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Chintpurni (Hindi: चिंतपूर्णी Punjabi: ਚਿੰਤਪੂਰਨੀ) is a major pilgrimage center and one of the Shakti Peethas in India. The Chintpurni shakti peeth (Chhinnamastika shakti peeth) is located in Una district Himachal Pradesh state, surrounded by the western Himalaya in the north and east in the smaller Shiwalik (or Shivalik) range bordering the state of Punjab.The Chintpurni Shakti Peeth is dedicated to the temple of Chinnamastika Devi or Chinnamasta Devi. Chhinnamasta or Chinnamastika temple is one of the 7 major and 51 total Shakti Peethas. Here, Chhinnamasta is interpreted as the severed-headed one as well as the foreheaded-on.

hen Lord Vishnu cut up the body of Sati into 51 pieces so that Lord Shiva would calm down and stop his Tandava, the pieces were scattered over various places in the Indian subcontinent. It is believed that parts of Sati’s Forehead fell at this place and is thus considered one of the most important of the 51 Shakti Peethas.

The goddess resident in Chintpurni is also known by the name of Chhinnamastika. According to Markandeya Purana, goddess Chandi defeated the demons after a fierce battle but two of her yogini emanations (Jaya and Vijaya) were still thirsty for more blood. Goddess Chandi cut off her own head to quench Jaya and Vijaya’s thirst for more blood.

She is usually shown holding her own severed head in her hand, drinking one stream of blood spurting from the arteries in her neck, while at her side are two naked yoginis, each of whom drinks another stream of blood.

Chhinnamasta, the headless goddess, is the Great Cosmic Power who helps the sincere and devoted yogi to dissolve his or her mind, including all the preconceived ideas, attachments and habits into the Pure Divine Consciousness. Cutting off the head suggests the separation of the mind from the body, that is the freedom of the consciousness from the material confines of the physical body.

According to Puranic traditions, Chhinnamastika Devi will be protected by Shiva - Rudra Mahadev in the four directions. There are four Shiva temples - Kaleshwar Mahadev in the east, Narayhana Mahadev in the west, Muchkund Mahadev in the north and Shiva Bari in the south - which are nearly equidistant from Chintpurni. This also confirms Chintpurni as the abode of Chhinnamastika Devi.

The Chinna Mastika Devi is a divine embodiment of self-sacrifice and there by the Chintpurni shri is considered as a Shakti Peetha. The mythology of Daksha yaga and Sati's self immolation is the mythology liked to the Shakti Peethas. Shakti Peethas are holy shrines of Shakti associated with a mythology that says about the falling of body parts of the corpse of Sati Devi, when Lord Shiva carried it and wandered in sorrow. There are 51 Shakti Peeth associated with the 51 alphabets in Sanskrit. It is believed that Sati Devi's feet fell here.

Pandit Mai Das, a Saraswat Brahman, is generally believed to have established this shrine of Mata Chintpurni Devi in Chhaproh village in the ancient times. Over the time this place became known as Chintpurni after the eponymous deity. His descendants still live in Chintpurni and perform prayers and puja at the Chintpurni temple. These descendants are the official priests at the Temple.

Hindu pilgrimage and marriage records were also used to be kept at this holy place. The Genealogical Society (GSU) of Utah, USA has microfilmed Hindu pilgrimage records for Haridwar and several other Hindu pilgrimage centres. Priests (pandits) located at each site would record the name, date, home-town and purpose of visit for each pilgrim. These records were grouped according to family and ancestral home. The holdings by GSU include Haridwar, Kurukshetra, Pehowa, Chintpurni, Jawalapur and Jawalamukhi.

Devotees usually bring offerings for the Devi. Sweets (e.g. suji halwa, laddoo, barfi), kheer (sugar-coated puffed rice), patasha, coconut (or other fruits), chunni, dhwaja (red-coloured flag), flowers and ghee are some of the offerings that devotees bring. You may bring the prasad from home or you may buy it from one of the shops in the bazaar.

In the center of the Temple is the temple garbha griha. The image of Mata Chintpurni Devi is installed here in the form of a pindi (a round stone). People queue up for a darshan of the Devi and make their prayers and offerings.

It is a kind of a custom at the Temple that the devotees, after the holy Darshan of the Goddess, get their photos clicked by the professional photographers in the Temple complex. The view of the Chintpurni town and the far flung scenic contours is enjoyable from the back-yard of the temple. The photos clicked here of the devotees are life-time memories for them.

Chintpurni is situated at the altitude of 940 metres and is part, Una district, Himachal Pradesh. The temple is situated on one of the highest peaks of the Sola Singhi range of hills. It is about 3 km west of Bharwain which is located on the Hoshiarpur - Dharmashala road. This road is part of the State Highway network and is normally kept in good shape throughout the year.

Private vehicles are usually not allowed beyond the Chintpurni bus stand which is about 1.5 km from the Temple. You would have to walk this distance. About half of this distance is up a gentle incline and through a very busy market. The temple is open from 4 am to 11 pm

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