Showing posts with label Guptakashi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guptakashi. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is The Kalimath?


Kalimath - (“Kali's Residence”) In Uttar Pradesh's Himalayan mountains, there is a village and a holy spot (tirtha).

Kalimath lies roughly ten kilometers from Guptakashi on a minor tributary of the Mandakini River; the Mandakini is one of the Himalayan tributaries that merge to form the Ganges.

Kalimath is one of the Shakti Pithas, a network of holy locations dedicated to the Goddess, according to local legend.

Each Shakti Pitha commemorates the location where a piece of the goddess Sati's severed body fell to earth and took on the shape of a new goddess.

According to local legend, Kalimath is the location where Sati's vulva landed.

It assumed the shape of the goddess Kali there, thereby linking a highly charged female bodily part with a strong and sometimes deadly Goddess form.

The Goddess image at the temple is a metal plate a little more than a foot square with a little triangle carved out in the middle, an aniconic emblem of the Goddess.

This plate is said to cover a pit—a clear sign of the portion of Sati's corpse that is said to have fallen there—but the region underneath it is considered so holy that peering beneath it is banned.

The notion that Kalimath is where Sati's vulva descended to ground exemplifies the Indian holy landscape's flexibility.

A far more commonly acknowledged tradition connects this specific body part to the Kamakhya temple in Assam.

Competing claims are widespread in the Indian holy landscape, since individuals typically create them to increase the holiness and status of their particular spot.

Many Hindus seem unconcerned by such apparent inconsistencies, presumably because they believe that a single Goddess is responsible for all of her many manifestations.

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Hinduism - Where Is Guptakashi In India?


 ("Kashi's Secret") In Uttar Pradesh's Himalaya Mountains, there is a village and a holy spot (tirtha).

The Mandakini River, one of the Himalayan streams that join to form the Ganges River, runs through Guptakashi.

The Pandavas, the five brothers who are the heroes of the epic Mahabharata, are the site's founding story.

The Pandavas travelled to Benares (also known as Kashi) in search of an encounter with the deity Shiva, but Shiva ran away and hid in Guptakashi, according to tradition.

The two holy places in Guptakashi are Shiva temples.

Shiva is venerated in one of these temples as Vishvanath, the "Lord of the Universe," who is the presiding god in Benares' most significant temple.

The other is devoted to his Ardhanarishvara figure, which features a feminine shape, clothing, and decoration on the left side and a male form, dress, and ornamentation on the right.

The argument that Guptakashi is a "hidden" Kashi demonstrates the flexibility of the Indian holy landscape, where one place's holiness may be taken by another.

This is a strategy to claim part of Kashi's majesty as a holy place while attributing power to a much smaller and more distant location.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.