Maa Durga, the divine mother of the universe is considered an incarnation of power, glory, knowledge and wisdom. People have been worshipping Maa Durga since ages. She is the form of pure energy also called ‘Shakti’ in Sanskrit and Hindu religious context. There are many places in India where goddess is worshiped in different ways. In the eastern regions of India the four day occasion of Durga puja is known to be a huge celebration. Similarly, in the northern areas Navratri is considered the biggest festival devoted to Maa Durga and her many avatars which is celebrated for a period of 10 days. India has many notable temples like the Twenty-three Palli Durga Temple Kolkata, Shila Devi temple at Amber Jaipur, Ambaji Temple in Gujarat and many more devoted to the Aadi Shakti.
Out of these Aadi Shakti Peeth places one is the “Uchaitha Bhagwati” in Mithilanchal which is considered to be the holy place which changed the life of Kalidas. Located in Benipatti (a subdivision of Madhubani), the original temple was built before 100 BC when the region was a jungle. Lord Rama, Sita and Janak are believed to have worshipped here. However, the present structure was built during the 1960s. The idol of Goddess Durga in black stone placed in the sanctum sanctorum (garbha graha) of the temple shows her sitting high on the back of a lion in bliss and blessing mood. This is very different from her usual angry and supreme power image, where she rides a fierce lion. Even the lion carved in this temple is sitting in a very calm posture. Here the Goddess is depicted having four arms. She is holding a sword with a wide knife (khadag) in her left hand and a chakra in the right one. She is sitting in a pleasant pose (sukhasana) and has a chakra sculpted on the sole of her feet.
The road to Uchaitha Bhagwati also known as Uchaithasthan is a unique experience. On both sides it is surrounded with statues of the intellectuals from Mithila. After crossing the Madhubani–Sitamarhi highway and reaching Benipatti, it is the Saharghat main road where the Uchaitha village is entrenched deep. Once inside the temple establishment, there are two more temples viz: the Kamdanath Shiv Mandir and Maa Gayatri temple in the eastern corner. You will be amazed to see the rare and remarkable collection of Shivalinga and a Yagya Mandap which is all set for rituals alongside the Gayatri Temple.
Because of the efforts of the government this place has now been included in Sam Vikas Yojna. This decision has led to a more widespread name for the heritage temple. India is a diverse country rich in its culture and traditions. As young citizens, we hold the responsibility to promote our heritages like Uchaitha Sthan.