Rajita’s account of shrIvidyA’s imprint on the topography of Himachal

R was telling us of how the holy configurations of shrIvidyA are embedded in the geography of Himachal Pradesh. She mentioned that these ancient footprints of shrIvidyA still are seen in the temples of the land but are largely forgotten by the local people who continue to worship the deities but not aware of the deep significance or the mantra-shAstra in most instances. Instead for them the fairs (jatras) and the social events assume a much greater significance. R gathered a lot of interesting information during her last visit to those regions. Of particular note was her account of the stations of the earthly maNDala-s of some of the primary devatA-s of shrIvidyA. The earthly shrIchakra of kAmeshvarI is located near the village of Mandi about 100 Km from Shimla. There is a wooden temple marking the spot of this shrichakra, the form of the mistress of the kula path. The earthly geyachakra of sachiveshI mantriNi is located in Shimla. This temple is apparently near the mall in Shimla. The city itself gets it name from her name shyAmalA, the dark mistress of the geyachakra. The earthly kiri-maNDala is located at Devidhura at the border between Nainital and Almora. Here there is an old temple of vArahI marking its spot. Thus, the kulayoginI is worshiped flanked on either side by sa~nketayoginI and sa~ngItayoginI.

As per the shrIvidyA practioners of the hAdi-mata and sAdi-mata who were once prominent in the Himalayan regions sarva-stambhini bagalAmukhI is worshiped in the night time rite. The earthly maNDala of bagalAmukhI in Himachal is located in the form of the temple at the Guma near Mandi. Her shrine is located in a close spatial cluster with that of kAmeshvarI.

The two other devI-s of the inner triad are apparently located far from each other: vajreshvarI is located at a temple in Nagarkot in Kangra. This temple was ravaged by the Moslem vandal Mahmud Ghaznavi, but was restored more recently. bhagamAlinI is located in the plains at the jalandhara-pITha where abhinavagupta had studied under shambhunAtha. The great bhairava himself is located in a remote temple in the great heights of Kalpa in the Kinnaur district near the Kothi lake. Here the bhairava stands apart like the bindu standing apart from the 5 shiva-yuvati-s and 4 shrikaNTha-s. Next to the temple of bhairava is an ancient temple of chaNDikA.

R states that all these temples are all figuratively distilled together in the 3-storied shrine of hAdividyA tripurasundarI located in the village of Naggar, overlooking the Kulu valley. It is like the kAmeshvarI temple of Mandi made of wood and apparently has yantra outlines carved into it.

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