Dashain is one of the biggest festivals in Nepal. Most Nepali households worship Navadurga from the day one of Ghatasthapana and perform the rituals with their loved ones. Some people even visit the temples of Navadurga, which are traditionally called Shakti peeths.
These temples are dedicated to Goddess Sati or Shakthi. As per the lore, the Goddess entered the fiery altar due to an altercation with her father, and her body burst into flames due to the act. The scattered body pieces of Sati are now the Shakthi peeths. The holy sites are also generally perceived as the temples of Goddess Durga.
As the the festival has taken off, we look at Nepal’s most significant Shakti peeths, which one should visit this Navaratri. Let’s dive in.
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The Shakti peeth of Taplejing is a popular pilgrimage site as both Hindus and Buddhists throng this temple. The temple is of Pathibhara, who is the Goddess of faith and holiness. Situated at an altitude of 3,794 m, the temple is 19.4 km from Phunling, the district headquarters. It takes a day to reach the temple from Phunling Bazaar by walk. The temple is popularly visited by devotees perennially.
The Dantakai temple is another Shakti peeth in Bijaypur, Dharan. The temple is built in the middle of a hill, and as per the mythos, the teeth of Sati fell there after Lord Shiva carried her charred corpse. The same legend is told by the temple scriptures Swasthani Bratakatha. Animals and other sacrifices are offered to the temple Goddess. The Hindus throng the temple during Dashain, Teej, and Swasthani Purnima. Typically, a fair is also conducted on Dashain.
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The temple of Kalinchok Bhagwati is pretty famous among pilgrims and tourists. It is situated in the Kalinchok rural municipality of the Dolakha district. The temple is situated 15 km north of Charikot, which is the district headquarters. Located at an altitude of 3,842 meters , the holy site attracts pilgrims perpetually.
The Palanchok Bhagwati temple sits atop a hill at an altitude of 1,562 meters in the Panchkhal municipality of the Kavrepalanchok district. The temple was constructed by Lichhavi King Mandev and was dedicated to the King’s mother. The temple is primarily full of pilgrims, and they offer animal sacrifices to Goddess Bhagawati.
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As the name implies, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Manakamana Bhagawati. It was built in the Gorkha region, and it is a prominent temple for Nepali Hindus. It is widely accepted that the Goddess Manakamana fulfills all the wishes of people who pray to her. It was believed that the wife of King Ram Shah of Gorkhali was the incarnation of Manakamana Bhagawati. Animals are sacrificed here on the eighth day of Dashain.
The Shakti peeth located in Nepalgunj is famous as the pilgrims believe that the tongue of Goddess Sati landed at that place. The temple was built around, and it is opined that Kinnarganas worshipped the holy site.
The temple is built by the side of a pond, and it was discovered after the regions Banke, Bardiya, Kailali, and Kanchanpur were annexed.
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The holy site is dedicated to Goddess Durga and is built atop a hill close to Old Bazaar, Pokhara. With Annapurna and Macchapuchhre mountain ranges in the vicinity, the temple is at an altitude of 900 meters.
As per the lore, Goddess Bindhyabasini Bhagawati, who is deemed an incarnation of Goddess Kali, was built by King Khadag Bum Malla in the late 18th century. Since then, the temple has been thronged by a countless number of pilgrims. Every Tuesday and Saturday, most pilgrims from the Pokhara region visit this temple. The thoroughfare increases during Dashain.
Located in the forest southeast of Baglung Bazaar, the Baglung Kalika Bhagawati temple is located by the southern banks of the Kaligandaki river. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali, who is perceived to be the fiery form of Goddess Parvati. The temple is visited by most during Navaratri and Chaite Dashain.
Reaching Badimalika temple is an experience by itself as one has to undertake a three-day walk to reach the shrine from Martadi. The temple, which is dedicated to Goddess Bhagawati, is located in the Bajara district. To commemorate the Ganga Dussehra and Janai Purnima, a huge fair is conducted here every year. The temple also attracts pilgrims from neighboring countries.