Shri Sharda Devi Temple is situated 4.5 km away from the main Jabalpur city, near the Sharda square where the fort of Madal Mahal also lies. It is entirely not wrong to say that it is the hub for devotion for the people of Jabalpur. If you are on a tour to Jabalpur then you must visit this Shri Sharda Devi Temple. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Sharda who is also loosely known as Goddess Saraswati. It is one of the most famous temples of Jabalpur city. The temple is placed around 200 feet above the sea level, from where one can easily see some parts of the city as an aerial view.
The establishment of this temple was done by the Gond Kingdom in the year 1550-60. This temple is the symbol of devotion, worship and victory. There are much historical significance and mythological significance of this temple. In the Navratri festival, which is a festival of Goddess Durga and in this festival devotees from all over the country visit this temple to take special blessing from Goddess Sharda. However, the temple is also a great place to spend time with your loved ones. The idol present here of Goddess is very beautiful. The temple is not very big, however, the premise of the temple is quite big and it can host many devotees at a time.
Huge fairs are organised on the premise of the temple in the devotional festival of Navratri. This devotional festival Navratri is organised every year for nine days when every devotee, worships Goddess and her entire different forms.
Ancient Idol of Goddess Sharda
On the top of the hill is an elegant temple with a beautiful idol of Goddess Sharda but do you know the idol you are looking at, has a back story. According to the research and sculptures, it is founded that the temple is 550 years old. And the history of the temple is of approx 500 years. As the temple is situated near the boundary of Madan Mahal and this is the fort of Queen Durgawati. It is said that Queen Durgawati was a great warrior queen who fought several times with invaders and saved their land. In history, it is mentioned that the Queen fought with the Mughals four times and out of it, she won three battles.
The Queen won three times in a row on the battle with Mughals. The Queen was a young warrior and she was a great follower and devotee of Goddess Sharda. So she built this temple and worshipped to Goddess Sharda every day. When the queen fought with the King Baaz Bahadur, she fought with her full power and forced him to ran away. After this victory, the queen prayed and worshipped in front of Goddess Sharda. Later, she offered a big flag in the feet of Goddess Sharda as a victory symbol. Thus from there, a ritual started to offer a flag to the Goddess.
However, there are two idols of Goddess Sharda in that temple. According to the documents and stories present in the records, it is said that the old idol of the Goddess was refuted and it is kept on the backside of the temple. The story goes that around 100 years ago, one-day local peoples of the Gond Kingdom killed the priest of the temple and refuted the idol of Goddess Sharda. It is estimated that the idol was around 500 years old. There is no record that why the people of Gond Kingdom killed the priest. Later, the local people of the Gond Kingdom again restored the temple and a new idol was established.
A Ritual To Offer Flag
In most of the temple of India, you will find different rituals that are been practised from ages. Therefore, most of them have some base behind it and some are purely based on the belief. There are several Gods who have different names in different parts of India and devotees follow their rituals. Similarly, there is a ritual which is been followed by ages in this temple too. Here the devotees of Goddess Sharda says that in the holy period of “Saavan” one should offer flags to Goddess Sharda. Devotees from all over India offers huge flags to the Goddess.
The ritual started from the period of Queen Durgawati, she was a warrior and when she wins the battle she always offers a huge winning flag to the Goddess. When there was a scarcity of water in the kingdom and the entire land of the kingdom was in a completely dry state then, the Queen worshipped to the Goddess and offered her a huge flag and asked the Goddess to help the kingdom in this crucial state. Therefore, it is believed that after that incident there was massive rainfall in the Gond Kingdom and all the problems of local people were solved. Thus from there, the ritual started to offer the flag inside the temple. Nowadays some devotees also offer flags of 51 feet.
Also, Visit The Hanuman Temple
If you visited this place then you might know that without visiting the Lord Hanuman Temple your visit to this temple is not finished. It is said that one who visits this temple must go to the Lord Hanuman Temple which is also nearby. When the new idol of Goddess Sharda was established inside the temple, the local people of that time also established a temple of Lord Hanuman.
Therefore, from that era, a ritual got setup that, any devotee must take the blessing of Lord Hanuman also if he or she is visiting the Sharda Devi Temple. So even the local people or the guide also confirms that every devotee must visit the Lord Hanuman temple.
In the end
I am quite sure that, you have never heard of such a beautiful temple coupled with a great and brave true story. This place is a good option which can be recommended as a tourist place or a place for devotion.