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Vindhyachal

Vindhyachal

Vindhyachal is a famous city in the District Mirzapur of the state Uttar Pradesh in the northern India region. Vindhyachal Dham is famous for its Hindu Pilgrimage because there are many famous Temples of Maa Vindhyavasini- she is the generous manifestations of Maa Durga or Maa Amba. As per MarkandeyaPurana, Maa Vindhyavasini had incarnated to slay demon Mahishasur. The river Ganga runs through this city Vindhyachal. The Vindhyachal is situated in the vicinity of and exactly in the middle of Prayag (Allahabad) and Kashi (Varanasi), two most famous religious places of India, getting benefit of their combined energy.

 

History of Vindhyachal
The history of the city Vindhyachal articulates about its land which was formerly dotted with many holy places and later on destroyed during the sovereignty of the King Aurangzeb. One must have seen idols of Ma Durga, killing demon Mahishasur, in the Durga Puja festival. This is the Vindhyachal, where mythological war between Ma Durga and Mahishasur had occurred. After killing demon Mahishasur, Ma Durga continued to stay at Vindhyachal, in the form of idol of Ma Vindhyavasini.

 

In Vindhyachal, Vindhya is the initial name of Goddess Vindhyavasini (Vindhyachal Mata) and Achal means mountain. Vindhyachal is a mythological place that gains its honours from the great epics, myths and scriptures. As per them, Vindhyachal is considered to be the residence of Goddess Amba.

 

Goddess Vindhyavasini has been described in many scriptures, e.g. Mahabharat, Vaaman Puran, Markandeya Puran, Matsya Puran, Devi Bhagavat, Harivansh Puran, Skand Puran, Raja Taranginee, Brihat Katha, Kadambaree and many Tantra scriptures.
Lord Ram had visited this place and surrounding areas, along with wife Sita and brother Lakshman.

 

This is the only place in the world, associated with ‘Shakti’ cult of Hinduism, where ‘Devi’ is worshipped in ‘Vaam maarg’ as well as ‘Dakshina Maarg’. This is also only place in the world, where all three forms of Goddesses e.g. Lakshmi, Kali and Saraswati, can be worshipped. Temples dedicated to these three Goddesses form spiritually very potent ‘Trikona’ (Trine).

In the ancient period, the whole area was surrounded by thick forests, inhabited by Lions, Elephants etc. But, in the present time, for all practical purposes, it has converted into a modern township.

 

Attractions at Vindhyachal
Vindhyavasini Devi Temple: This famous temple, situated on the banks of the river Ganga at Vindhyachal, is the most prime temple of whole Vindhyachal area. It is 8 km away from District Mirzapur. Vindhyachal Temple is considered to be the home of Ma Vindhyavasini or Ma Vindhyachal Devi. The Vindhyavasini temple is visited by huge number of people every day. The whole temple complex consists of many temples, dedicated to Goddess Kali, Goddess Saraswati, Lord Shiva, Lord Hanuman and Lord Bhairava; obviously main temple dedicated to Goddess Vindhyavasini.

 

Literal meaning of the word ‘Vindhyavasini’, who is also fondly called as  ‘Vindhyachal Maï’ (Mother of Vindhyachal) or ‘Vindhyavasini Maï’ (Mother Vindhyavasini) by her devotees, is the Goddess, who stays in Vindhya area. All the idols, including that of Ma Vindhyavasini, are of black stone. The Vindhyavasini Devi is depicted as seated on the Lion. She represents Goddess Lakshmi out of trinity of Hindu Goddesses.

 

The Mantra of Ma Vindhyavasini is Om Hreem Mahalakshmai Namah (ॐ ह्रीं महालक्ष्म्यै नमः). She is protector deity of areas coming under the purview of eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. An interesting fact is that IST (Indian Standard Time) line passes exactly through the idol of Ma Vindhyavasini.

 

Timings at temple: 5am-9.30p; remains open on all days. However, during Navaratri, temple remains open 24 hours.
Aarti Timings:-
Mangla Aarti at 4 am- 5am,
Rajbhog Aarti at 12noon-1:30pm,
Sandhya Aarti at 7:15pm-8:15pm,
Shayan Arti at 9:30pm-10:30pm
Entry of devotees remains restricted during the time of Aaratee, however, just staying in the temple during the Aarati timings gives a divine experience.

 

Kalikhoh Temple: Literal meaning of Kali Khoh is Cave of Kali.  This famous Goddess Maha Kali temple is situated in the ranges of Vindhya Mountain. Initially, it was in the shape of a cave, but with the passage of time, it has lost its original shape and transformed into a traditional temple.

