Maa Vankhandi Devi Shaktipith
This temple was located in dense forest (Vana) hence the Goddess was named Vankhandi Devi. She is also popular as Balkhandi Devi as none of can match her might and courage.
The legend states that there was a Brahmin named Sudhanshu who didn’t have any children. One day he was sitting outside his house and was sad being childless. Dev Rishi Narada was traveling in Mrityulok and passed by this Brahmin’s house and noticed the sad Brahmin. He asked the reason behind Brahmin’s sadness. When Brahman told the reason to Devrishi Narada, he gave assurance to the Brahmin that he’ll request Lord Vishnu to bless him with a child. Devrishi went to Lord Vishnu and told about the Brahman’s story. Lord Vishnu told Narada that in this life the Brahman is destined to be childless and there is no chance of him having any children. Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva also told the same to Devrishi Narada hence he went back to Mrityuloka and informed this to the Brahman. Brahmin became sad but accepted the fact knowing this was his destiny.
After some years a seven year old girl passed by the Brahman’s house saying “whosoever will feed me with Halwa Poori will get his/her wish fulfilled”. The Brahman’s wife heard this and rushed out of the house to invite the girl. She took the girl to her home and asked her if she feeds her with Halwa poori whether her wish will be fulfilled …the girl replied , for sure your wish will be fulfilled. Brahman’s wife cooked Halwa poori and offered the girl with full devotion. After the girl ate, she told the girl that she is childless and would like to have one with her Blessings. The girl said “Tathastu”. When the girl was asked her name and abode, she told Her name was Jagadambika and abode was ambika Vana.
After some time the Brahman’s wife gave birth to a son. A few years later Devrishi Narada again visited the Brahman’s house and noticed the boy. He asked the Brahman about the boy and was surprised to know that the boy was Brahman’s son. The Brahman told Devrishi the entire story as he couldn’t believe that Brahman had a son. Devrishi went to Vishnu lok and told this to Lord Vishnu who also didn’t believe and said that the Brahman cannot have any children in this birth. Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva also said the same. Devrishi requested the Tridev to come along with him to Mrityulok and see themselves.
Tridev along with Devrishi went to the Brahman’s house and saw his son. When the Brahman narrated the entire story all of them went to the Ambika Vana in search of the little girl. Upon reaching Ambikavana they noticed that little girl was sitting under a tree. The weather was cold, windy with mild showers. The Brahman was shivering out of cold.
The girl had huge knot of hair on her head which she burnt in order to produce fire , so that the Brahman could get some relief from cold. The Brahman became frightened and requested the girl to put off fire. The girl did so and ask them the purpose of their visit. The Tridev replied that we came to see you and now know very was that she was capable of doing what they cannot do.
This Ambika vana is present day’s Kalpi Dham and the girl is none other than Vankhandi Devi, also know as Devi Yogmaya.
Another legend states that a Herdsman noticed that when his cows returns home after gazing there wasn’t any milk left in them. One day he followed the cows and saw them emptying milk at a particular stone. He became surprised and next day showed this incidence to his fellowmen. People then tried to dug out the stone but in spite of their repeated efforts they couldn’t. Finally they decided to leave the stone at that place and went back. The same night Devi appeared in this Herdsman dream and told him the she is Devi Jagadambika and that place is her abode and those who will offer Halwa poori to her there will get his/her wishes fulfilled.
Huge crowd visits this temple during Navratri.
From Lucknow airport the temple is 163 KM, from Kalpi Railway Station it is 13 KM and from Kalpi Bus stand 12.1 KM
- 5:30 AM 12.00, 4.00 PM to 08:30 PM
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