Mangla Gauri Temple

About The Temple

About Mangla Gauri Temple in Gaya, Bihar

The temple is located high on the top of the Mangla Gauri hill in Gaya in Bihar. It faces the East, and the rays of the rising sun fall directly on the face of the temple every morning. A flight of steps and a motorable road leads up to the temple on the hill. The temple was built in the 15th century at the time when the Rajputs came to defend the region comprising of Gaya and Benares from the Mughals who invaded the region and tried to occupy it.

Importance in culture and religion

It is said that a part of Goddess Shakti fell at the location of the temple dedicated to Mangla Gauri when she was dismembered by the Gods to stop God Shiva from destroying the world. The Hindus consider it as one of the eighteen different places of worship called “Maha Shakti Peeth” where various portions of the Goddess Shakti fell. The goddess is worshipped here as a symbol of benevolence. It is said that the wishes of all those who come to worship her here gets fulfilled. Various ancient scriptures like the Puranas have a mention of this temple. It is a Vaishnavite pilgrimage spot that is dedicated to Goddess Shakti who looks after the whole world in times of distress and adverse situations.

The presiding deity

The main deity of this temple is Goddess Shakti, who is personified as the feminine creative power. The Hindus think that she is the source of all the dynamic forces that are present in the Universe. She is worshipped as the creator of the Universe and also the force that brings changes to the Universe. She is seen as the feminine power that was derived from the power of God Shiva when God Brahma asked for help in the creation of the Universe.

Appearance of the idol

The main temple is a very small one where only one or two persons can enter at a time. The temple has no idol of the Goddess. It is said that the breast of Goddess Shakti fell here. The shape that is worshipped here is a piece of rock that resembles a breast signifying nourishment for all creations that exist in the whole world. A flame which burns eternally in the temple lights up the formation inside of the temple.

Presence of other shrines

The temple complex has other shrines located around it. Facing the main temple are the temples dedicated to God Ganesh and God Shiva. There is also a temple dedicated to Goddess Kali, who is another form of Goddess Durga or Shakti. Temples dedicated to other deities, gods and goddesses are present around the whole complex.

Worshipping the goddess

The temple remains open from 5 AM in the morning to 10 pm with a recess of two hours from 1 pm to 3 pm in the afternoon. Anyone can come to the temple and worship the goddess and ask for her benevolence and blessings. The priests carry out aarties in the evenings. If any special pooja or worship is required by anyone, the priests have to be informed in advance. The maximum number of worshippers is usually seen on Tuesdays which is the most auspicious day of the week for worshipping the Goddess and for getting wishes fulfilled with the blessings of the Goddess. Unmarried girls can pray on Tuesdays and get their wishes fulfilled especially to get a husband who has all the good traits of God Shiva.

Special occasions of worship

A special worship of Goddess Shakti can be carried out on every Tuesday in the Shravan months. The worship during these months which starts from the middle of July and is the beginning of the rainy season is extremely auspicious for married women. Fasting is undertaken by the married women to bring prosperity to the family and fame to her husband. The fasting signifies that time spent by Goddess Parvati, who is another form of Goddess Shakti, before marriage to God Shiva. The worship involves sixteen types of bangles, seven types of fruits and five types of sweets. The idol or the picture of the goddess is bathed in milk, curd and water and clothed in red cloth. Mehendi, kajol and sindoor are used to decorate the idol or picture.. Then the idol or the picture is kept on a wooden plank. The fruits, sweets and the ornaments are placed before the picture after which the pooja begins. The fasting has to be done for five years continuously after which “udyapan” is carried out.

Place of Hindu pilgrimage

The temple is the one of the eighteen pilgrimage spots or eighteen “that peeths” that are visited by Vaishnavite Hindus. The city of Gaya is a very important pilgrimage spot for them. Hindus from all over the country visit Gaya to perform “pind daan” ceremony to release their forefathers from the sufferings in hell and to reserve a place for them a place in heaven.

How To Reach

The city of Gaya is very well connected to other parts of the country by rail, road and air. From Gaya, it is very easy to reach the temple of Mangla Gauri. The modes of travel that are available are:

 

  • By rail - The Gaya railway station is an important point on the map of the Eastern Railway section of the Indian Railways. It is connected to most of the important cities of the country like Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai. There are superfast and express trains that run from these metro cities to other cities that touch the Gaya railway station on their journeys in both directions. The temple is 4 to 5 km away from Gaya.
  • By air – The nearest airport is the Bodh Gaya airport that is only 8 to 10 kilometers away from the temple. The airport is serviced by domestic flights that have to be taken from the international airports at the metro cities of Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
  • By road – Gaya is connected to most of the other cities of the country by road also. It is connected to other places by national and state highways. Private taxis are available to travel to the temple from Gaya and back. The bus stand nearest to the temple is only 3 to 5 km away which can be reached by auto rickshaws and vans.

 

Nearby Attractions

You can see many places of interest around the city while on a visit to the Mangla Gauri temple. Some of them are:

  • The main attraction in Gaya is the Bodh Gaya temple. It is famous for the Bodhi Tree nearby under which Gautam Buddha achieved Nirvana through fasting and prayers. The temple was built in the 7th century, destroyed by invading Mughal forces in the 11th century and was rebuilt again in 1880.
  • The location of the Vishnupada temple is only 1 km from the temple dedicated to Goddess Shakti. The temple dedicated to God Vishnu was reconstructed in 1787. The temple is situated on the banks of River Falgu and has a 40 cm long footprint of God Vishnu decorated with silver plates.
  • Pind Daan Gaya is the place where Hindus from all over the world come to pay their respect to their departed forefathers. They perform poojas to release the spirits of their forefathers from the misery in hell and the materialistic world so that they can rest in peace in heaven.
  • The Barabar caves are cut out from the faces of rocks where Buddhist and Jain monks used to live and learn the teachings of their respective religions. The caves are divided between the Barabar and the Nagarjun hills and date back to the 3rd century BC.

 

History Of Temple

According to the Hindu mythology that Parvati’s father Daksha had asked all the gods to come to his home for celebrations. Parvati and her husband God Shiva were not invited as Daksha did not like Shiva marrying his daughter. In spite of being told not to go there by Shiva, Parvati went to the function without any invitation. There Daksha abused her and disgraced Shiva in front of others. Parvati also known as Shakti could not take the insult to her husband and felt humiliated and immolated herself. On hearing this God Shiva became so angry that he took up the corpse of Shakti on his shoulders and started destroying the whole universe with his Tandava dance. The Gods were unable to stop him and decided to dismember the corpse of Shakti so that Shiva would stop his dance. One of the portions of Shakti’s body fell on the spot where the temple was later built in honor of Mangla Devi.

Since only the breast of Shakti fell on this spot, there is no idol in the temple except a breast shaped object made of rock that is worshipped here. It signifies the nourishment and benevolence that Shakti has bestowed upon the whole universe

The temple is very famous because it is one of the eighteen “peeths” considered to be very sacred by the Hindus. The eighteen “peeths” are the eighteen places in various parts of the Indian subcontinent where the various body parts of the dismembered corpse of Goddess Shakti had fallen. These places include countries other than India also. People go on annual pilgrimages to the places that fall outside the borders of the country also.