Dedicated to Goddess Maya, the Maya Devi temple in Haridwar is the oldest temple in India and is believed to be the temple dedicated to Goddess Shakti. Located in Dev Bhoomi in the state of Uttrakhand. The temple has an antiquated history, built in the 11th century. So, its legendary history goes long back to the eleventh century. Maya Devi, to whom the temple is dedicated, is accepted to be the goddess of shakti.
The temple is an incarnation of Shakti- Maya Devi was one of the 4 ancient temples which is still in its place after Haridwar was robbed by the famous Central Asian conqueror Timur.
Also, known as the Shakti Peetha, this is the place where the heart and navel of the Goddess Sati fell when Lord Shiva carried her in his arms after she burnt herself.
When King Daksheshwar did not welcome Lord Shiva in the havan, Goddess Sati felt offended and ended her life by burning herself into the havan fire. Lord Shiva could not bear this and began to move around the universe conveying the dead body of Devi Sati in his hands. It is believed that during this time the heart and naval part of Devi Sati fell at this place. After this, the Maya Devi temple was built at this place. Devotees come to worship the Goddess Sati specially during Navratras.
Like other well-known temples in Haridwar, the Maya Devi temple is likewise connected with an intriguing legend. Hindus believe that Sati consumed herself to deliver vengeance for her husband’s insult by her father. After getting the news of Sati being burning herself to ashes, Lord Shiva was loaded with fury. He then took Sati’s burnt body and travelled across the whole universe.
So, during Lord Shiva’s tour, diverse body parts fell in various locations of the world. As mentioned in the Holy books, Sati’s navel part fell here where the Maya Devi temple is found today. This is how the famous Maya Devi temple was formed. It is because of this reason Hindus from all parts of the world hold this temple in high respect.
In the Maya Devi temple, the god is appeared to have four arms and three faces. Maya Devi holds the idol of Goddess Kali in her left hand and the idol of Kamakhya Devi in her right hand. Maya Devi is one of the three Shakti peetha in Haridwar. The other two temples are Chandi Devi and Mansa Devi. These three temples together make a triangle. It is said that Haridwar was once known as Mayapuri. The temple is arranged in the east bearing from Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar. Transports and auto rickshaws are effectively accessible to reach this temple.