Nestled between the Himalayas and the Shivalik mountain range, the pilgrim town of Chintpurni is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas in India. Dedicated to Chinnamastika Devi or Chinnamasta Devi, the Mata Chintpurni temple is situated in the Una District of Himachal Pradesh around 50 km from Kangra. The Mata Chintpurni Devi Temple is a famous attraction in the town and legends suggest that the temple came into being after the goddess revealed herself to Pandit Mai Dass, who was an ardent devotee. Dass’ descendants continue to reside here and are the temple priests. According to mythology, the goddess cut off her head to assuage the blood thirst of her companions. Hence, the name Chinnimastika Devi or the Goddess without a head. DO SEE Have you heard of this immovable rock placed by Aliens in Mahabalipuram?
The temple is single-storied, made of rocks with a square base and a dome roof. Its main entrance to the temple faces north and an old banyan tree stands opposite the entrance. The goddess is revered by Hindus in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh as the remover of all troubles.
The Chintpurni fair, locally known as Mata Da Mela (fair of the mother Goddess), is celebrated with fervor at the temple. Held thrice a year in the months of Chet (March-April), Sawan (July-August) and Asanj (September-October). In Chet and Asanj, the fair is held in Navratras whereas in Sawan it takes place during the first ten days of shukla paksha which is the bright half of the lunar month. The fair continues day and night for nine days during the navratras and for ten days in Sawan.
The town has been acknowledged as a major passage for visitors going towards the renowned city of Dharamsala or places such as Kullu, Jwalamukhi, Manali and Mcleod Ganj.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN CHINTPURNI
There are many deluxe, medium and budget accommodation options available in Chintpurni.
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN CHINTPURNI
The Chaat Bazar of Thaneek Pura near Chintpurni is a favorite with the locals as well as tourists. Chaat Wala Mod is most popular for its spicy mixed fruit chaat.
Photograph courtesy: Gopal Aggarwal/Creative Commons