Tucked away in a corner of rural Marhowrah, in Saran district of Bihar, is a temple dedicated to the Goddess Durga or Shakti. This temple is known as Gadh Devi Maa. According to the history of this temple, it is believed that Durga rested here on her journey to Thawe (in Gopalgunj). While visiting the temple devotees should not expect facilities like those provided in cities. A small fair – selling locally made toys, snacks and other nick knacks is also held here that has its own charm.
Location – Marhowrah, Dist. Saran Bihar. This town has a rich cultural heritage and was once home to 3 major factories in India – the Sugar mill, Saran Engineering works and Morton Factory. Unfortunately due to bad Governmental decisions, these factories have been shut down in the 90s.
Main Deity – The main deity here is Devi Maa Durga. Mondays and Fridays are the days when special Pujas are held and the temple sees a lot of crowd on these days. In Hindi Gadh means mountain and hence the devi is also known as the mountains daughter. There is a special Shloka (devotional verse) which is as follows –
अयि गिरिनन्दिनि नन्दितमेदिनि विश्वविनोदिनि नन्दिनुते
गिरिवरविन्ध्यशिरोऽधिनिवासिनि विष्णुविलासिनि जिष्णुनुते ।
भगवति हे शितिकण्ठकुटुम्बिनि भूरिकुटुम्बिनि भूरिकृते
जय जय हे महिषासुरमर्दिनि रम्यकपर्दिनि शैलसुते
The meaning is – Oh daughter or the mountain, who fills our lives with joy with her divinity. She is praised by Nandi from the Vindhyas, whose brother is lord Vishnu and she is praised by the King of the Gods Lord Indra. Oh Shivas consort who created Abundance, destroyer of all evils, victory be to thee!
At this temple the Goddess is worshipped in all her 3 forms – Mahalakshmi, Maha Saraswati and Mahakaali . Besides the main Goddess, there are shrines for other Gods and Godesses too.
History – There are many stories that are famous among local people about this temple. One of them is ; Lord Shiva was bringing upon the destruction of the earth with his Tandav while holding Sati’s burning body. To avoid this destruction, Lord Vishnu cut up Sati’s body into pieces. Wherever these pieces fell a Shakti Peeth emerged. This is the place where some of Sati’s blood was splattered.
Another story is of the Sugar mill that was in Marhowrah. While the Sugar mill was being built, one after another there were numerous problems in its construction. Then the engineers and workers worshiped the Goddess continuously for several days. The temple was built after this Puja without any hassle.
Temples like these are very famous among local people. However, not a lot of people outside are aware of its presence. With the advent of digital media, this is our small attempt to encourage people to visit such places, take part in the local fairs and bring back with them a piece of history.
Festivities – Durga Puja is the biggest festival that is celebrated here. There are special Pujas held for resolving marital problems, childbirth issues and other wish fulfillment cases. During Navratri, it is believed that no devotee leaves the temple empty handed. The Goddess fulfills every wish.
Temple Timings – 9:30 am to 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm
How to reach – This place is well connected to the state Capital, Patna by roadways and railway. Nearest Airport is Patna Airport and the nearest railway station is Marhowrah Junction.
Location: Marhowrah, Bihar, India