tooth. Danteswari devi 19 Kashmir. Right hand. Saraswathi devi
Aadi Shankaracharya’s Stotram :-
Lankayam Shankari devi, Kamakshi Kanchika pure /
Pradyumne Shrinkhala devi, Chamunda Krouncha pattane //
Alampure Jogulamba, Sri shaile Bhramarambika /
Kolha pure Maha lakshmi, Mahurye Ekaveerika //
Ujjainyam Maha kali, Peethikayam Puruhutika /
Odhyane Girija devi, Manikya Daksha vatike //
Hari kshetre Kama rupi, Prayage Madhaveshwari /
Jwalayam Vishnavi devi, Gaya Mangalya gourika //
Varanasyam Vishalakshi, Kashmire tu Saraswati /
Ashtadasha Shakti peethani, Yoginamapi durlabham //
Sayamkale pathennityam, Sarva shatri vinashanam /
Sarva roga haram divyam, Sarva sampatkaram shubham //
Goddess Shankari in Sri lanka, Kamakshi in Kanchipuram,
Goddess Shrinkhala in Pradyumna and Chamunda in Mysore
Goddess Jogulamba in Alampur, Goddess Brhamarabika in Sri Shailam,
Goddess Maha Lakshmi in Kolhapur and Goddess Eka veera in Mahur
Goddess Maha Kali in Ujjain Purhuthika in Peethika,
Goddess Girija in Odhyana and goddess Manikya in the house of Daksha,
Goddess Kama rupi in the temple of Vishnu, Goddess Madhevaswari in Allahabad,
The flame giving Goddess in Jwala muki and Mangala Gouri in Gaya.
Goddess Visalakshi in Varanasi, Goddess Saraswathi in Kashmir,
Are the 18 houses of Shakthi, which are rare even to devas.
Among these, the Shakti Peethas at Kamkhya, Gaya and Ujjain are regarded as most sacred as they symbolize three most important aspects of mother Goddess viz. Creation (Kamarupa Devi), Nourishment (Sarvamangala Devi/Mangalagauri) and Annihilation (Mahakali Devi). When observed carefully one can see that they lie in a perfect straight line from Kamakhya to Ujjain via Gaya symbolizing that every creation in this universe will annihilate one day without fail. Together with Kanchi Kamakshi, Madurai Meenakshi, and Kashi Vishalakshi we have the most potent Shat Sakthi Peethams.