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Maihar Devi (Sharda Devi)

Location

Maihar Devi Temple is located on Trikuta hill at a distance of 1 km from Maihar in Satna District of Madhya Pradesh state in North India. Maihar Devi Temple is 296 kms from Varanasi and 40 kms from Satna District. Nearest airport is in Khajuraho at a distance of 137 kms followed by Jabalpur airport at a distance of 165 kms and Varanasi airport at a distance of 305 kms.

How to Reach

Maihar Devi is well connected by road and train. From Varanasi you may reach Maihar by train or taxi as there is no direct bus or flight. If you are travelling by train then you have to get down at Maihar railway station (1 km). Maihar has regular bus services to the nearby cities such as Satna. Normally all trains do not have stop at Maihar but due to heavy rush of pilgrims during Navratri festivals most of the trains stop at Maihar for the convenience of passengers.

Best Time to Visit

Anytime of the year but preferably from October to March to avoid hot summers.

Pooja Timings

From 6.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.

Highlights

Maihar is well-known for the temple of revered Mother Goddess Sharda. Maihar is a prominent site of Sharda Devi and also believed to be a Shaktipeeth by Hindus. Millions of pilgrims visit the temple all-round the year. Pilgrims have to climb 1063 steps to reach Trikuta hill top where the temple is situated. To view Goddess Sharda Devi, one has to pass through passage which has a flat roof with beautiful carvings. Behind the temple and at the foot of the Trikuta hill, there is a lake called as Alha Lake. There is also a wrestling ring close to it where Alha and Udal used to practice wrestling. Sharda Devi was also the deity worshipped by Chandel kings. There is an ancient inscription near the feet of stone sculpture of Goddess Sharda Devi in the temple along with a statue of Lord Narsingh. These statues were established by Nupula Deva in 502 AD. There is also a ropeway system to reach the hill top which is a great boon to the pilgrims (particularly the old and the handicapped) to fulfill their wish to have the audience of Mother Goddess Sharda.
It is widely believed that Alha and Udal were very strong followers of Sharda Devi. It is said that they are the first ones to visit Goddess Sharda Devi in this remote forest. They used to call Mother Goddess by the name 'Sharda Mai' and thereafter she became popular as 'Maa Sharda'. According to Alhakhand by Jaganak, Alha had worshipped for 12 years and was granted immortality with the blessings of Goddess Sharda Devi. It is believed that the form of Goddess Sharda is that of a Mother and she is the giver of knowledge and strength, and if pleased then she also grants salvation to Her devotees. People of Maihar also believe that Alha is still alive and comes daily at 4 a.m. to worship Goddess Sharda Devi. Maihar is also an important site for industry due to a cement plant which is famous as Maihar Cement. Senia Maihar style of Hindustani classical music evolved in Maihar and renowned musician Ustad Alauddin Khan trained many musicians like Annapurna Devi and Pandit Ravishankar.

History

Maihar town was formerly the capital of the state of Maihar. The oldest archaeological evidence found here is from the Gupt period about a person called Nupul Dev who is believed to have established an idol of Lord Narsingh in 502 A.D. During Chandel rule Sharda Devi Temple was their worshipped deity. Alha and Udal, two important generals of the Chandel king, Parmardi, were staunch devotees of her. In the 18th century, the Kachhwaha Rajputs of Orchha conquered the entire region. In 1778 A.D., the Kachhwahas made Maihar their capital and established the Maihar kingdom. During the British regime, the ruler of this province was given the title of Maharaja since it was a part of the Bundelkhand Agency. The state became a princely state of British India in the early 19th century and was administered as part of Bundelkhand Agency. In 1871 the eastern states of Bundelkhand Agency including Maihar were separated to form a new agency of Bagelkhand. In 1933 Maihar, along with ten other states in western Bagelkhand were transferred back to the Bundelkhand Agency. Extensive ruins of shrines and other buildings surround the town of Maihar.

Accomodation

There are limited options for staying in Maihar however there are some hotels along with Dharmashalas for lodging. Here are the names with contact number of few hotels in the area:

  • Hotel Park              +91 7672 223 017

  • Hotel Savera          +91 7672 227661, 98272 44797

  • Hotel Chanakya    +91 7672 225 026

For more information visitors may contact Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation at following details:

            MPSTDC, Railway Station, Satna.

            Contact number: +91 7672 225 471

            Website: www.mptourism.com