 

The idol of Goddess Kali in the Kalikhoh temple has open mouth towards sky, reminding incarnation, the Goddess took to annihilate demon Raktabeej (Literal meaning- Seed of blood). It is described in the ‘Durga Saptashati’ of Markandeya Purana, that during fight of Goddess Vindhyavasini and Demon Mahishasur, demon Raktabeej (literal meaning seed of blood) came to assist Mahishasur. 

 

When attacked by Ma Durga, each blood drop coming out of the body of Raktabeej would transform into another Raktabeej, due to power of special boon granted to him. So with each blow, there were thousands of another Raktabeejas, hinting no end of this celestial battle.
Then Ma Kaali came to help Ma Vindhyavasini; and she started to suck each and every drop of blood of Raktabeej, ultimately ending this big calamity.

Although, small rivulets and waterfalls surrounding this temple have almost dried up, but remnants of forests still give a feel of proximity to nature to the visitors.  Monkeys with black mouth and long tails abound in the area surrounding the temple. A flight of 122 stone stairs lead visitors to the mountains, consisting of the places, Gerua Talab, Motia Talab, Sita Kund, Ashtabhuja etc.
The Mantra of Ma Kalee is Om Haum Kali Mahakali Kile Kile Phat Swaha (ॐ हौं कालि महाकालि किले किले फट स्वाहा).

Ashtabhuja Devi Temple: Ashtabhuja Temple is situated on the northern furthermost part of the Divine Trikona (Trine) consisting of Ma Vindhyavasini Temple (Lakshmi), Ma Kaali (Kali) and Ma Ashtabhuja (Saraswati). It is the 3rd tangent of Vindhyachal Trikon Parikrama. The Temple derived its name from the Goddess Ashtabhuja, who had taken birth to Nand and Yashoda, foster parents of Lord Krishna in the Dwapar Age, and was bought to Mathura by Vasudev in the prison of King Kansa. When Kansa tried to kill infant girl child, she escaped from him, and came to this place after proclaiming to the Kansa, that the child, who will kill him, has already taken birth and is quite safe.
The temple, situated on the hill, is in a cave and devotees have to enter in it after bending their bodies. From the temple, one can take glimpse of surrounding areas, full of natural beauty.
The Mantra of Ma Ashtabhuja is Aim Hreem Aim Hreem Om Saravastyai Namah (ऐं ह्रीं ऐं ह्रीं ॐ सरस्वत्यै नमः).



RamgayaGhat: Ramgaya Ghat is the famous funeral Ghat (wharf) at Vindhyachal. Here, Lord Rama had offered oblations for his late father, Dashrath. Many persons perform here rites for their late ancestors. 

Tara Devi Temple: Tara Devi Temple is a famous temple at Vindhyachal, dedicated to Goddess Tara.  This temple is a popular Tantric Vidya learning centre. This is located near Ramgaya Ghat which is famous Funeral Ghat. 

Rameshwar Mahadev Temple: this famous temple is located near to Ramagaya Ghat (wharf). This is the centre of Vindhyachal Trikon Parikrama. Lord Rama had mounted this huge Shivlingam after liberation, in the memory of his ancestors.

Sita Kund: SitaKund is a historical place at Vindhyachal. When Lord Rama, Maa Sita and Lakshman were crossing Vindhyas, they felt thirsty. Unable to find any water tank or any water body, Lakshman took his bow and arrow and shot into the ground to bring out water. This temple was constructed in the memory of this trio. Nearby is  a place, which is called Sita Rasoi (Kitchen of Goddess Sita).

BudheNath temple: This is famous temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva.

NaradGhat: KuvaiGhat is the ancient name of this famous NaradGhat. At the top of the NaradGhat, four important idols (Naradeshvara, Dattatreyeshvara, Atrishvara, and Vasukishvara) are located.

Gerua talab: it is the famous ancient pond at Vindhyachal, which falls in the way from Kali Khoh to Ashta Bhuja. The pond gets its name from the peculiar soil surrounding it. The pond is surrounded by a few temples, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Lord Krishna (SakshiGopal Temple) etc.

Motiya talab: Mentioned in the Ripley’s Believe it or Not, this beautiful big pond is dedicated to a loyal dog, named Moti, who had sacrificed his life for his master.

