(Last Updated on : 25/03/2013)
Hari Parbat is situated at the fringe of Srinagar
city; it is the most ancient and one of the holiest places in Kashmir. It is the abode of Mahashakti, the Divine Mother Jagadamba Sharika Bhagwati, also known as Maha Tripurasundhari or Rajrajeshwari (locally called as harie). The 18-armed goddess Sharika is regarded as the presiding deity ('isht'-Devi) of Srinagar city. The goddess is represented by a Swyambhu Shrichakra (Mahamaha Shrichakra), also called Mahashriyantra, which consists of circular mystic impressions and triangular patterns with a dot (bindu) at the centre. The hill is considered extremely holy due to the presence of the temple of Sharika Devi, especially by the Kashmiri Pundits.
The shrine of Sharika Devi can be neared from Deviangan by a flight of chiselled stone steps, numbering 108. Then number 108 has mysterious implications in Hindu mythology. It is perhaps due to the Shrichakra that the capital city of Kashmir
is said to have derived its name of Srinagar (Shrinagra). According to the 'Visishtadhvaita' doctrine, 'Shri' is the divine consort of the Lord and is said to play the intermediary between God and human soul. The shrine of Chakrishwar has been a place of worship from the day Goddess Sharika demonstrated herself in the form of a 'shila' (small rock) on the Hair Parbat. The days of Phagun Krishna Paksh Ashtami (Hora Ashtami) and Ashad Shukla Paksh Saptami, Ashtami and Navami (Har Satum, Har Aatham and Har Navum) are the auspicious days for the devotional prayers at the Sharika Temple peeth. Ashad Navami (Har Navum) is said to be the birthday of Sharika Bhagwati.
On this day of Sharika Jayanti, devotees make sacrificial offering of 'Teher-charvan' (rice boiled with turmeric powder and mixed with oil, salt and cooked liver of goat) to the Almighty Goddess. This ritual is locally known as 'Chout Kharoun'. On 'Navreh', (the New Year Day of Kashmiri Pundits) during the month of Magh and throughout Navaratri
, devotees regularly visit the Hari Parbat for special prayers and worship.