– Dr A Pranesh
Chintapurni Devi temple is situated in Una district of Himachal Pradesh. It has Himalayan Mountains to the North and Shivalik ranges to the East, bordering the state of Punjab. Chinthapurna Devi is also known as Chinnamasta Devi.
As per legends, goddess Sati, self immolated in her father Daksha’s yajna. Then Shiva destroyed Daksha yajna and carried Sati’s corpse in grief. Hence Lord Vishnu dismembered Sati’s body into 51 pieces. Where ever her body parts fell, those places have become Shakti peethas. Since Sati’s feet fell here, this place is considered as shakti peetha.
According to Markandeya Purana, goddess Chandi killed demons after a fierce battle. Even after battle, her two attributes Jaya and Vijaya were still thirsty for blood. So goddess Chandi cut her own head and quenched the thirst of Jaya and Vijaya by pouring her own blood into their mouth. Hence she is depicted as headless goddess holding her own severed head in one hand and drinking a stream of blood spurting out from the neck. Her aides, the two naked yoginis are on either side drinking blood sprouting out from Devi’ neck.
Chinnamasta is a great cosmic power, who is one among Dasha Maha Vidyas. She helps the seeker to dissolve his/her mind into pure consciousness. Severing off the head suggests separation of the mind from body which means detachment from materialistic world. According to puranic traditions, Chinnamasta Devi is guarded by Shiva/Rudra. Here also there is Kaleshwar Mahadev temple at the east, Narayan Mahadev to the west, Muchakunda Mahadev to the North and Shiva Bari to the south.
Pandit Mai Das, a Saraswat Brahmin, is believed to have established this shrine in ancient times. Even to this day, his descendants worship Chintapurni here. There is a belief that whom so ever prays from bottom of their hearts, she is bound to grant their wish. Hence she is called Maa Chintapurni. Devotees tie red crimson threads in the temple on making a wish and untie them when their wish is fulfilled.