Location: In Jasmour village of Saharanpur district, Uttar Pradesh
Built by: Maratha Rulers
Dedicated to: Goddess Shakumbhari (a form of Durga)
How to reach: One can easily reach Shakumbhari Devi Temple by taking regular Buses or by hiring taxis from Delhi
Shakumbhari Devi Temple is an ancient shrine that is visited by numerous pilgrims round the year. This revered shrine is located in Jasmour village, which lies at a distance of 40 kms in the north of Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh). Shakumbari Devi Mandir is easily accessible from Delhi through regular buses or private taxis. Perched in the midst of Shivalik mountain range, the temple is believed to have been built by the Marathas.
There is nothing extra-ordinary about the architecture of this temple, but the divine aura makes it different from others. Many devotees believe that no one goes empty handed from the shrine of the Goddess. It is alleged that Shakumbhri Devi is the slayer of the demon king, Mahishasur. According to the legends, Shakumbhari Devi did penance (tapa) for 100 years and had vegetarian meal only once at the month end.
As the legend goes further, the Goddess helped the living beings to sustain by having plants and vegetables, when there was no water on the Earth, for about 100 years. For the period of her penance, many saints (Rishi-Munis) came to have a glimpse of the Goddess. All the saints were well treated and offered vegetarian meals. Due to the fact that the Goddess eats vegetarian food, she came to be known as Shakumbhari Devi.
As per the sayings, Sankaracharya came to this place and meditated here. He found the idols and placed them in the shrine. In the sanctum sanctorum, Shakumbhari Devi is enshrined in the company of Bhramari Devi, Bhima Devi and Sheetla Devi. In fact, all these goddesses imply the same 'Shakti' (Power) that incarnated herself in different forms at different intervals of time.
In the east of this temple, there is a shrine at a distance of one kilometer. This shrine is dedicated to Bhura Dev (Lord Bhairav), who is regarded as the guard of Shakumbhari Devi. It is said that a visit to this temple is a must, in order to complete the journey to Shakumbari Devi.
In the vein of other Goddess temples, this too observes great festivity during the time of 'Navratra'. At the time of Navratras of Ashwin and Chaitra, loads of pilgrims and devotees come to pay their homage to the Goddess and seek her blessings. The temple is getting popular day by day, due to its spiritual belongingness and aesthetic appeal.