This goddess Shakti, the goddess of power is the complete incarnation of Adi Shakti, has three chief manifestations, as Durga, goddess of strength and valour, as Mahakali, goddess of destruction of evil and as Goddess Gowri, the goddess of benevolence.
Adi Shakti Peethas
Legend Shiva carrying the corpse of Dakshayani When Lord Bhrahma was tired creating the universe, he performed a yagya to make Lord Shiva happy and then Lord Shiva appeared and sacrificed Shakti which helped Bhrahma in the creation of the universe.
Then Bhrahma decided that one day Shakti would be given back to Lord Shiva. Therefore, Daksh (son of Bhrahma) performed several yagya's to obtain Shakti as his daughter in the form of Sati. It was then decided that Sati was brought into this world with the motive of getting married to Shiva.
However, due to Lord Shiva's curse to Bhrahma that he would not be worshiped and also his fifth head was cut off due to his lie in front of Lord Shiva..... Daksha started hating Lord Shiva and changed his will that at any cost he will not let Lord Shiva and Sati married.
But Destiny has its own fate, series of incidents happenned due to which Sati got attracted to Lord Shiva and finally one day Lord Shiva and Sati got married. This however not reduced Daksh's hatred towards Lord Shiva, on the contrary it started increasing.
Hence one day, in Satya Yuga, Daksha performed a yagna with a desire to take revenge on Lord Shiva. Daksha was angry because his daughter Dakshayani also known as Sati had married the 'yogi' God Shiva against his wish. Daksha invited all the deities to theyagna except for Shiva and Shakti. The fact that she was not invited did not deter Shakti from attending the yagna. She had expressed her desire to attend to Shiva who had tried his best to dissuade her from going. Shiva eventually allowed her to go escorted by his followers.
But Sati, being an uninvited guest, was not given any respect. Furthermore, Daksha insulted Shiva. Sati was unable to bear her father's insults toward her husband, so Dakshayani (the other name of Sati meaning the daughter of Daksha) invoked her yogic powers and immolated herself.
Enraged at the insult and the injury, Shiva destroyed Daksha's sacrifice, cut off Daksha's head, and later replaced it with that of a male goat as he restored him to life due to the prayers of all demi gods and Brahma. Still immersed in grief, Shiva picked up the remains of Sati's body, and performed the Tandava,the celestial dance of destruction, across all creation. The other gods requested Vishnu to intervene to stop this destruction, towards which Vishnu used the Sudarshana Chakra, which cut through the corpse of Sati. The various parts of the body fell at several spots all through the Indian subcontinent and formed sites which are known as Shakti Peethas today.
At all the Shakti Peethas, the Goddess Shakti is accompanied by Lord Bhairava (a manifestation of Lord Shiva).
Four Adi Shakti Pithas Some of the great religious texts like the Shiva Purana, the Devi Bhagavata, the Kalika Purana and the AstaShakti recognize four major Shakti Pithas (centers),
1. Bimala (Pada Khanda) (inside the Jagannath temple of Puri, Orissa), Tara Tarini (Sthana Khanda,
2. Purnagiri ,Breasts) (Near Berhampur, Orissa),
3. Kamakhya (Yoni khanda) (Near Guwahati, Assam) and
4. Dakhina Kalika (Mukha khanda) (Kolkata, West Bengal) originated from the limbs of the Corpse of Mata Sati in the Satya Yuga.
The Astashakti and Kalika Purana says (in Sanskrit):
"Bimala Pada khandancha,
Sthana khandancha Tarini (Tara Tarini),
Kamakshya Yoni khandancha,
Mukha khandancha Kalika (Dakshina Kalika)
Anga pratyanga sanghena
Vishnu Chakra Kshyta nacha"
Further explaining the importance of these four Pithas, the "Brihat Samhita" also gives the location of these Pithas as
Rushikulya* Tatae Devi,
Tashya Srunga Stitha Tara
* (Rushikulya is a holy river flowing on the foot hill of the Tara Tarini Hill Shrine).
"Shakti" refers to the Goddess worshipped at each location, all being manifestations of Dakshayani, Parvati or Durga;
- "Body Part or Ornament" refers to the body part or piece of jewellery that fell to earth, at the location on which the respective temple is built.
1.Puri, Orissa (inside Jagannath Temple complex)PadaBimala
2. Near Berhampur-Orissa Sthana khandaTara Tarini
3. Guwahati-AssamYoni khanda Kamakshya
4. Kolkata- West Bengal Mukha khanda Dakshina Kalika
Apart from these four there are 52 other famous Peethas recognised by religious texts.
According to the Pithanirnaya Tantra the 52 peethas are scattered all over India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and Pakistan. The Shivacharita besides listing 52 maha-peethas, speaks about 26 more upa-peethas.
The Bengali almanac, Vishuddha Siddhanta Panjika too describes the 52 peethas including the present modified addresses. A few of the several accepted listings are given below. One of the few in South India, Srisailam inAndhra Pradesh became the site for a 2nd century temple.
The 52 Shakti Pithas listed below & a few more:
-......."Body Part or Ornament" refers to the body part or piece of jewellery that fell to earth, at the location on which the respective temple is built.
