Nartiang Durga Temple

Nartiang Durga Temple
Nartiang Durga Temple

Nartiang, situated in the Jaitia Hills of Meghalaya – famously known as the Garden of Monoliths due to its vast selection of stone pillars – holds a 500-year old Durga temple. This shrine is believed to be one of India’s 51 Shakti Peethas and is considered sacred by many; legends claim that Mata Sati’s left thigh landed here, bestowing this place with immense spiritual power.

The temple is the home of Durga Maa Idol, and just nearby lies a Shiva temple. Locally, Goddess Durga goes by the name of Jainteshwari because legend has it that Devi Sathi’s left thigh fell here in the Jaintia Hills. Perched atop a hill stands Nartiang Durga Temple which offers breathtaking views of Myundu River from its peak.

At the temple’s base lies a Boli Garbha, where an ancient ritual of offering is solemnly observed and continued through a sacred tunnel to the river.

The Durga temple offers a unique visual experience with its ancient guns of the Kings, an aspect unseen in other temples.

The Durga Temple at Nartian is renowned for its commitment to daily rituals, however during the celebration of Durga Puja this temple shines with magnificence. At such times large numbers of devotees make their way here and take part in animal sacrifice; a tradition that was once conducted using human beings before British rule came into effect and outlawed it. Presently goats or ducks are used instead as an offering to the gods – a practice kept alive over time through dedication from all those involved.

During the festival, goats are sacrificed by wearing a human mask as part of the ritual. Bananas are also considered sacred and worshipped in this ceremony as if it was a goddess, with devotees eventually immersing them into holy rivers for visarjan. The Durga temple itself is surrounded by various monoliths at its market center, alongside Shamai Mandir which further amplifies its beauty – making it even more appealing to visitors and devout followers alike.

As the mythology of Daksha Yagna and Sati’s self-immolation dictate, it is considered a sacred place where Sati Devi’s “Chin” or left thigh fell. Here, worshippers revere her as Jainteshwari with Lord Shiva being referred to as Kramadishwar – her consort.

Legend has it that after the Jaintia King Jaso Manik wed the daughter of Hindu Koch king Nara Narayana, their union prompted a conversion to Hinduism. Allegedly, in this same momentous period, Queen Jaso Manik dreamt of an apparition who commanded her to construct a temple on nearby hills.

By Road
Shillong is located 65 kilometers eastward.

By Rail
Located 200 kilometers away from Guwahati, the nearest railway station is Guwahati Railway Station – a convenient and accessible hub for travelers.

By Air
The Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, located conveniently in Guwahati, is the closest international airport for travelers.

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