Bhairav temple: By traditions, all Shaktipiths are protected by Bhairavas from the four directions. Most famous out of all Bhairavas of Vindhyachal is Bhairava near Ashtabhuja Temple. Surrounding areas are very famous for Tantrik activities. Nearby Bhairava Kund is actually a natural spring, famous for its herbal properties.

Lal Bhairav temple: Lal Bhairav Temple is one of the most famous holy places at Vindhyachal. As per old Myths, it is believed that a small statue of Lord Laal Bhairav was placed in the temple, which grew taller every year.

Ekdant Ganesh: this is the famous temple of Lord Ganesha in his famous EkDanta form.

 

SaptaSarovar: These seven water bodies of Vindhyachal are devoted to seven famous Rishis of Hindus.

Goraksha-kund: Goraksha Temple is a scared place devoted to Lord Gorakhanath.

Matsyendrakund: MatsyendraKundis devoted to Guru Matsyendra- the Guru of Lord Gorakhnath.

TarkeshwarNath temple: it is a famous Holy shrine devoted to Lord TarkeshwarNath- another name of lord Shiva.

Devaraha Baba Ashram: This ashram, established by late Devaraha Baba is situated around 10 KMs from the Vindhyavasini Temple. Currently, headed by Hansa Baba, who was disciple of late Devaraha Baba, is spread in a very large area; and is popular among the devotees of late Devaraha Baba. The ashram has temples and stay facilities.
    

Kankali Devi temple: The temple was built in ancient times.This temple is devoted to Goddess Kali.

Shivashiv Samooh Awadhoot Ashram: this Ashram is devoted to Lord Shiva.
 

Best Time to Visit Vindhyachal
Winters is the best time to visit Vindhyachal because the whole atmosphere of the place becomes pleasant. However, if someone is fond of natural beauty, one must go in the time of rains, when greenery abound in the Vindhya mountain range.

 

Things to Buy in Vindhyachal
You can buy statues of Deities and artefacts made of sandstone from here. Rolling Board made of stone (चकला) and rolling pin made of wood (बेलन), used for making Indian style of bread are popular buying item at Vindhyachal. If you are fond of Chunari (चुनरी), an ethnic style of textile, mainly in shades of red, do not forget it to buy it from Vindhyachal.

 

Disputes Regarding management of Vindhyavasini Temple
Currently, Vindhyavasini Temple complex is managed by Vindhya Panda Samaaj, a body of priests associated with the temple; and Vindhya Vikas Parishad, a council formed by Government. Vindhya Vikas Parishad was formed by the District administration, after they received complaints regarding sufferings of devotees, and financial issues about offerings made to Ma Vindhyavasini. There were also reports of fighting’s between many groups of priests, which even resulted into even deaths. However, Vindhya Vikas Parishad and  Vindhya Panda Samaaj have a lot of differences, regarding their rights and responsibilities.



Recently, Government, alleging mismanagement in the temple, has started to contemplate to take over whole temple complex under a Trust. After news of take over spread; a situation of face off has arisen between Government and local priests.  Local priests, called pandas fear that after formation of the Trust and takeover of the temple, they will lose their entire stake in the temple, which is apparently, their only source of income.

 

Location of  Vindhyachal: 8 km far from District Mirzapur, 70 km far from Varanasi, 83 km far from Allahabad, in the southern portion of eastern Uttar Pradesh, India.
Climate: winter 12°-33°C, Summer-22°-40°C.
STD Code          : +91-5542
Attractions: Pilgrimage

How to reach: Vindhyachal is a famous holy place and this is the reason, it is well-linked with rest of India through different means of transport. Before making reservation for Vindhyachal holiday packages, go through the info related to transports.

Road- regular bus service from Allahabad, Varanasi and other small towns near Vindhyachal.

Air-Babatpur Airport at Varanasi is 87 km away from Vindhyachal, Bamrauli Airport at Allahabad is 95 km away from Vindhyachal, and daily domestic flights from Varanasi and Allahabad connect the city to the urbanites of the country.

Rail- Many trains stop at Vindhyachal Railway Station, which is on Mumbai Howrah rail route. One can also alight at Mirzapur Railway Station, at which all the trains have stoppage.

Language Spoken: Hindi. However, people, who have undertaken formal stream of education, can interact in English.

Local Transport: Local rickshaw, Auto rickshaw and taxi.

Fair and festivals: Navratri Fair on both Navratris and Kajali Festival

List of Hotels in Vindhyachal

  • Hotel Janpath
  • Hotel The Galaxy
  • Hotel TheChalalPahal
  • Hotel Amit
  • RahiYatriNiwas
  • Hotel Gayatri Palace
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