Shaktipeetha of Nepal
Badimalika Temple is one of the Shaktipeeths, perched above a hill in Bajura district in far Western Nepal at 4572 m. from sea level. The temple dedicated to Bhagwati or Goddess Durga is mainly visited on Malika Chaturdashi, the fourteenth day of the bright fortnight in August, as its major festival. The temple is served by two priests, first from Bajura itself and the second one from the Kalikot district.
It takes 2 to 3 days from Martdi, the Headquater of Bajura district to reach Badimalika Temple on foot, but it depends upon the individual. It’s a narrow and treacherous trail but the view is a treat to the eyes. It also offers panoramic views of Mt. Api and Mt. Saipal Himalaya range. The trek routes do not have any lodges or restaurants, one has to carry supplies of their own.
Trekking enthusiasts would walk further to reach Khaptad National Park, home to wildlife fauna like musk deer, barking deer, leopard, bear, 270 species of birds, varieties of medicinal herbs, and also to Nepal’s National Flower rhododendron.
Swasthani Brata Katha
According to the Hindu tale Swasthani Brata Katha, Sati Devi’s father Daksha Prajapati invited all the gods and goddesses at his big Yagya except for Sati Devi and her husband Mahadev.
Yagya is an important religious practice done in front of a sacred fire pit by a constant offering of specific herbs, ghee, and sandalwood dust into it for hours while chanting mantras. It is conducted to create nutritional and medicinal surroundings as the smoke made by the offerings is beneficial in preventing bacterial growth in the environment and one's body.
Sati Devi raged with anger reached the site and asked Daksha Prajapati for this negligence. Daksha made an excuse saying Mahadev wore snake for ornaments, tiger-hide for clothing, and smeared ash on his body. He drank alcohol and smoked weed with his equally fearful attendants, hence he was not suitable to attend such an important Yagya.
Sati couldn’t tolerate such insult for her husband and in her intense anger assumed the Adishakti form to terrorize the attendees, cursed Daksha to die at Mahadev’s hand, and jumped into the Yagya for self-immolation.
Mahadev madly in love with Sati was insanely angered by this catastrophe. He immediately sent out Birbhadra and troops to kill Daksha who had abused Sati and encouraged self-immolation.
Mahadeva crazed with grief carried Sati’s charred body on His shoulder traveled across the universe. Mahadev was unstoppable. Vishnu had to release his Sudarshan chakra (discus) to wound Sati’s body so that it could be infested by insects and decay.
Sati’s body had to dismember to restore Him, to regain His equanimity.
Sati’s body came apart and the pieces fell at different places on earth and those grounds became Shakti Peethas, places of worship. In this process, her left shoulder fell on the Mallagiri mountain in Bajura. Mallagiri, then referred to as Malika, and that is how Badimalika Temple came into existence.
Shakti Peethas in Nepal:
The Shakti Peethas are significant and pilgrimage destinations with shrines focused on goddesses of Hindu tradition.
- Guheswari Temple, Kathmandu
- Dantakali Temple, Dharan
- Dakchin Kali, Kathmandu
- Manakamana, Gorkha
- Pathibhara, Taplejung
- Kalinchok Bhagwati, Dolakha
- Kalika Bhagwati, Baglung
- Bageshwari, Nepalgunj
- Bakyeshwari Temple, Gorkha
- Feature Photo by Sanjog Sigdel