Shondesh Temple - What is the belief here & Temple timings
Shon Shaktipeeth is considered one of the 51 Shakti Peethas famous in Hinduism. This Shakti Peeth is situated at the Narmada River's origin in the Amarkantak district of Madhya Pradesh state.
According to the Puranas in Hinduism, wherever the body parts or ornaments of the goddess Sati fell, the place dwells into a Shaktipeeth spread throughout the Indian subcontinent. Devi Puranas stored and spread the knowledge of 51 shakti peethas. It is believed that the 'right buttock' (hip) of Mata Sati fell in Shona Shaktipeeth.
Shon Shakti Peetha is counted in 51 Shakti Peethas. According to the ancient legend, King Daksha, the father-in-law of Shiva, performed a yajna. He did not invite Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Sati, because King Daksha did not consider Shiva equal to his pride.
Mata Sati did not find this right and went to join the yajna without being called. Shiva was insulted at the yajna place that Mata Sati could not bear, and she jumped into the Havan Kund.
When Lord Shiva came to know about this, he reached out and took out the body of Mata Sati from Havan Kund and started doing Tandava (dance of destruction), which caused a complete upheaval in the entire universe. To save the whole world from this crisis, Lord Vishnu divided the body of Mata Sati into 51 parts from his Sudarshan Chakra; wherever they fell, the place became Shakti Peetha.
When Lord Shiva was in his Rudra form and already burned three cities by fire, scattered ashes befall at Kailash and Amarkantak. Lord Shiva saved the remaining ash in heaven. Ashes that occur in heaven transform into crores of Shiva Lingas. However, we can see those Shiva Lingas only at Jwaleshwar. By the grace of these holy ashes, whoever entered the Narmada or Shon temple, their soul cleanses and purifies.
Meaning of Shaktipeetha
Shaktipeetha, Devipeetha, or Siddha Peetha refer to Adhisthana's places (abode) of the mighty Adi Shakti. It is believed that these Shakti Peethas are going to provide good fortune to humans. For the welfare of humans, just as Lord Shankar emerged in the form of the Pahanalinga in various pilgrimages, in the same way, Karunamayi Devi is seated as Shaktipeeth in several pilgrimages to grace the devotees.
Significance of Shon Shakti Peetha
- Narmada Devi Shondesh shakti peetha is considered an ancient temple, and it is said to be 6000 years old.
- Here, Goddesses get honor in the form of Narmada Devi or Sonakshi (Shonakshi), and Lord Shiva is worshipped as Bhairav Bhadrasen.
- It is popularly said that whoever dies here rests in paradise.
- The Sanskrit word Amarkantak is the sum of two words, i.e., Amar + Kantak, where Amar denoted for immortal, and Kantak is obstruction. The word Amarkantak signifies the place where God resided but was upset by the obstruction of Rudraganas.
Fair and festivals
- Mahashivratri is the major festival that is celebrated with huge pomp and glory. On the festival of Mahashivratri, Shiva admirers and devotees come from varied places to get blessings of Lord Shiva and bow their heads in front of them. Fairs have been organized on Mahashivratri, where devotees visit and enjoy the festival. Most people keep fast at night and worship God by reciting hymns and phrases.
- Navaratri, Makar Sankranti, Sharad Purnima, and Deepawali are celebrated with great devotion, and the crowd of Shiva followers visits the temple for prayers.
- Somvati Amavasya and Ram Navami are the other festivals celebrated with great pomp and splendor.
Pooja Timings and Schedule
The great temple opens every day throughout the year for their devotees. Pooja timings are as follows:
Morning: 6:00 am to 12:00 pm
Evening: 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Presiding Idol and Worship
The sacred shrine of Shondesh shakti peetha Narmada temple looks delightful and charming. The idol of Goddess Narmada is located at the center of the temple and encircled through the Golden "Mukut." The stage of the goddess Narmada is made up of silver. The icons of several goddesses have also situated on both sides of the goddess Narmada.
The creation, artwork, and architecture of Shondesh shakti peetha are utterly outstanding. The temple is constructed with white stone. Moreover, it is surrounded by ponds that give a pictorial appearance. No one can ever miss the pleasant look of Son river and nearby Kund. Two mountain ranges named Satpura and Vidhya are two mountain ranges merged at this spot.
A picturesque and charming view of mountain ranges and flapping valleys add charm to the location. From this beautiful site, one can even see the mesmerizing rising Sun.
How to reach
Jabalpur Airport is the nearest one to Amarkantak. Taxis services and public transport are always available from the airport to reach the temple.
Various railway routes and railway stations near the temple are as follows:
- Pendra is the nearby railway station located in Chattisgarh, which is almost 17 km away.
- Anuppur junction railway station is also nearby the Amarkantak.
- Another one is Bilaspur railway station in Chhattisgarh, 120 km away, but connected with various major cities across the country.
Bus services and taxi services are available to reach the temple. Amarkantak connected through various regular buses from Shahdol, Umaria, Jabalpur, Anuppur, Pendra Road, and Bilaspur.
Best time to visit
One can visit the Shondesh Shakti Peetha at any time, but the best time to visit the temple is in winter, from October to February, as the weather is fantastic. It receives rain during this time that adds beauty to the place.
Places to see around
The following are the incredible places to see in Amarkantak.
- Kapildhara waterfall
- Doodh Dhara waterfall/ Dudh Dhara falls
- Shri yantra temple
- Sonmuda Amarkantak
- Mai ki Bagiya
- An ancient temple of Kalachuri group
- Narmade Anandam/ Dhuni pani road
- Shri Jwaleshwar Mahadev temple
- Kabir Chabutara
- Bhrigu Kamandal
- Son udgam temple