Maa Sharda devi Temple was built around 502 A.D. It situated at the top of Trikoota hill and there are 1063 steps to reach to the top of the hill.
It is said that when lord Shiva was carrying the body of the dead mother goddess (Mai in Hindi) Sati, her necklace (har in Hindi) fell at this place and hence the name 'Maihar' (Maihar = Mai+Har, meaning the 'necklace of mother'). Thus this temple is one of the 51 Shaktipeeth.
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.
According to the locals of Maihar, the warriors Alha and Udal, who had war with Prithvi Raj Chauhan, were very strong followers of Sharda Devi. It is said that they are the first ones to visit the goddess in this remote forest. They called the mother goddess by the name 'Sharda Mai', and henceforth she became popular as 'Mata Sharda Mai'. Alha worshiped for 12 years and got the amaratva with the blessings of Sharda Devi. Behind the temple and downhill is Alha Pond. At a distance of 2 km from this pond is situated an 'akhara' (wrestling ring) where Alha and Udal used to practice kushti (wrestling). The people of Maihar believe that Alha is still alive and comes at 4 am in the morning to worship the Goddess Sharda.
From Dumna Airport Jabalpur Maa Sharda temple is around 161 Km. From Maihar station it is only 2.8 Km and from Maihar Bus Stand 1.9 Km. Three wheeler auto are available from station and bus stand. One can opt to climb Trikoot mountain on foot or by rope way. Vehicles are also allowed up to a certain point but afterwards stairs need to be taken.
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