Adi Shakti or Goddess Sati or Goddess Parvati is worshiped in India in many forms. She came to earth in these various forms to protect the ultimate existence of mankind. She is the eternal and primordial source of power. It is written in one of the ancient literature which is Bhagwat Mahapuran that Adi Parashakti is the original creator, observer and destroyer of the whole universe. She created the universe and other various life forms. Goddess Parvati is married to Lord Shiva. The festival of Navratri is dedicated to her various forms. In Hinduism mother goddess represents beauty, gentleness, tenderness and kindness. In Hinduism mother goddess is considered to be first manifestation of divine energy.
The temples of Goddess Parvati are found across India. One of such temple we came across was when we were exploring Jim Corbett National Park in Ramnagar in the state of Uttarakhand. The national park is part of “Project Tiger” and is famous for its Tiger and Elephant population.
The temple is referred to as “Garjiya Temple” and is situated in the middle of River Kosi over a small hillock. The temple is named after the village where it is located. The other name of Goddess Parvati is “Girija” which comes from “Giriraj”. Giriraj or the Himalayas is the father of Goddess. The name “Girija” somehow became “Garjiya” in this locality.
It is on the outskirts of Corbett National Park. The temple is about 10 kms from Ramnagar on the way towards Ranikhet on the Dhikala Road. The temple was discovered in 1840 when the entire area was dense forest. It was reconstructed in 1970 in its present form.
It is believed that temple came down floating in River Kosi from higher Himalayas. Lord Bhairav (manifestation of Lord Shiva) saw the temple floating on a hillock in the river and stopped it. Mother goddess was happy and decided to live there only. There are other stories prevalent among locals and some say that mother prevented locals from destruction of Kosi river, which turns very violent during monsoon and causes lot of destruction.
Worship of Goddess Garjiya is done with kumkum, red cloth and coconut. A fair is held every year on the auspicious day of “Kartik Purnima”. Other gods that are worshiped here are Lord Shiva (Husband of Goddess), Lord Ganesha (son of Goddess), Devi Saraswati (Goddess of Knowledge). A few meters away from the temple is the cave of Lord Bhairav. It is said that worship of Goddess is not complete without worship of Lord Bhairav and visit to his cave.
How to reach
The temple is a must visit place while you are visiting Jim Corbett National Park. A flyover has been constructed which connects temple from the main land. When we visited we had to cross the river to visit the same. The water of River Kosi is clean and fresh but cold. There were boats available, but you can enjoy some adventure in the 3-4 feet deep water of the river and cross the river on your own.
Jim corbett national park is 245 kms from New Delhi. The temple is further 10 kms from Ramnagar, where most of the resorts are situated.