Kunjapuri Devi Temple is located on a hillock around 24 km away from Rishikesh. This temple is dedicated to one of the thirteen most important goddesses of Shivalik range. The temple is well-known among the travellers as it gives a beautiful view of the sunrise and the sunset from the greater Himalayan peaks. Snow ranges and peaks of Garhwal Himalayas like Swarga Rohini, Gangotri, Banderpunch and Chaukhamba, can also be seen from this temple.
Kunjapuri Devi temple is considered as one of the 52 Shaktipeeth of our divine Mother. Shakti denotes power. To understand the meaning and significance of Shaktipeeth, let us go back to our Puranas (Hindu scriptures).
Goddess Parvati is the consort of Lord Shiva. In her previous birth, Goddess Parvati was known as Sati. She had married the Lord but her father King Daksha was not too pleased. He had organized a Yagna, a spiritual gathering where offerings are made to Agni Dev (Fire God). He had purposely not invited his daughter and her husband. When Sati came to know of this, she was furious and decided to go uninvited. Lord Shiva tried to persuade her to drop this idea but she was relentless.
King Daksha gave his reasons to Sati which was nothing but public humiliation of her husband. Angered by this, Sati jumped into the sacrificial fire and ended her life. Lord Shiva was torn apart. He destroyed and created havoc at the Yagna. Then carried the remains of Sati’s body on his shoulder and danced the dance of destruction-Tandav which would eventually destroy the Universe. While other versions state that in grief, the Lord carried her body on his shoulders and walked aimlessly in grief. He refused to complete the final rites.
Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe felt that if Sati’s body did not receive proper cremation according to the Hindu Shastra’s then she could not take rebirth as Goddess Parvati. While Lord Vishnu was concerned that Lord Shiva’s grief would slowly cause the destruction of the Universe. They could not control or face Lord Shiva’s anger so Lord Vishnu took his Sudarshan Chakra (Disc) and cut the body into pieces. As Lord Shiva traveled her body part fell and last rites were done by the gods. The places where divine Mother’s body parts fell is known as Shaktipeeth. Temples have been built around it and worshipped daily. People travel across continents to seek blessings of Shakti.We have been very fortunate to seek blessings from one such Shaktipeeth located in Rishikesh where divine Mother’s chest had fallen.
More info: http://raftingcampingrishikesh.com/