-...... "Shakti" refers to the Goddess worshipped at each location, all being manifestations of Dakshayani, Parvati or Durga;
-........"Bhairava" refers to the corresponding consort, each a manifestation of Shiva;
1. Kanchipuram, Kamakshi temple, Kamakoti Peetam mentioned in Lalita Sahasram, Trishati, Astothram etc.Ottiyana (Ornament covering stomach) (shakti) Kamakshi / (Shiva) Kaal Bhairav
2. Nainativu (Manipallavam), Northern Province, Sri Lanka. Located 36 km from the ancient capital of the Jaffna kingdom, Nallur. The murti of the Goddess is believed to have been consecrated and worshipped by Lord Indra. The protagonist, Lord Rama and antagonist, Ravana of the Sanskrit epic Ramayana have offered obeisances to the Goddess. Nāga and Garuda of the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata; resolved their long standing feuds after worshipping this Goddess. Silambu (Anklets...........shakti...Indrakshi (Nagapooshani /Bhuvaneswari)/ .... Shiva/ Rakshaseshwar (Nayanair)
3. Shivaharkaray, a little distance from Sukkur Station from Karachi, Pakistan Eyes..... Shakti Mahishmardini / Shiva...Krodhish
4. Sugandha, situated in Shikarpur, Gournadi, about 20 km from Barisal town, Bangladesh, on the banks of Sonda river. Nose........ Shakti Sugandha/ Shiva Trayambak
5. Amarnath in Kashmir, India from Srinagar through Pahalgam 94 km by Bus, Chandanwari 16 km by walk Throat......... shakti Mahamaya / Shiva..Trisandhyeshwar
6. Jwalamukhi, Kangra, India from Pathankot alight at Jwalamukhi Road Station from there 20 km Tongue....... shakti Siddhida (Ambika) .......Shiva Unmatta Bhairav
7. Ambaji, at Anart, Gujarat, India Heart Ambaji
8. Nepal, near Pashupatinath Temple at Guhyeshwari Temple Both knees MahashiraKapali
9. Manas, under Tibet at the foot of Mount Kailash in Lake Mansarovar, a piece of StoneRight handDakshayaniAmar
10. Bardhaman in West Bengal, India NavelMata Sarbamangala DeviBhagwan Shiv/Mahadev
11. Gandaki in Pokhara, Nepal about 125 km on the banks of Gandaki river where Muktinath temple is situatedTempleGandaki ChandiChakrapani
12. Bahula, on the banks of Ajay river at Ketugram, 8 km from Katwa, Burdwan, West Bengal, IndiaLeft armGoddess BahulaBhiruk
13. Ujaani, 16 km from Guskara station under Burdwan district of West Bengal, IndiaRight wristMangal ChandikaKapilambar
14. Udaipur, Tripura, at the top of the hills known as Tripura Sundari temple near Radhakishorepur village, a little distance away from Udaipur town of Tripura, IndiaRight legTripura SundariTripuresh
15. On Chandranath hill near Sitakunda station of Chittagong District, Bangladesh. The famous Chandranath Temple on the top of the hill is the Bhairav temple of this Shakti Peetha, not the Shakti Peeth itself.Right armBhawaniChandrashekhar
16. Locally known as Bhramari Devi. Behind a rice mill, near Jalpesh Temple in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, India.Left legBhraamariAmbar
17. Kamgiri, Kamakhya, in the Neelachal hills near Guwahati, capital of Assam, IndiaGenitalsKamakhyaUmanand
18. yoga adya at Khirgram under Burdwan district, West Bengal, India Big Toe (Right)JugaadyaKsheer Khandak
19. Kalipeeth, (Kalighat, Kolkata), India Right ToesKalikaNakuleshwar
20. Prayag near Sangam at Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, IndiaFingerAlopi Devi Mandiror MadhaveswariBhava
21. Jayanti at Nartiang village in the Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya state, India. This Shakti Peetha is locally known as the Nartiang Durga Temple.Left thighJayantiKramadishwar
22. Kireet at Kireetkona village, 3 km from Lalbag Court Road station under district Murshidabad, West Bengal, India CrownVimlaSanwart
23. Varanasi at Manikarnika Ghat on banks of the Ganges at Kashi, Uttar Pradesh, IndiaEarringVishalakshi & ManikarniKalbhairav
24. Kanyashram, Kanyakumari the Bhadrakali temple within the precincts of Kumari temple, Tamil Nadu, India (also thought to be situated in Chittagong, Bangladesh)BackSarvaniNimish
25. Present day Kurukshetra town or Thanesar ancient Sthaneshwar, at Haryana, India Ankle boneSavitri/BhadraKaliSthanu
26. Manibandh, at Gayatri hills near Pushkar 11 km north-west of Ajmer, Rajasthan, India Two BraceletsGayatriSarvanand
27. Shri Shail, at Joinpur village, Dakshin Surma, near Gotatikar, 3 km north-east of Sylhet town, Bangladesh Neck Mahalaxmi Sambaranand
