Ashtabhuja Temple is an important religious site in Vindhyachal, a small town near the holy city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Ashtabhuja, also known as Devi Nandini, who is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom, and learning.
The temple is in a valley between the two folds of the Vindhyachal mountains. To reach the temple, one must climb a hill and descend 200-odd steps. The journey to the temple is an adventure, as one has to pass through the rocky terrain surrounded by lush green forests.
Ashtabhuja means “the one with eight arms” in Sanskrit, and the deity is depicted with eight arms holding various weapons and symbols, including a sword, bow, arrows, conch, and a book. The Goddess is also known as Nanda and Yogmaya and is believed to have been born to Nand and Yashoda in Gokul, where Lord Krishna grew up. According to legends, Ashtabhuja predicted the end of Kamsa, the evil king, and then flew away to Vindhyachal to live.
Astabhuja Dham | Ashtabhuja Devi Temple Vindhyachal Mirzapur
The temple complex is not very large, but it exudes an aura of peace and serenity that is hard to find in today’s chaotic world. The main temple has a simple structure with a small sanctum sanctorum, where the idol of the Goddess is placed. The idol is adorned with flower garlands and jewelry and is a sight to behold.
Apart from the main temple, several smaller temples and shrines are dedicated to various gods and goddesses. The most prominent among them is the temple of Lord Shiva, which has a beautiful double Shivalinga and a Shiv Murti. In addition, the temple walls are adorned with ancient Hanuman, Ganesh, and Bhairav images.
One can also find a Yagnashala (where Yagna or holy fire ceremony is performed) behind the Mahasaraswati temple. It is believed that anyone can get their Havan Samagri (sacred offerings) and join the Yagna.
The atmosphere inside the temple complex is tranquil and spiritual, and one can feel a deep sense of devotion and reverence in the air. The sound of the bells and the fragrance of the flowers create a divine ambiance that is hard to describe.
Ashtabhuja Temple is a must-visit place for anyone interested in spirituality and who wants to explore India’s rich religious heritage. The temple is open throughout the year and attracts many devotees from all over the country. However, the best time to visit the temple is during the Navratri festival, celebrated with great pomp and shows in Vindhyachal.
In conclusion, a visit to Ashtabhuja Temple is a journey to a religious site and a spiritual journey to the land of the eight-armed Goddesses, where one can connect with the divine and experience inner peace and tranquility.
The name Mata Ashtabhuja Devi means ‘mother with eight hands.’ She blesses her devotees with her eight hands. The idol of Maa Ashtabhuja in the temple is in a long and dark cave. Lighting has been arranged there to illuminate the cave so visitors do not face any problems.
Here is the Maa Ashtabhuja Devi Ji temple, an ancient and proven temple on Vindhya Mountain. The unbroken flame burns in this temple inside the cave, making it even more divine and delightful. The spiritual atmosphere and picturesque views of this temple attract devotees and tourists. The temple is situated atop Vindhyachal mountain and has 160 stone steps to reach the temple.
Maa Ashtabhuja was born in the house of the vicious Kansa and was Lord Krishna’s sister. Mahamaya had warned Kansa, “What harm will a wicked person like you do to me? The one who will kill you has already been born.” Saying this, the Goddess flew towards the sky. She landed on the Vindhya mountain, which Markandeya Rishi describes in Durga Saptashati as “Nand Gop Grihe Jaata Yashoda Garbha Sambhava, Tatas Tau Nashyishyaami Vindhyaachal Nivaasini.”
Since then, Maa Vindhyavasini has been residing on the Vindhya mountain, blessing her devotees. During Navaratri, the number of devotees in the Vindhya Dham increases. Without worshipping and seeing the Ashtabhuja Devi, the TrikonParikrama is incomplete. The Adi Shakti Mata Vindhyavasini is on one side of the Vindhya region, while Mahakali and Mahasaraswati (Ashtabhuja Devi) are on the other side, making the area a holy pilgrimage site.
Even today, Markandeya Rishi sits in the temple’s cave and worships the Goddess. There is a small cave on the right side of Mata. In the same cave, the sage is still engrossed in the meditation of the Ashtabhuja Devi.
On the occasion of Chaitra and Sharadiya Navratras, devotees from all over the country come to this fair which is held here. This fair is such an occasion in which people celebrate the festival of Navratri with pomp and show by worshipping Goddess Bhagwati. Many bhandaras are held at this fair, where devotees get different types of food, offerings, clothes, etc.
The temple of Maa, situated on the Vindhya mountain, has ensured easy access for the devotees by constructing a ropeway. The facility of this ropeway is available, making the darshan of the Ashtabhuja Devi even more convenient for the devotees. Moreover, devotees get mesmerized by seeing the beauty of the Vindhya Mountains from the ropeway.”
Due to this temple’s spiritual atmosphere and beautiful scenery, lakhs of devotees come here yearly and offer prayers to Maa Ashtabhuja on occasions like Diwali and Navratri to fulfill their wishes.
Seeing & worshipping Devi Maa increases wealth and fame. Moreover, Maa’s darshan gives us mental peace and positive energy, which is crucial for success. That’s why, on the occasion of Chaitra and Sharadiya Navratras, many people come to visit Maa.
The climate of the Vindhyachal Range
Vindhyachal is a religious place located in the Cattle which is situated in Uttar Pradesh, India. It has a temperate climate, which is hot and dry from April to June. The rest of the year is calm and pleasant. The monsoon season is from July to September and brings a lot of rain. October to March is the season of coolness, and the coldest temperature can be as low as 5 degrees—Vindhyachal’s vegetation changes like climate, which affects the derivation of the areas around here.
How to reach Ashtabhuja Temple
To reach the Ashtabhuja Temple, located in Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh, you can follow these directions:
- By Air: The nearest airport is Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in Varanasi, which is well-connected to major cities in India. You can hire a taxi from the airport or take a pre-booked cab to the temple. The distance between the airport and the temple is approximately 70 kilometers, and it takes around 2 hours by road.
- By Train: Mirzapur Junction is the nearest railway station to the Ashtabhuja Temple. It is well connected to major cities in India. You can hire a taxi or auto-rickshaw from the railway station or take a local bus to the temple. The distance between the railway station and the temple is approximately 10 kilometers, and it takes around 30 minutes by road.
- By Road: Mirzapur is well-connected by roadways to various cities in Uttar Pradesh and neighboring states. You can reach Mirzapur by state-run buses or private taxis from nearby cities like Varanasi, Allahabad, or Lucknow. Once you get to Mirzapur, you can hire a cab or take a local bus to reach the Ashtabhuja Temple, which is located in Vindhyachal, a small town near Mirzapur.
It’s advisable to check the local transportation options and timings beforehand, as they may vary. Additionally, a map or GPS navigation system is always helpful in guiding you to the temple’s exact location.