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Temples of the Gangetic Plains

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Mangalagauri Temple at Gaya(Bihar)

Deities: Gauri

Location: Gaya in South Bihar.

Significance:This is a shrine dedicated to Shakti or the mother Goddess in the predominantly Vaishnavite pilgrimage center of Gaya. Mangalagauri is worshipped as the Goddess of benevolence. This temple constitutes an Upa-Shakti Pitha - where it is believed that a part of the body of Shakti fell - according to mythology (see below). It is a well visited temple where Shakti is worshipped in the form of a breast symbol, a symbol of nourishment..

Antiquity: Mangalagauri in Gaya has been mentioned in Padma Purana, Vayu Purana and Agni Purana and in other scriptures and tantric works. The present temple dates back to 1459 AD.

Architecture: This is a small brick temple facing east, built on top of the Mangalagauri hill. A flight of steps and a motorable road lead to the temple. The sanctum houses the symbol of the Goddess and it also has some finely carved ancient relief sculptures. A small hall or mandap stands in front of the temple. The courtyard also houses a fire pit for the homa.

Other shrines in the temple: There are two minor shrines dedicated to Shiva and images of Mahishasura Mardini Durga and Dakshina Kaali.

Other Shakti shrines in Gaya: The Falgu-chandi, Smaasaanaakshi, Mundaprishta, Sankata and Kaamaakshya temples deserve mention.

Other points of interest about the temple : This temple is associated with tantric worship Animal sacrifices are offered here.

Access and Accomodation: Gaya

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