Did You Know the Interesting History of Nartiang Durga Temple Meghalaya?
Located in Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya, Nartiang Durga temple Meghalaya was established 500 years ago. It is believed to be one of the 51 Shakti Peethas of Hindu Mythology and thus revered as one of the holiest places by Hindus.
The interesting history of the temple
The history of the temple is associated with an interesting mythological legend, as it dates back to the ancient times. It is believed that during a sacrificial feast, Daksha, the father of Goddess Parvati didn’t invite his son-in-law, Lord Shiva. Due to this insult of Goddess Parvati’s husband, she felt humiliated and depressed and thus immolated herself at the same sacrificial fire at her parents’ home. When Lord Shiva came to know about this episode, he became furious with anger and carried the dead body of his wife on his shoulders. High on rage, Lord Shiva started performing Tandava, the dance of destruction which became the cause of worry for all Gods and Goddesses.
In order to soothe him down, Lord Vishnu cut down Durga’s dead body into 51 pieces with his Chakra. All pieces of Durga’s body fell in different parts of the world that were later developed into religious places and temples. Left thigh of Goddess Durga fell in Nartiang in the Jaintia Hills, due to which the Goddess is famous as ‘Jainteshwari’, and the place is named as Nartiang Durga temple Meghalaya.
Worshipping rituals in Nartiang Durga temple Meghalaya
Though Goddess is regularly worshipped in the temple, the rituals of the temple are not performed traditionally, as they are a mix of Hindu and ancient Khasi traditions. The main part of worshipping the deity is performed by sacrificing goats and ducks in her honour. It is also said that earlier humans were sacrificed in the name of honour of the Goddess, but the British government put an end to it. Post ban on sacrificing humans, goats are made to wear human masks at the sacrificial ceremony. Also, during the festival of Durga Puja, a banana plant is dressed as Goddess to worship her. After the festival is over, the plant is ceremoniously immersed in Myntdu River.