Temples dedicated to Goddess Durga are among several places of worship that dot the city of Jalandhar in Punjab. Shri Tripurmalini Shaktipeeth, one of the 52 Shaktipeeths in the world is one of them.
The temple is abuzz with activities during Navratras, a joyous festival, that celebrates the supreme powers of Goddess Durga. Hindu devotees celebrate these nine days of Goddesses with much devotion and enthusiasm.
According to Hindu mythology, after the death of Goddess Sati, Lord Shiva, out of grief carried her body around the universe. This disturbed the Gods and Goddesses from all three worlds, who then requested Lord Vishnu to find a solution to the disturbance happening around. He then used his Sudarshan Chakra and cut Goddess Sati’s body into 52 parts that fell on different places around the earth and became sacred sites(called ‘Shaktipeeth’) for the people to pay homage to.
Tripurmalini Shaktipeeth Temple
One of the 52 Shaktipeeth temples in the world, Tripurmalini Temple is located inside the premises of Devi Talab Mandir in Jalandhar, Punjab.
It is believed that Goddess Sati’s left breast fell on this place and it became a sacred religious site for worship. Hence it is also known by the name of ‘Stanpeeth’.
The old structure of the temple has recently been renovated & new sections have been added within its premises. A structure resembling the Amarnath cave temple is a recent addition to the temple complex. The main attraction of the temple is a huge tank (called ‘talab’), which is as old as the main temple & also a reason why Devi Talab mandir got its name. Believed to be more than 200 years old, the Shikhar of the main temple is made up of gold and is situated in the middle of a sacred pond.
Just like all other Shaktipeeths, a Diya always keeps burning here as well.
Holy scriptures like Rig Veda, Tantra Chudamani, and Shrimad Bhagwat mentions Devi Tripurmalini as a form of Goddess Sati.
भीषणो भैरवस्तत्र देवी त्रिपुरमालिनी
The idol of the Devi or Shakti is worshipped as Tripurmalini and Lord Shiva as Bhishan. The lower part of Devi’s body is covered with a cloth and the devotees can only see the face of the Goddess.
According to many local beliefs about the magnificent powers of the Devi, the temple idol bears the combined power of Mata Vaishno Devi, Maa Lakshmi & Maa Saraswati, who fulfill all the desires of the devotees. Pilgrims also believe that whoever dies accidentally at this Shaktipeeth, goes to heaven after death. Even the birds & animals dying at this place get relieved from the cycle of birth & death.
All Hindu Gods are present here partly to meet Goddess Shakti. Worshipping here and at every Shaktipeeth is considered highly auspicious. Devotees also believe that the Devi is easily appeased for which she is called ‘Maa Turatpurni’.
Many religious sages like Vashishtha, Vyasa, Manu, Jamdagni, and Parshuram have worshipped Adi Shakti here, in the form of Tripulmalini
A large number of devotees pay visits to the temple every year, mainly on Tuesdays and Sundays.
Every year on the first Friday of April month, Tripurmalini Mela is organized, which is attended by devotees in large numbers. Also in the month of December, a popular ritual called ‘Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan’ is organized during which children sing songs praising Lord Durga and recite her slokas. The Festivals of Navrati, Shivratri, Jagrans, Jhankis are also celebrated here with great fervor and joy.
Hinduism is the oldest of the religions practiced by Punjabis, their culture has been shaped by the Punjabi folk traditions and by custom-based law books like Manusmriti, which is a collection of rules of life composed by Hindu Brahmin priests.
The Punjabi Hindus themselves have brought the culture of celebrating Devis in the Punjab region. They started the celebrations in regions of New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Jammu, and soon after Hindus from other parts of the country also joined in to celebrate Devi.
Punjabi Hindus are widely accustomed to celebrating Devi by organizing Jagrans and Mata ki Chowki. Although, this tradition has become center stage for trolls and mockery by the social community. Their celebrations have completely got shoved to the background and not much talked about. This is one of the main reasons that very few people are aware of the sanctity of Hindu Devi temples in Punjab.