Vani Saptashrungi Devi Temple- A Complete Guide & A Must Visit Temple
One of Maharashtra's three and a half Shaktipeeths is the Vani Saptashrungi Devi temple located in Nashik district which is close to Vani Village. The Western Ghats of Saptashrungi consists of seven series of hills with an average elevation of 4500 feet above sea level. The area around the temple contains 108 water bodies. The words “Sapta '' and ''Shrungi " both signify seven and it is considered one of India's 51 Shaktipeeths.
It is to be believed that Saptashrungi Nivasini Devi reside on these seven mountain peaks.
Unique Features of the Vani Saptashrungi Devi Temple:
The idol of Devi is about 10 feet tall along with 18 hands holding different kinds of weapons. The sindoor that is applied on the idol seems to be very lucky. It is believed that she is Mahishasur Mardini as she kills buffalo-like demon Mahishasura. Therefore, the head of buffalo is made by the stone at the bottom of a hill from where one begins climbing the mountain steps demonstrates that demon.
Therefore, the buffalo head fashioned of stone at the bottom of the hill, from which one begins mounting the steps, is thought to be that of the demon. It is said that sage Markandeya, who performed rigorous penance on a hill opposite the one on which the Devi resides composed a sacred book on Devi Mahatmya which extols the greatness of Devi and her exploits.
The idol of Devi is adorned with a tall crown that resembles a papal tiara, a gold nose ring, and gold necklaces that are used as ornaments. She wears a robe and a blouse, which are replaced with new clothes each day. She takes a bath, two days a week using warm water, before dressing for worship. Her trishula, also known as a trident, is embellished with bells and lamps in the courtyard in front of the temple. Other priceless goddess decorations exist, which are ordinarily kept in safekeeping at Vani but are utilized to adorn the Goddess on particular festival days.
The eyes of the Devi are made of white porcelain and sparkle very brightly. The body of the Devi is painted bright red with an ochre known as sindoor, which is seen as fortunate in this area. The Chief of Vinchur later made modifications. With the installation of numerous facilities, the temple has recently undergone restorations as well.
The facilities built at the shrine include over 500 steps that are cut into the hill's rock slopes and lead to the temple entrance along with the community center and a gallery where worshippers can line up and can easily get a view of the goddess. Umabai Dabhade constructed the stairs in the year 1710 AD.
At the peak of the mountain where Saptashrungi Devi's temple is located, it is said that there is just one flag that is hoisted. On the day of the full moon in April, it is said that the village chief of Burigaon climbs the hill. He raises a flag on that particular day. The route he takes to climb and come back is kept secret. Additionally, it is said that anyone who attempts to navigate this route will lose his eyesight.
Back Story of this Temple
According to Hindu mythology an insulted Sati, Lord Shiva's bride, sacrificed herself in a fire worship rite which was conducted by her father Dakshmaharaj. Due to this incident, Lord Shiva became very angry and began the tandava nritya (dance of destruction). Lord Vishnu split Sati's body into multiple pieces with the help of his Sudershan chakra, in order to save all of creation. The remains of Sati were dispersed across various places which later resulted in 51 holy sites, where temples have been built, known as Peethas or the Shakti Peethas. According to reports, Vani Saptashrungi Devi Temple is the place where Sati's right arm fell.
The Vani Saptashrungi Devi Temple with Swayambhu Murti:
The two-story temple is situated in front of the sanctum, a natural cave.The second level of the temple is the place where the cave is located. A self-manifested Murti of the Goddess is visible carved into a rock face inside the cave. The Murti has 18 arms, each of which is holding a divine weapon like a Sudarshan Chakra or Trishul. It is about 18 feet tall. The Murti is always beautifully decked out in jeweled, silk, and sindoor attire.
Cost of Vani Saptashrungi Devi Temple Ropeway Tickets:
With the aid of a trolley, pilgrims can be reached in three minutes. It eliminates the need to climb around 500 steps. The trolley moves at a 36-degree angle. Each trip includes two air-conditioned trolleys that can hold 60 passengers each.
The trolly services are available seven days a week, from 6:00 AM to 9:30 PM.
The charge of a trolley facility for adults is INR 100, while child fees are INR 50. (Subject to change)
Timings for Vani Saptashrungi Devi Temple: 5:30 am to 9:00 pm
On special occasions and Jagratas, the temple is open till late at night.
The temple of Saptashrungi Devi serves meals from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m which cost INR 15.
How to reach Vani Saptashrungi Devi Temple:
The closest rail station is in Nashik Road, around 70 kilometers from the temple.
The distance between the airport and the temple is 57 kilometers.
Mumbai Airport is about 231 kilometers from the temple.
Travel Advice for Saptashrungi Devi Temple
Keep your valuables at home.
Animals are not permitted.
Never pay a guide for a tour.
For the climb, dress comfortably and put on lightweight shoes.
Take water bottles with you.
Also Read: Kedarnath Temple- All the things you should know in 2023