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satiShaktipeeths of Bharatvansh (10th April, 2016): Once upon a time, in ancient times, a child was born to King Daksh of Kankhal, Haridwar. She was one of the 50 daughters and she was given the name – Sati. Sati was none other than Parvati and got married to Shiva which was a divine destiny. Her father was extremely against this marriage with Ash – smeared ascetic yogi and would not accept Shiva as his son – in – law. Daksh held the great Brihaspati Yagna and deliberately did not invite Sati and Shiva. Sati decided to go to attend the yagna even uninvited against Shiva’s wishes, convinced him that her father would allow after seeing her. But the things did not turn as Sati wished. Instead, Daksh cursed Shiva and abused him. Sati died in grief since she could not bear her beloved husband’s insult by her father. After hearing the news, Shiva got raged and reached Kankhal with his Ganas. He picked up the dead body of Sati and danced the Rudra Tandava, the terrifying dance of destruction. Shiva killed Daksha and roamed inconsolably, the dead Sati still in his hands, for endless years.

After viewing this pitiful situation, Vishnu cut Sati’s body into pieces with the Sudarshan Chakra. It is believed that Sati’s body parts fell at 51 places across Bharatvansha, which went to be revered as 51 Shaktipeeths. Presently, it is not known the complete original list of these 51 Shaktipeeths. Some texts only mention 4 peeths – Jalandhar, Ujjaini, Purnagiri and Kamrup. Others mention 18, 42 or even 108 Shaktipeeths. At present, over a thousand tirths claim to be one of the 51 Shaktipeeths. Meanwhile, Shiva returned to Kailash and started living the ascetic life all alone. Sati was again born as Uma, the daughter of Himalaya, to win Shiva again, which is another story.

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 The Char Dhams of Uttarakhand