One of the most famous and religious temples of central India is the Maihar Temple. The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Maa Sharada Devi and it is listed as one of the 51 shakti peethas of Goddess Sati. The temple is present in the district Satna of the state Madhya Pradesh and according to the geographical location, it is the central part of India. Thus due to this many devotees from all over the country regularly visits this temple. The temple is present on the trikuta hill. The Maihar temple is a holy Hindu site which has its own significance and cultural importance.
According to the Hindu religious scriptures and popular divine tales, the name of the temple is derived from the mixture of two words the “Mai” and “Har” which makes it Maihar. The religious belief behind the word is the “Holy place of the Goddess Necklace”. In Hindu literature, the word Mai means mother and the word Har means Necklace. Even tourist from all over the world visits this holy place especially at the time of Navaratri, a religious festival celebrated in the devotion of Goddess Durga for nine days.
History of the Maihar Town
The establishment of the town was done in the year 1778 and it was the capital of the state of Maihar. This particular land was gifted by the king of Orchha who shares the border of the state. The state was spread in an area of 1050 sq km which consists the land which is mostly hilly and covered in the forest.
The state was under the British India rule and was transferred several times to different agency to govern it. In the 19th century, it was a governed by Bundelkhand agency which was directly under the control of central India agency. Later it was separated and formed a new agency called the Bagelkhand agency of central India. After the year 1993 the King Maharaja Shrimant Saheb Akshay Raj Singh Ju deo Bahadur ruled the state and transferred the town back to the Bundelkhand agency.
Origin of Goddess Maihar
The entire story of the Maihar Temple started ages ago, according to the holy Hindu scriptures and Puranas when Daksha Prajapati father of Sati (goddess and wife of Lord Shiva) organised a ritual holy function(Yajna). In this function, he invited every key member of his dynasty and from other dynasties also, later he sent an invitation to each god to attend his holy function and give him blessings. But Daksha Prajapati didn’t invite Lord Shiva as he was not happy with the marriage of her daughter Sati with Lord Shiva. However, Goddess Sati still attended the function with other gods but her father Daksha Prajapati insulted Lord Shiva. Sati somehow controlled her anger and waited for the completion of the function.
As soon as the function was over she reaches to her father and said you should apologize to Lord Shiva. But her father didn’t listen to her due to which Sati was in a state of complete anger and she finally decided to jump in the fire of that holy ritual. Later Lord Shiva appeared in a state of anger and sorrow and took the body of Sati with him. Due to the anger of Lord Shiva, the balance of the universe was disturbed. Then Lord Vishnu appeared in front of Shiva and to save mankind; he cut down the body of Sati into 51 pieces. Each part of the body was fallen on different locations which later turned into the temples of Goddess Sati. Each temple is worshipped and has its own significance and importance in terms of spirituality. Similarly, in the temple of Maihar, the necklace of Sati was fallen which later built as Maihar Temple.
Religious Significance & legends of Maihar Temple
In the district of Satna, this Maihar Temple has many legends and religious significance due to which it gains heavy tourist attraction. According to the legends, it is said that there were two Rajput warriors named Alha and Udal. These two warrior brothers also fought with the great King Prithviraj Chauhan in the year 1182. Alha and Udal founded the Maihar Temple and later he stayed and worshipped in the temple for approximately twelve years.
Because of the hard worship and dedication of Alha, the Goddess appeared in front of him and blessed him with the gift of immortality. Alha started to call the Goddess with the name of Sharada Mai and later, the temple was also called as Sharada Mai Temple. It is said that still Alha and Udal daily visit the temple early morning by climbing 1063 steps. There is a pond situated downhill behind the temple which is known as “Alha Pond”. Every night after the final worship the gates of the temple are closed. However, between 2 AM to 5 AM Alha and Udal visits the temple and worship the Goddess Sharada Mai by devoting water from Alha Pond and flowers to the idol. No one has ever seen them but there is evidence which proves that every morning someone visits the temple and worships the Goddess.
Exploring the Temple
If you are planning to travel this beautiful and religious place then you might know some of the things before visiting the place. The temple is blessed with beautiful scenic beauty which is covered with lush greenery. There are two ways through which you can visit the temple, one way is by taking the stairs and another is through the ropeway. There are around 1063 steps which directly reaches to the top of the temple. Every year thousands of devotees reach the temple by climbing these steps. There are different shops throughout the stair which have all the religious products related to the goddess and temple-like photo frames, lockets, bracelets, etc.
Another way to travel to the temple is through a ropeway. The ropeway is especially available for those who are aged or physically disabled. Only six persons are allowed in a ropeway. For a one-way trip costing are Rs.70 for one side for a single person and Rs.110 two side journey. Similarly, for children, the costing is Rs. 60 and Rs. 70 respectively. The ropeway service is present for tourist for the entire week and the timings are 6.30 AM to 7.00 PM.
How to Reach the Temple
If you are someone who likes to travel all such destinations by road then travelling the Maihar Temple would not be a problem for you. Roads are well managed by the government. The town is well connected with other nearby cities like Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Katni, Mumbai, etc.
Jabalpur domestic Airport is the nearest one, through which you can easily complete your journey. Jabalpur airport is around 160 km whereas Khajuraho airport is 140 km away.
Maihar railway station serves as the main station which is present in the town. It is well-connected with other states. Even the Jabalpur railway station is the second most popular railway station for travelling towards the town.
In the end
Thus visiting this magical temple is an unbelievable experience. Religious and spirituality are the two main aspects of this place which makes it a popular tourist destination. Do consider visiting this beautiful and holy place the Maihar temple.