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Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Dantewada:One of the 52 Shakti Peeth ( Centre for worship ) in Bastar

I am now going to talk about a place in Bastar called Dantewada. Your visit to Bastar would remain incomplete if you don't land some of the places in the region, and I must say Dantewada is one of them.
Deity Garud (photo-Bastar Darshan)

It is about 87 km away from Jagdalpur toward the southern part of it, Dantewada is known as the ancient town once considered the capital city during pre-historical days and close by another historic site called Barsoor is located where you can catch sites of monuments, temples of other archaeological importance.
Danteshwari Temple (Photo-Abhishek Singh Thakur)

Here, stands the magnificent temple of Goddess Danteshawari, More than 500 hundreds years old this temple has a mythological importance too. It is one of the Shaktipeeths ( Centres for worship ) in India.

Please read my blog on one of the archaeological temples at Narayanpal in Lohandiguda block titled "Narayan Pal Temple".
Well, let's come to the point. I was talking about the history of the temple at Dantewada. The story behind it goes like the ones I have mentioned here;
Being insulted by her father, deity Sati committed self-immolation in the fire pit of sacrifice. Lord Vishnu cut the dead body of Sati with his mace with a view to providing respite from grief to her husband, Lord Shiva. Later, parts of the dead body of Sati were scattered to fifty-two different places and these areas where the parts fell on,  came to be known as Shaktipeetha.
Dantewada is named after the parts of teeth (Dant) as Sat's tooth fell here.

Another story (or fable) behind the establishment of the temple is associated with Baster Maharaja Dalpatdev (Ruled here during 17 centuries)

Once, the Maharaja was on his way back to Jagdalpur on foot being accompanied by the goddess Danteshari behind him placing a condition that the Maharaja would not look back at any cost to find out whether the goddess is moving behind him. The only sign of goddess's presence behind him is the sound that her anklet produced. On reaching the bank of the river Shankini and Dankini the rings which the deity was wearing stopped ringing as it was filled with sand inshore.The Maharaja was left with no option but to look back. So, as per the condition placed; goddess made here abode at Dantewada. and that's how the temple Dantewada stood at the present site.
Aerial View of the Danteshwari Temple (photo- Bastar Darshan)

Every year, especially during Navratra ( The festivals occurred from September to October) people from far and wide come to offer Pooja (rite & rituals)  and perform religious rites here. I have seen devotees including women and children cover such a big distance on foot while some of them just roll their body to the temple. However, the government makes arrangement for refreshment for them on the way itself absolutely free of cost. The temple is located at the confluence of rivers Shankani & Dankini

To get into the temple one has to observe strict rules which, of course, is a part of rite and rituals.

You can't enter the temple wearing trousers. The committee has provided apron (Lungi) either you wear it or bring it your own.

Photography in the temple is not permitted. However, one can take photos around the temple.
Location of the Danteshwari Temple (photo-Bastar Darshan)

While going to the Bharav Temple close to it, you will come across the confluence of the rivers Shankini and Dankini. Earlier this area was left untouched and now a beautiful garden stands here. 

Upendra Singh Thakur

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