Weather :

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Timings : Darshan: 6:30 AM - 12:00 PM, 3:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Aarti: 6:30 AM

Maya Devi Temple, Haridwar Overview

Built in the 11th century, the Maya Devi temple in Haridwar is one of the oldest temples in India. The temple is dedicated to Hindu goddess Maya and is also one of the three Shaktipeeth, believed to be the place where the heart and navel of Goddess Sati fell. Goddess Maya is considered to be a form of Adi Shakti, who is believed to be the Goddess of divine power. Devotees of the Goddess visit in large numbers during Navratra and Kumbh Mela to take her blessings.

Maya Devi is considered by many as the chief Goddess of the holy city and no pilgrimage is complete without doing Devi's darshan. Formerly the city of Haridwar was even called Mayapuri in veneration to this deity. The ancient Maya Devi Temple is also one of the three oldest temples of Haridwar, which is still intact, the other two being Narayana-shila and Bhairava Temple. Along with goddess Maya, the sacred temple is graced by the idols of goddess Kamakhya and Goddess Kali who are also a form of Adi parashakti. It is a common belief that the holy temple is a Siddha peeth which means that the presiding goddess has the power to fulfil any desires or wishes of the person seeking Her blessings.

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Legend of Maya Devi Temple

According to Hindu mythology, Sati, who was the divine consort of Lord Shiva, married him against her father's wishes. One time Daksh Prajapati, Sati's father, decided to perform a Yagya and invited all the deities except Lord Shiva. Sati, even after knowing this reached her paternal home and asked her father to invite her husband. However, Daksh insulted her daughter and Lord Shiva. Unable to bear her husband's insult Sati self-immolated herself in the Yagya's Agni (fire).

When Lord Shiva heard of Sati's sacrifice, he ordered Virbhadra and Khali to destroy the yagya and kill Daksha. Loaded with fury, he travelled the entire world carrying his wife's burnt corpse, moaning and dancing the dance of destruction (tandav). To save the universe from Shiva’s rage, Lord Vishnu ordered his Sudarshan Chakra and cut Sati's body into pieces. These broken pieces fell on 52 different places in the Indian subcontinent. These pieces came to be known as Shakti Peeth. Goddess Maya Devi temple is formed where Sati's heart and navel fell and is, hence, considered one of the most revered shakti peeth of all.

Structure of Maya Devi Temple

The ancient Maya Devi Temple was established in the eleventh century, along with two others: The Narayana-Shila Temple and the Bhairava Temple. All three still stand and have not been destroyed by time or environment to date, and have developed to be the centres for pilgrimage, seeking of blessing and worship.

Built with traditional north Indian architecture, it is a small temple that contains stucco pictures depicting different postures of the Devi. The inner shrine of the temple enshrines three idols, the Maya Devi in the centre, Goddess Kali on the left and Goddess Kamakhya on the right. Besides these, the temple also preserves two other goddesses, and both believed to be forms of the Goddess Shakti. There is also a metal idol of Chamunda and a sub-shrine to the Sheetala Devi. It is said that the goddess fulfils desires and wishes when prayed to with love and complete devotion.

Best Time to Visit

You can visit the Maya Devi temple anytime during the year. However, visiting during Navratri and Kumbh Mela is very popular.
Try to Visit during early mornings or late evenings to escape the crowd of devotees.

Tips

1. You can buy offering like garland, flowers and prasad for the Goddess from the vendors outside the temple only for INR 10-30.
2. Photography is allowed inside the temple premises.

How To Reach Maya Devi Temple

This temple is located on the Birla Ghat to the east of the Har ki Puri. It is at a distance of about 600m from Haridwar railway station. You can take a bus or an auto rickshaw from there.

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