Who says feminism didn't exist before the modern civilisation began? When we look at our mythologies, it is evident that courage, intelligence, strength, determination, etc. of women are highlighted. Similarly, when we look at Hindu myths, goddesses are given a high status and are respected.
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Goddesses are portrayed as powerful and aggressive in many legends. So, it is impossible to say that the concept of feminism is entirely new, isn't it? Well, talking about the goddesses, there are many interesting legends weaved into many sacred places.
Shall we traverse around these beautiful Devi temples in Maharashtra and know the fascinating tales!
The consort of Lord Vishnu and the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi is the presiding deity of Kolhapureshwari Temple. This 7th-century shrine is one of the famous Devi temples in Maharashtra. Sri Mahalakshmi Temple in Kolhapur is also a Shakti Peetha and a most revered shrine across the country.
Mumba Devi Mandir
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Mumba Devi Temple
Do you know that Mumbai city derives its name from Mumba Devi Temple? Maa Mumba Devi is said to be the local deity of the natives of Bombay. It is also said that the woman who built this shrine was also known as Mumba. Today, Mumba Devi Temple is one of the famous heritage sites in Mumbai with its 600-year history.
Tulaja Bhavani Temple Entrance
Photo Courtesy: Anjali Sajan
Tulaja Bhavani Temple
Tulaja Bhavani Temple in Tulajapur is one among the 51 Shakti Peethas in India. Goddess Bhavani also rules as the principle deity of several royal families in Maharashtra. Local legends say that Chhatrapati Shivaji always visited Tulaja Bhavani temple to seek her blessings. Mythology has it that Tulaja Bhavani destroyed the demon Matanga who was creating problems for all the gods and goddesses.
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Vajreshwari is a temple town around 80km from Mumbai. Sri Vajreshwari Yogini Devi Mandir is the said to be the incarnation of Goddess Parvati. Surrounded by a fort like structure, Vajreshwar Temple is one of the popular Devi temples in Maharashtra.
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The name of the shrine is derived from the surrounding hill ranges called Saptashrungi. It is also one of the 51 Shakti Peethas located about 70km from Nashik. As per the legends, Sati's limb is believed to have fallen at this place. Saptashrungi Temple is not just famous as a pilgrimage site but also for the beautiful vistas of Sahyadri Ranges.
Ekavira Devi Temple in Karla Caves
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Ekavira Devi Temple
Amidst the Buddhist cave temples in Karla Caves, Ekavira Devi Temple shines to this day. Ekavira Ai (Maa) is a local deity who has a great importance in this region. Devotees have to climb around 500 steps to reach Ekavira Devi Temple.
Photo Courtesy: Umesh Kale
Chaturshringi Temple is said to be built by Shivaji and it one of the prominent temples in Pune. 'Chaturshringi' means mountain with 4 peaks; the temple is located on a hilly slope in the Senapati Bapat Road. Goddess Chaturshringi also known as Goddess Ambareshwari and she is a revered deity in the city.
Seek the blessings of mother goddesses and get enchanted by the mythologies behind their creation!