Do You Know Meghalaya Has A 500-YO Durga Temple, A Divine Marvel In The Abode of Clouds?

by Tejashee Kashyap
Do You Know Meghalaya Has A 500-YO Durga Temple, A Divine Marvel In The Abode of Clouds?

What appears to be a tranquil town on the tourist circuit now, Nartiang in Meghalaya was once an important cultural and spiritual centre during the peak of the Jaintia kingdom. With its fascinating history, stunning architecture, and profound spiritual aura, the location houses the 500-year-old Nartiang Durga Temple. Nestled in the enchanting landscapes, this temple now stands as a timeless testament to the cultural mosaic of Meghalaya.

Flipping Through The Past Of This Durga Temple In Meghalaya

The Nartiang Durga Temple, steeped in history, owes its existence to the glorious past of the Jaintia Kingdom. The Durga temple here was erected on the site of an ancient temple, and intriguing stories emerge as you explore and learn about the area’s history.

According to local folklore, this temple is believed to have been established in the early 19th century. A significant legend associated with the temple is also linked to the ancient traditions of animal sacrifice, which were an integral part of the rituals performed here. However, in recent times, these practices have waned.

It is not just a historical relic but continues to be a vibrant centre of worship and devotion. It is an amalgamation of Hindu and indigenous beliefs. The Nartiang Devi Temple is thought to be a Shakti Peetha, one of the most respected Shakti temples.

Around 600 years ago, King Dhan Manik established Nartiang as the summer capital of the Jaintia Kingdom. Shakti goddess appeared to him in a dream one night and told him about the significance of the location and requested him to build a temple in Her honour. The temple at Nartiang was built as a result. The strategic location of the temple, as well as the existence of cannons, suggests that it was part of Jaintia Kings fort.

Also read: This 11 Km Long Cave In Meghalaya Has Waterfalls, Natural Dams & Unique Limestone Formations

Durga Puja Here Now

The temple’s surroundings are equally enchanting. The Jaintia Hills district is known for its natural beauty, with rolling hills, pristine forests, and abundant flora and fauna. For tourists and history enthusiasts, a visit to the Nartiang Durga Temple is a journey through time and culture.

The rites at the temple are performed differently than in the plains, in a unique blend of Hindu and old Khasi and Jaintia traditions. The most prominent celebration at this temple is Durga Puja. A banana plant is dressed up and worshipped as the Goddess during Durga Puja. The plant is ceremoniously immersed in the Myntdu River at the end of the four-day celebration.

Have you visited this unique Durga temple in Meghalaya?

Cover image credits: Wikimedia Commons

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