(Last Updated on : 25/06/2012)
Maihar is a city and a municipality in Satna district, known for the revered temple of mother Goddess Sharda situated on Tirkuta hill of Maihar. Mother Goddess Sharda Temple is about 5 km from the heart of the town.
This temple has many facets to make it an extraordinary one. To begin with, it is known for its 1063 steps to reach to the top. Millions of devotees throng the temple all round the year. There is one ancient inscription near the feet of the stone sculpture of Sharada Devi situated at the temple itself.
There is also another statue Lord Narsingh along with Sharadi Devi. These statues were installed by Nupula Deva on Shake 424 chaitra krishna paksha 14 Tuesday, vikram samvat 559, i.e. 502 AD. This stone inscription in four lines measures 15 inches by 3.5 inches in Devanagari script. Even another stone inscription at the temple is of the size of 34 inches by 31 inches by a Shaiva saint, Shamba who had knowledge of both Buddhism and Jainism. The inscription carries a scene of Nagadeva and divulges that it was about Damodara, son of Saraswati who was considered the Vyasa of Kaliyuga. A cult of goat sacrifice predominated during that time of worship.
Local tradition also says that warriors Alha and Udal, who were at war with Prithvi Raj Chauhan, are connected with this place. Both the brothers were staunch believers of Sharada Devi. Folklore speaks of Alha observing penance for 12 years, finally to get `amaratva` (to live for eternity) with the blessings of Sharada Devi. Alha and Udal are known to be the first persons to visit the goddess in this distant forest. Alha referred to Goddess Sharada Devi as `Sharada Mai`, and henceforth the temple came to be known as `Mata Sharada Mai`. The pond known as `Alha Pond` can be seen at the base of the mountain, if one looks downhill. At a distance of 2 km from this pond the `akhara` (local body-building arena for men) of Alha and Udal can be visited.