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Holy Places in India : Saptshrungi Mata
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Saptshrungi is a site of pilgrimage situated 60 kilometers from Nashik. According to Hindu tradition, the goddess Saptshrungi Nivasini dwells within the seven mountain peaks. (Sapt means seven and shrung means peaks.) It is located in Kalwan a small village near Nashik in India. Devotees visit this place in large numbers every day. This temple is one among the 51 Shakti peethas located on the Indian subcontinent. The Devi is said be swayambhu (self-manifested) on a rock on the sheer face of a mountain. She is surrounded by seven (sapta in Sanskrit) peaks (shrungain Sanskrit), hence the name 'Sapta Shrungi Mata' (mother of the seven peaks). The idol is always coated with sindoor, which is considered auspicious in this region. She is also known as Mahishasur Mardini.
It is believed that the Devi Mahatmya, a sacred book which extols the greatness of Devi and her exploits, was composed at this place by the sage Markandeya. He performed rigorous penance on a hill opposite the one where the Devi resides it is now named after him.
Saptashrung mountain was a part of the forest called Dandakaranya mentioned in the Ramayana. It is mentioned that Lord Rama, along with Seeta, had come here to pray to Amba and seek her blessings.
In Ashwin (Hindu calender month) Shuddha Dhashami there was big utsav (festival) at this place.
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