28. Kankalitala, on the banks of Kopai River 10 km north-east of Bolpur station in Birbhum district, Devi locally known as Kankaleshwari West Bengal, India Bone Devgarbha Ruru
29. Kalmadhav on the banks of Shon river in a cave over hills near to Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh, India Left buttock Kali Asitang
30. Shondesh, at the source point of Narmada River in Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh, India Right buttock NarmadaBhadrasen
31. Ramgiri, at Chitrakuta on the Jhansi Manikpur railway line in Uttar Pradesh, India Right breast Shivani Chanda
32. Vrindavan, near new bus stand on Bhuteshwar road within Bhuteshwar Mahadev Temple, Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India Ringlets of hair Uma Bhutesh
33. Shuchi, in a Shiva temple at Suchindrum 11 km on Kanyakumari Trivandrum road, Tamil Nadu, India Upper teeth Narayani Sanhar
34. Panchsagar exact location not known (thought to be near Haridwar)Bottom teethVarahiMaharudra
35. Bhavanipur union, at Karatoyatat, 28 km distance from interior Sherpur upazila, Bogra District, BangladeshLeft anklet (ornament) Arpana Vaman
36. Shri Parvat, near Ladak, Kashmir, India. Another belief: at Srisailam in Shriparvat hills under Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh, India Right anklet (ornament)ShrisundariSundaranand
37. Vibhash, at Tamluk under district Purba Medinipur, West Bengal, India Left ankle Kapalini (Bhimarupa)Sarvanand
38. Prabhas, 4 km from Veraval station near Somnath temple in Junagadh district of Gujarat, India Stomach Chandrabhaga Vakratund
39. Bhairavparvat, at Bhairav hills on the banks of Shipra river a little distance from Ujjaini town, Madhya Pradesh, India Upper lips Avanti Lambkarna
40. Goddess Saptashrungi (Goddess with 18 arms)]], at Vani in Nasik, Maharashtra, India Chin (2 parts)BhramariVikritaksh
41. Sarvashail or Godavaritir, at Kotilingeswar temple on the banks of Godavari river near Rajamundry, Andhra Pradesh, India Cheeks Rakini or VishweshwariVatsnabh or Dandpani
42. Virat, near Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India Left toes Ambika Amriteshwar
43. Locally known as Anandamayee Temple. Ratnavali, on the banks of Ratnakar river at Khanakul-Krishnanagar, district Hooghly, West Bengal, Right Shoulder Kumari Shiva
44. Mithila, near Janakpur railway station on the border of India and Nepal Left shoulder Uma Mahodar
45. Nalhati, known as "Nalateshwari Temple" near Nalhati station of Birbhum district, West Bengal, India Vocal chord with part of the tracheae Kalika Devi Yogesh
46. Karnat, Kangra, himachalpradesh. Both ears Jayadurga Abhiru
47. Bakreshwar, on the banks of Paaphara river, 24 km distance from Siuri Town, district Birbhum, 7 km from Dubrajpur Rly. Station West Bengal, India Portion between the eyebrows Mahishmardini Vakranath
48. Jessoreswari, situated at Ishwaripur, Shyamnagar, district Satkhira, Bangladesh. The temple complex was built byMaharaja Pratapaditya, whose capital was Ishwaripur. Palms of hands and soles of the feet Jashoreshwari Chanda
49. Attahas village of Dakshindihi in the district of Bardhaman, near the Katwa railway station, in West Bengal, India Lips Phullara Vishvesh
50. Sainthia, locally Known as "Nandikeshwari" temple. Only 1.5 km from the railway station under a banyan tree within a boundary wall, Birbhum district, West Bengal, IndiaNecklaceNandiniNandikeshwar
51. Hinglaj (Or Hingula), southern Baluchistan a few hours North-east of Gawadar and about 125 km towards North-west from Karachi, PakistanBramharandhra (Part of the head)KottariBhimlochan
52. Danestwari (Kuldevi Of Bastar state ), Dantewada 80 km from Jagdalpur Tehsil, ChhattisgarhDaant (teeth)DanteshwariKapalbhairv
53. Vajreshwari , Kangra 18 km from Dharamshala Tehsil, Kangraleft Breast (teeth)VajreshwariKalbhairv
53. [Padmavati Devi] (Padmavatipuri Dham), Panns 80 km from Satna Madhya PradeshPadmPadmavati DeviKapalbhairav
54. Tarapith, on the banks of Dwarka river, about 6 km from Rampurhat sub-division, Birbhum district, West Bengal, India Third eye or spiritual eye (Tara)Tara
55. Chandika Sthan or chandisthan, at Munger temple on the banks of Ganges near Ganga Darshan, Bihar, IndiaLeft eyeChandika or Chandi deviBholeshankar
56. Patan Devi , at Tulsipur railway station on the border of India and Nepal dist.Balrampur near gorakhpur, uttar pradesh,Indialeft shoulder with clothsBadi Patan Devi/chhoti Patan DeviBhairav57Arbuda Devi, at Mount Abu, Rajasthan, IndiaAdharArbuda Devi or Adhar DeviBhairav