There are several Devi temples all over India. One such important place of Devi worship is the ancient Maya Devi Temple of Haridwar. Built-in the 11th century, this Devi Temple is a powerful Shaktipeeth. Maya Devi is also famous for being one of the oldest temples in India. Maya Devi holds a very important position in the life of the local as well as visiting devotees. She is considered as the protector of Haridwar and no Devi pilgrimage is complete without a visit to Maya Devi Mandir. The Devi is held so important that during the early years, Haridwar was also called ‘Mayapuri’. Along with Bhairav Temple and Narayan Shila, the temple holds the position of being one of the most ancient 3 temples of Haridwar. Devotees of goddess Devi flock to the temple during the holy fairs and festivals of Navratri and Kumbh Mela in Haridwar.
About Maya Devi Temple Haridwar
Goddess Maya is the chief goddess of the holy city of Haridwar. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Maya. The temple is a Chaktipeeth because it is believed that the heart and navel of Sati had fallen here. Goddess Maya is known for bestowing goodwill and positive wishes in the life of her devotees. She is a form of Adi Shakti and is considered the goddess of divine power. Other than the presiding deity of goddess Maya, the temple also holds the idols of goddess kali and goddess Kamakhya. The temple has earned its name for being a Siddha Peeth since the presiding goddess holds the power of fulfilling the desires and wishes of the person seeking her blessings.
The history and legend associated with the temple date back to Sat Yug. Sati, Lord Shiva’s eternal consort had married him without her father Daksh’s permission or will. One time, when Daksh Prajapati had organized a Yagya, he had invited all the deities except Lord Shiva. Sati felt offended by this act and pleaded with him to invite her husband. Sadly, Daksh refused and insulted Lord Shiva. Unable to take her husband’s insults, she decided to jump and immolate herself in the Yagya fire.
When Lord Shiva came to know about her sacrifice, he got fuelled with anger. He ordered Virbhadra and Khali to destroy the Yagya and kill Daksh. He then carried his wife’s burnt body and traveled all over the world moaning and doing the dance of disaster called Tandav. The universe stood at the point of complete destruction. To save the universe, Lord Vishnu used the Sudarshana Chakra to cut up Sati’s body into different pieces. These pieces got cut up into 52 parts and fell all over India. The places where body pieces fell, came to be known as Shakti Peethas.
The temple is extremely old yet functionable. No weather changes or harsh conditions have been able to destroy the temple structure. The temple is built using North Indian architecture. It is a small temple that consists of stucco pictures showcasing goddess Sati in various forms and postures. The inner shrine of the temple consists of the Maya Devi idol along with the idols of goddess kali and goddess Kamakhya. Besides the main deity, the temple is also home to two other goddesses, both of which are said to be different forms of goddess Shakti. The temple also holds a metal idol of Chamunda and a sub shrine to the Sheetala Devi.
Here are the temple timings of Maya Devi Temple, Haridwar:
- Opening Time: 6:30 am to 12 noon.
- Closing Time: 3 pm to 9 pm.
The temple shuts down for lunch and rests for 3 hours from 12 noon to late afternoon at 3 pm. There are no entrance fees to the temple. It takes 1 to 2 hours for a complete Darshan experience. It may take some more time during some holy Devi occasion or if you choose to do some Aarti procession.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Maya Devi Mandir in Haridwar is from March to early June. Located on the foothills of the Himalayas, the weather during the summer season is the most comfortable time to explore Haridwar in general. The temperature during the said months is extremely favorable to travel and explore more. However, no matter what the weather or month the temple is safe for a visit throughout the year. To escape the crowd of devotees you can also plan a visit to Maya Devi Temple during the monsoon season.
How to Reach
The temple is situated in the Birla Ghat region. This place is located on the eastern side of Har Ki Pauri. It is located at a distance of just 600 meters from the Haridwar railway station. This makes Maya Devi Temple accessible to people traveling to Haridwar by train. From the railway station, people can get an auto-rickshaw or bus from the railway station to the temple. The nearest airport to Maya Devi Temple is the jolly grant airport in Dehradun. It is located at a distance of 35 km from the temple. People can hire a taxi or a cab service up to the temple from the airport. The temple is also half an hour away from Rishikesh.
There are a few things that you should keep in mind before planning a visit to Maya Devi Temple. Here are some travel tips to help you out:
- Some must-visit places in Haridwar are: Har Ki Pauri, Chandi Devi Temple, Mansa Devi Temple, Shanti Kunj, Patanjali Yogpeeth, etc.
- If traveling to Haridwar during the winter months, remember to pack some good amount and quality of woollen clothing.
- Make your hotel booking beforehand, especially if traveling during fair and festival season. There are plenty of accommodation options available for people traveling with any amount of budget.
- Some must-have experiences in and around Haridwar are – attending the holy Ganga Aarti, going rafting in Rishikesh, meditating in one of the many ashrams here, learning yoga from expert yogis, etc.
- Other interesting places to visit in Haridwar include – Kushavarta Ghat, Adbhut Mandir, Bara Bazar, Bilkeshwar Mahadev Temple, Swami Vivekananda Park, etc.
This is everything you need to know about the iconic, holy Maya Devi Temple in Haridwar. This thorough travel guide will help your visit here too.