Saptashringi-The goddess of seven hills
Whenever I move to any city I make sure that if there any “Shaktipeeth(a place for worshipp associated with goddess)” nearby. In june 2011 I got a chance to visit Nashik. After extensive research I came to know that approximate 60 km North of Nashik, there is a shaktipeeth of Devi named as “ Sapta-shrungi”
The Legend associated with this place
Once the demon Mahishasur acquired all the destructive powers and created havoc on the earth as well as heaven. Due to involvement of a boon it was not possible even for gods to kill him. As a result Lord Brahma.Vishnu and Mahesh combine their energies to manifest into goddess Amba. A fierce battle broke between Amba and Mahishasur.the demon transformed himself into a buffalo but finally Amba killed the demon at the place called Saptashrungi(means mountain of seven peaks). After that the goddess decided to resides on saptashrungi. At the foothills of saptashrungi hills there is idol of buffalo head signifies , the demon Mahishasur. The idol of goddess is more than 10 feet tall having 18 hands. The signification of 18 hands signifies the “Maha Shakti”, the divine power. The idol is fully covered with sindoor. My guide told me that there is a cave behind this idol where the goddess the present in the divine form that human eyes cant bear the glow.
It is also believe that the sacred book of hindus “DeviMahatmayam” was written by Sage Markandey here. Since Sage Markandey is chiranjeevi(Long lived), still it is believe that he resides on the opposite hill where the goddess resides.
From Nashik it is 60 km North.Follow the Dindori road (NH 17) from Nashik. After crossing the Nanduri village the landscaping changes into very beautiful hilly area.
Situated in a village vani at the height of 1250m above sea level. There is a motorable road upto an altitude of 1140 m. From here there is a steep climb of 500 steps which could be cover easily in forty minutes. The offerings has to be purchases before the climb. It is custom to burn the camphor (in multiples of 9 ) at the huge entrance. It is believe that there are numerous kunds(holy ponds) in this area. Also this area is enriched with plants and herbs which has a lot of medicinal value.
How I went
I boarded the train Mangla Lakshdweep from Hazrat Nizamuddin which departed at 9.20 am. The next day I reached Nashik Road at 6.15 am and immediately I searched for a hotel . After extra effort I choose hotel Padma opposite old CBS (Bus stand). The tariff was Rs 600 per day. The hotel was a bit old fashioned. But I didn’t mind as luxuries looses its importance in pilgrimage. I hired a car from travel agency. The name of driver was Hari ( telephone number-09822315789 ). He was a fine driver but a bit slow.I begin the journey about 10 am. The route to Saptashrungi was scenic. I reached at the foothill around noon. it took almost 40 minutes to climb 500 steps. Inside the temple it was a divine roop of goddess. But I was closely looking on the walls for something special to worship goddess.
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