Mansa Devi


The famous and ancient temple of goddess
Mansa Devi is located near a famous city of India,
Chandigarh. A few kilometres away from Chandigarh is a town called Manimajra and the temple
is situated here. Mansa Devi is one of the main
‘Shakti Pith’. The head of goddess ‘Sati’, the consort of Shiva, had fallen here. A big festival is
celebrated during the spring ‘Nav-Ratras’. Millions of people visit the temple on this occasion.
One can get plenty of buses for Manimajra from
Chandigarh bus-stand. In addition all other types of transport facilities are available.

The History of Mansa Devi temple

Several fables connected with this temple goddess are known but the most authentic-story is as
Akbar, a place Manimajra near Chandigarh, on
which stands the Mansa Devi temple, was an estate of a Rajput landlord. The emperor used to receive grains as land tax from farmers and landlords. Once crops failed due to natural vagaries
and the Rajput landlords failed to pay taxes.
Therefore they requested the emperor to wave off
the taxes. Although, the mugal emperor Akbar
was a humane king, yet he paid no heed towards
the humble plea of landlords and imprisoned

The news of imprisonment of the landlords
spread far and wide. A poet devotee of Durga goddess, named Garib Dass, organised a mass worship and oblations to sacrificial fire. Goddess be-
came happy and appeared before the devotee and
asked him to express his desire. The poet Garib
Dass said to mother, “Kindly get all the imprisoned landlords released.” The mother became
happy and benedicted him and disappeared.

By the grace of mother, the landlords won the
case in emperor’s court and the land tax was
exempted by the judge that year. The landlords on
their return to home came to know about the appearance of goddess and subsequent blessings.
All of them constructed a temple in the name of
goddess Mansa Devi-Mansa means desire fulfilment and became famous in the world as such.

After the establishment of the shrine once
Maharaja Patiala, who was an ardent devotee of
goddess, saw her in dream. She told him that she
has appeared at place called Mani-majra. So he
should construct a temple and earn her blessings.
The king followed her instructions and constructed a huge temple complex which was also
named after Mansa Devi. The king constructed a
temple of Durga in Patiala also.

Mansa Devi Temple (Haridwar)

There is another Mansa Devi temple located on
Shivalik-mountain-peak near Haridwar. It is not
counted as a ‘Shakti-Peeth’ but it is gaining tremendous popularity at present. The pilgrims visiting Haridwar visit this temple as a routine and put
a thread round a tree for fulfilment of desires. The
temple has been constructed at an ascent of 1 km.
The distance can be covered through a trolly also.

The idol of Mansa Devi, in the temple, is having
five faces and three arms. On the left side is the
place of sacrificial fire (Havan Kund) and the temple of Sheetia Devi. On the right hand side is the
temple of Chamunda Devi and Lakshmi Narayan.
In front of the main temple, is the temple of Lord
Shiva. On the west is an ancient temple and principal temple of Shiva. Several idols of gods and goddesses have been placed on the outer walls of
main temple.

The Story of Mansa Devi

(Goddess on Shivalik mountains near Haridwar).
When the snake’s offering in sacrifice was
being conducted by Janmejaya, then god Brahma
spoke to gods, “The population of snakes has decreased in the world in a big way. Now a saint
named ‘Zart-Karu’ will have a son named ‘Asteek’.
He will stop the snake sacrifice.” On enquiry of the
gods Lord Brahma replied that wife of saint ‘Zart-
Karu’ also will bear the same name. She will be sister of snake king ‘Vasuki’. She will give birth to
‘Asteek’ and he will liberate the snakes.

Then a snake, named ‘Aelapatr’, said to the
snake king Vasuki, “Keeping in view the plight of
snakes, I feel you should give the hand of your sister ‘Zart-Karu’ to saint ‘Zart-Karu’. When he will
come for alms and ask for her hand, you should immediately offer her.”

Meanwhile ocean-churning (Samundar-Manthan) took place. Vasuki was used as a rope in ocean-churning. So gods carried Vasuki to Lord Brahma and the lord asked him to marry his sister
to saint Zart-Karu, as told by ‘Aelapatr’. Vasuki ordered all the snakes of oworld to locate ‘Zart-Karu’
and asked them to inform him about the saint’s
wish to marry his sister.

Readers, this may be foretold that the wife of
the same saint ‘Zart-Karu’ later became famous as
‘Mansa Devi’. As per the story, the saint Zart-Karu
had vowed to marry a girl of his own name and the
girl should be offered in alms, so that the responsibility of looking after her does not fall upon him.
Only on meeting the above condition the saint
was ready to accept any girl as wife. So to fulfil the
wishes (Mansa) of ancestors, wishes of gods and
the vow of saint, the sister of ‘Vasuki’, ‘Zart-Karu’
became famous as wish fulfilling goddess.

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