Tripura Sundari Temple And Its Historical, Cultural And Religious Significance
Located in the historical Udaipur, around 55 kilometers from Agartala, this temple stands tall among the holiest shrines of India. To state the exact distance of the temple, it is exactly at 3 kilometers from Udaipur, which also happens to be South Tripura’s district headquarter. The temple is also popular as Matabari, and the sanctum resembles the traditional shape and style of the quintessential Bengali hut. According to the historical sources about the construction of the temple, its first construction was done by Maharaja Dhanya Manikya in 1501 A.D. Around 1681 A.D; Maharaja Rama Manikya undertook the temple’s repair. Also to this, around the emergence of this century, Maharaja Radhakishore Manikya undertook another repair of the temple.
Distinguished religious significance
According to the mythological sagas, an enraged and sorrowful Lord Shiva carried the corpse of his wife; Sati Devi, throughout the Aryavarta region. As a result, Sati Devi’s body parts fell in different regions of the country and came to be known as the Shakti Peethas. The Tripura Sundari temple is one of the most significant Shakti Peethas, built at the site where Devi Sati’s right foot fell. Some of the intriguing facts about the temple divulge its religious and cultural significance. Pilgrims and devotees can offer prayers to the identical idols of the same deity, known as Tripura Sundari and Chhotima.
The principal deity of the temple is Tripurasundari, also popular as Tripureswari. Apart from that, the deity possesses a unique nomenclature, which is a local linguistic variant of the original name. Goddess Tripurasundari is also worshipped as Soroshi here. Believed to be a divine manifestation of Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva’s consort, the deity symbolizes a potent feminine power. The temple is the holy abode of two identical idols of the same deity. Apart from Tripurasundari, there is Chhotima. According to the historical legends, Chhotima accompanied the Kings on the battlefield.
Detailed description of idols
Constructed from touch stone, the main deity of Tripurasundari is five feet high. Chhotima, on the other end, is at a height of two feet. Installed on an altar of stone, the idol typically represents the Devi mudra, with two pairs of forelimbs. Although the descriptions of the goddess in the scriptures are not very visible in this idol, there is a joga-mukut that adorns the head of the idol. These are undulated tufts of matted hair, flowing in a bilateral direction. A munda mala composed of 13 severed mundas of the demons adorn the goddess, as she wears them as a garland. With an oval face and small eyes, the structure of the idol radiates unprecedented charm among the devotees and pilgrims.
Presence of other shrines
According to the mythological legends and common hearsay, the deity Chhotima existed much before the appearance of Tripurasundari. She had a unique nomenclature as Chhoto Maci. Adorning the same temple along with goddess Tripura Sundari, the deity is worshipped as the divine manifestation of goddess Chandi. It is because the religious scriptures do not permit the worship of a pair of Goddess Kali’s incarnations, in the same temple. Apart from that, while paying a visit to the temple, devotees can offer holy tributes to the idol of Lord Vishnu, situated at the temple. The harmonious existence of Lord Vishnu and Devi tripurasundari represent the harmonious communion of the Vaishnava and Shaiva sects.
Rituals and beliefs
Worshipping the goddess are strictly the responsibilities of the red-robed priests, popular as the ministers to the goddess. Moreover, the worship procedure at the Tripura Sundari mandir is a unique amalgamation of the Mantra, Tantra and Yantra forms of worship. Visiting the temple will make devotees experiences a complete revelation of a tantrik sadhana. The use of Shorashi Yantra is incorporated along with ShorashiKall’s Iviantra and the Vichaar Tantra. Another unique part of the rituals of this temple includes feeding the amphibians, residing in the pristine waters of Anand Sagar. Hibiscus flowers, as the traditional offerings of the goddess, are preferred and condensed milk sweets, popularly known as pedas form the major part of the prasadam. Religious practices of the tribals of the region largely influence the rituals of the temple. Animal sacrifice is a noted feature here, with separate rate charts for goats and buffaloes.
Festivities held in the temple
The temple hosts the Diwali celebrations with utmost zeal and grandeur. During the festive months of October and November, pilgrims and devotes visiting the temple, from across the country witness the royal celebrations of Diwali. Apart from that, the temple administration also organizes for a fair, during this particular time. The premises of the temple reverberate with the cries of pilgrims, overwhelmed with joy and excitement. Moreover, the entire temple is decorated with lights and offers a spectacular view of the visiting devotees.
Although, huge numbers of devotees and dedicated worshippers of the goddess flock the temple, it is during the Diwali celebrations, that the temple records the maximum footfall of the year. Almost around two lakhs of devotees from various regions of the country gather in the temple premises. Moreover, devotees from all strata of the society and believers of diverse sects offer diligent prayers to the goddess of well-being, prosperity, and strength.
Famous site for pilgrimage
Offering a glorious destination for pilgrimage to many, the temple is the holy abode of the aggressive and powerful feminine divinity. As opposed to the Shanti-swaroopini manifestation of the goddess, the deity at this temple represents vigor and strength. Pilgrims and dedicated devotees, across the world, gather in huge numbers, to pay respects to the goddess, especially during Diwali.