The next 9 nights are “Vasant Navratri” or the 9 nights of Spring that are divine nights dedicated to the Mother Goddess for prayer, fasting, meditation and preparing the mind and body for the harsh summer ahead. This post is dedicated to Maihar Sharda Devi Temple (Goddess of Learning) which I visited during my trip to Katni.
Maihar or Mai ka Har ( Mother’s Necklace) is a small town in Madhya Pradesh which was once a princely state ruled by Rajputs. This is one of the 51 Shaktipeeths where the necklace of the mother (Shakti) was found when Shiva was performing Tandav with her corpse and Vishnu’s Sudarshan Chakra pierced through it. Everything in this small town revolves around the main temple on Trikuta Hill dated 502 AD which is nearly 1500 years old. There are some lesser known ones at the foothills. The road leading to the hill has shops on either side selling worship items, wooden toys, utensils and not to forget the crunchy and super tasty jalebi (famous indian sweet) and kachori (fried puffs).
Around the Temple
I resisted all temptations for food and slowly walked up the 1063 steps to the top with a short break in between. There is a rope-way system too, but I chose to walk up so that I could spend some time talking to myself and finalizing the list of wishes that I had tp submit to the divine mother :). It took about an hour to reach the top with chants of “Jai Maa Sharda” .The temple is small yet there is something magnetic about it. I went around the complex and sat on a bench watching pilgrims tie threads of hope around a tree.The temple attendant patiently untied the older threads to make space for the new. After a while, I climbed down chatting with local pilgrims and listening to folklore about Alha and Udal her ardent devotees who apparently visit the temple to this day at 4am in the morning. I smiled at the story, watching their innocent eyes pop out in awe. When people naturally live through their heart, hope and belief become an integral part of life. I found the necklace, I came in search for….one of faith and belief ; my city bred logical mind came back from Maihar with a reminder to stop and listen to the heart !!
Maihar is a revered name in the world of Indian classical music. Maihar Music Gharana was established by renowned sarod player and multi instrumentalist Baba Allauddin Khan under royal patronage and many renowned musicians in India have been trained in this school of classical music. With mastery over nearly 200 instruments his famous students are Pandit Rabi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan.
Take a Train from Katni or Satna. If you are travelling by road stop by on the way to Bandhavgarh or Chitrakoot from Katni.