The temple of Maa Sharda is situated on a height of aprox 587 feets between the round shaped hills called Trikoot parvat and is one of the 51 Shaktipeetha. Maihar wali Mata is an another name of Mata Sharda, a form of Mata Durga. In actual Maihar is the name of the place where the temple of Mata Sharda is situated.
Millions of pilgrims visit the temple all-round the year. It is considered to be a very powerful place of worship. It is about 5 KM from Maihar Station. There are 1063 steps to reach the top of the hill, now ropeway facility is also available there, it is a great boon to the pilgrims (particularly the old and the handicapped) to fulfill their wish to have the audience of Mother Goddess Sharda.
According to a belief, when Prithviraj Chauhan defeated king Parmal then in anger Aalha took out his sword to kill all the army of Prihviraj Chauhan but goddess Sharda caught his hands and stopped him.
There is an Aalha and Udal arena in the forest. There is also a pond at this place whose water never finishes. It is said that even today Aalha comes everyday to offer flowers to Mata.It is said that the devotees like Aalha-Udal and Dhanu etc., established the temple of Mata to gain victory in the war and to please the goddess he even sacrificed his son Indal. The belief also states that Aalha -Udal comes to the temple after it is closed to worship Mata.
There is one ancient inscription near the feet of stone sculpture of Sharda Devi situated in Sharda Devi temple. There is another statue of Lord Narsingh along with Sharda Devi. These statues were established by Nupula Deva in 502 AD.
The history of the place ‘Maihar’ is about the warrior kings of Bundelkhand, which includes Rajputs and their famed descendents Alha and Udal who were staunch devotees of Sharda Mai. Alha is believed to have been gifted immortality by the Goddess for his devotion, proved by 12 years of worship followed by him sacrificing his head. His life was restored by the Goddess. Today a pond named after Alha situated behind the temple and downhill, referred to as ‘Alha Pond’ has become prime attraction of the people coming to the temple.
The legend that is supposed to be the reason for the existence of the temple starts with the Devi Sati and Lords Shiva who got married despite the objection of father of the Goddess – Daksha. Dejected by the marriage, Daksha planned a great Yagya to bring insult to Lord Shiva by not inviting Him. The act infuriated the Goddess who sacrificed herself in the holy fire. Upon getting the news of Her death, Lord Shiva brought His anger upon the world destroying anything and everything He met meanwhile carrying dead body of the Goddess on his back. To stop Him, Lord Vishnu cut the body into 52 pieces that fell at different parts of India where 52 Shakti Peethas (shrines) could now be found. Maihar is one of those 52 shrines where necklace (known as ‘har’ in Hindi) of the Goddess (‘Mai’= mother) fell. Sharda is just another of Her many names.
How To Reach
Transport connectivity to Maihar city is very efficient. The city is well connected by rail and road.
By Flight/Air –
Nearest airport to reach Maihar is Jabalpur, Khajuraho and Allahabad. From these airports you can easily reach to Maihar by train, bus or taxi.
Jabalpur to Maihar distance aprox. 150 KM.
Khajuraho to Maihar distance aprox. 130 KM.
Allahabad to Maihar distance aprox. 200 KM.
By Train –
Normally all trains do not have stop at Maihar station but during Navratri festivals most of the trains stop at Maihar.
Nearest railway station junction for all trains stoppage –
Satna Station distance from Maihar Station aprox 36 KM.
Katni Station distance from Maihar Station aprox 55 KM.
Jabalpur Station distance from Maihar Station aprox 150 KM.
By Road –
Maihar city is well connected by road with National highway 7. You can easily get regular buses to Maihar city from nearest major cities.