Sahasrakshi Meru Temple

Sahasrakshi Meru Temple

Shri Sahasrakshi Meru temple is located in Devipuram village. The primary deity of this temple is Shakti as Sahasrakshi. This particular modern temple was built during 1985-1994 by its creator N. Prahalada Sastry. The architectural styles of this temple are based on South Indian Architecture with three temples in the premises. The temple belongs to the Shakta school of Hinduism. The goddess Sahasrakshi is regarded as the goddess with thousand infinite eyes. She is also a form of Parvati or Lalita Tripurasundari and her consort is a form of Shiva named Kameshwara. This temple is built in a unique three-story structure based on the shape of a Shri Meru Yantra. The worship method is known as Tantric Shakta worship. This temple is mainly based on Shri Chakra which is a three-dimensional projection of the sacred Hindu diagram. On the hills adjacent to the main temple, there are two other shrines, the Shivalaya and Kamakhya Peetha. In Sahasrakshi Meru temple’s sanctum sanctorum, there are more than 100 life-sized murthis of different shaktis or yoginis based on Shrividya cosmology. These murthis are believed to dwell and energize the so called Shri Chakra. Navarathiri and Dassara festival are grandly celebrated in this temple. Devotees from the local villages and faraway places visit this temple during this festivity season. Special poojas and rituals are conducted on these occasions. This temple is unconventional in its practice of allowing devotees to perform pooja to the Devi themselves, regardless of caste, creed or gender. This may be an emulation of the Kamakhya temple complex in Assam, which has the same open policy for worship. The fact that many of the temple's murthis are portrayed as "sky-clad," or nude, has over the years, gained considerable attention to Devipuram. According to Devipuram's official history, in 1983, during Devi Yajna, Guruji was approached by the brothers of the Putrevu family with a request to build a temple for the divine mother. In addition to the 3 acres (12,000 m2) of land that they had donated, Guruji bought the adjoining 10 acres (40,000 m2) and it was registered as land for Devi temple. The history continues that, on acquiring the land, Guruji was looking for divine guidance, a sign of approval to commence construction of the temple. In the vicinity of the donated land, there was a small hillock where Guruji would often spend time in meditation. On the slopes of the hillock, he noticed a formation [a cleft rock forming a natural yoni] very similar to that of the Kamakhya Peetam in Assam]. One day while in meditation he experienced himself lying on the peetam [holy site], while four others performed a homa, with flames emanating from his body. During purnahuthi [the final round of ritual offerings], he felt a heavy object being placed on his heart. After waking up from his meditative state, Guruji was prompted to dig that site. Unearthed from that very spot, he found a Shri Chakra Maha Meru made of panchaloha. It was later discovered that a huge yagna had been performed in that area more than 250 years ago. Soon after that, Guruji had visions of the Devi as a 16-year-old girl. With her blessings, he built the Kamakhya Peetam on the hillock and a Shiva temple on the peak in 1984. Construction of the present Sahasrakshi Meru temple in Devipuram was started in 1985.

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