Manikyamba Devi

(12th Shakti Peeth)

Dakshanaateesthitaa Shakthi 
Vikhyataa Maanikyambikaa
Varadaa Shubhadaa Devi 
Bhaktha Moksha Pradaayinee

Story behind Astadasa Shakti Peethas

Brahma performed Yaga to please Sakthi and Siva to request Sakthi in creation of Universe. Sakthi separated from Shiva emerge in the form of Sati and helped Brahma in creation of universe. Brahma sought to give back Sati to Siva. Daksha, son of Brahma performed Yagna with an intention to get Sati as his daughter. Sati born to Daksha and in due course she wanted to marry Shiva. At that time Brahma saw Prudhvi with bad intention and Shiva cut the fifth head of Brahma with his trident. Daksha got angry and withdrawn marriage of Sati with Siva. But Sati attracted with Shiva and married him. Daksha got hatred on Shiva.

Daksha intended to perform Nireeswara Yaga and invited all the Gods except Siva and Sathi in Kailas. Shiva warned Sati not to participate in the Yaga in the absence of invitation. Sati has gone to Yaga with Nandi and other followers. Sati started yoga which is not possible to the Yogis moving her five elements from their origin. Fire erupted from her grave status of body and she self immolated in the fire.

Enraged to the death and insult of Sati, Shiva in meditation got angry and performed Tandava Nruthya. Shiva has cut some hair from his head in Tandava and thrown on earth. The piece of hair burned and Veerabhadra born with thousand hands, and black body. Veerabhadra is so horrible with three angry eyes, Trident and other weapons in the hands along with skulls in the neck. Siva ordered to destroy the Yaga. Veerabhadra with skulls in his neck destroyed the Yaga and Lord Vishnu opposes him using Sudarsana Chakra. But Veerabhadra swallowed the Chakra and Vishnu given way to take revenge on Daksha. Veerabhadra killed Daksha and returned to Kailash. Daksha was given re-birth after affixing the head of a male goat to the body of Daksha.

Shiva could not bear the separation grief with Sati and left the duty to safe guard the universe. The Gods praised Lord Vishnu and at the request of the Gods, Lord Vishnu used Sudarshana chakra and cut the corpse in to pieces to release Shiva from the worry of the death of Sati. The body parts of Sati fell at several places of the Indian subcontinent and Groin in Trincomalee of Srilanka. The holy places formed are known as Shakti Peet. There is discrepancy in the number of Sakthi Peet as 108, 51and 52 but the 18 Sakthi Peet are familiar as Astadasa SakthiPeeth. The Goddess Dakshayani accompanies with her consort, Lord Bhairava (Shiva) a manifestation of Lord Shiva in all the Shakti Peeth.

Manikyamba Devi Shakti Peeth

Manikyamba of Drakshara in Andhra Pradesh State is the 12th Sakthi Peet among the Ashta Dasa Sakthi Peet. The left Cheek of Sati said to be fallen in Draksharama. Draksharam also known as Dakshavatika is one among the Pancharama Kshetrams. Legend says that the place is the southern part of the kingdom of Daksha Prajapathi, father of Sati. Siva wanted to test Sage Vyasa and Vyasa has undetected Food in Varanasi. Sage Vyasa get hungry and lost patience. He get ready to curse Varanasi. Annapurna given food to him. Siva ordered to Vyasa to left Varanasi and Maa advised to go to Draksharama equivalent to Kasi (Varanasi). Vyasa treat Draksharama as South Kasi, worshipped Shiva and named Draksharama as Vyasa Kasi. Shiva explained the meaning of Kasi as soul emancipation and not for luxurious life. Draksharama defined in Bheemakanda as soul emancipation place. Devotees believed that Sage Agastya arrived to South from North through Vindya Mountain range lived in the holy place.

Manikyamba Devi Temple

Shiva enshrined the part of (Left Cheek) of Sati or Manikyamba in this temple. Adi Sankaracharya visited the temple in the 8th Century and enshrined Sri Chakra at Manikyamba Shrine. There is the place of Sati self sacrifice, and altar in which Daksha performed Homam near the temple. There is pond in the place of altar and the statue established in the pond. Another Legend is that a demon Tarakasura made yoga and obtained Atma Linga from Shiva. He has started to misery to Gods. Shanmukha was born to Parvathi and Shiva. Shanmukha killed in the  battle with Tarakasura and destroyed the Atma Ling in his throat. The Atma Linga spread in five holy places as Pancharamas and the five places are in Andhra Pradesh. They are Amareswara enshrined by Indra at Amaravathi, Someswara enshrined by Chandra  in Bhimavaram of West Godavari District, Ksheera Ramalingeswara enshrined by Sri Rama in Palakollu of West Godavari District, Kumara Rama Bheemeswara enshrined by Shanmukha in Samalkota and Swayamhoo Bheemeswara in Draksharama. Sages requested Godavari to enshrine the Atmalinga part in Draksharama and she committed late. Hence Shiva himself enshrined here. On the request of Saptarushi, Godavari came here. There is Puskarini in the name of Sapta Godavari on the eastern side of the temple.                 

Manikyamba Devi Temple Timings

The temple  kept open on Masa Shivaratri from 5-30AM to 9-00PM, remaining days from 5-30AM to 8-00PM and in the month of Karteeka from 5-00AM to 12 30PM and from 3-00PM to 8-30PM. Online booking facility available for accommodation in Choultries and Guest Houses of the Devastanam. Hotels are also available.