Nartiang Durga Mandir, also known as Jayanti Shaktipeeth and Jainteshwari Mandir, is a 600 year old temple situated on top of a hillock, in the West Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya. This Mandir is one of the Shakti Peethas and considered as a holy sites for pilgrims. The tribals in the Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya believe this Mandir is an abode of Goddess Durga. The Mandir draws a large number of pilgrims from all over India, specially during the festival of Durga Puja.
The Mandir has an idol of the Goddess Durga. As the temple is situated on top of a hill, the serenity and tranquility of this place along with a beautiful view of River Myntang following below enhances the spiritual experience. A temple of Lord Shiva is situated nearby the premises of the Durga Mandir.
The Nartiang Durga Mandir is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas in the Indian Subcontinent (one of the three Shakti Peethas in north-east India, the other two being the ‘Kamakhya Mandir’ in Guwahati and the ‘Tripura Sundari Mandir’ in Tripura).
According to ancient stories, Prajapati Daksha (father of Devi Sati) once performed yagya and invited all the deities, except Lord Shiva and Devi Sati. However the fact that she was not invited did not deter Devi Sati’s desire to attend the yagya. Devi Sati was not given her due respect at the yagya, and had to bear witness to Daksha’s insults aimed at Lord Shiva. Anguished, Sati cursed her father and self immolated in the sacred fire of the yagya. Enraged at the insult and death of his spouse, Lord Shiva picked body of Sati on his shoulder and started Rudra Tandava (divine dance for destruction). In order to stop him from destroying the world, Lord Vishnu divided the corpse of Devi Sati into 51 parts with his Chakra. It is believed that Devi Sati’s left thigh had fallen in the area where this Mandir is built, making the place a Shakti Peetha.
As per local Pnar tribals of Jaintia Hills, Goddess Jayanteswari is a famous deity of the erstwhile Jaintia Kingdom and a central figure in the Niamtre faith (followed by the Pnar tribals). The Pnar tribal people believe that Niamtre is a religion given by Gods (not founded by any human), and the three golden principles dictated by Gods and followed by the people of Niamtre faith are – ‘honest livelihood’, ‘fulfillment of duties and compassion towards fellow humans’, and ‘brotherhood and respect of members of parent’s clans’.
Worshipping Mother Goddess is central to the Niamtre faith and this assimilated into worship of Goddess Shakti (Devi Sati, Goddess of Power) of this temple. Since the practitioners of the ancient Niamtre faith did not worship any idols, during the Durga Puja, Maa Durga is worshiped here in the form a plantain plant. The plantain is draped in a saree and adorned with ornaments. For the next four days the plantain is worshiped as the form of Shakti. At the end of the four day of celebrations, the plantain is immersed in the Myntdu River.
During the Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan in Ayodhya on 5th August 2020, soil was taken from the Nartyang Durga Mandir for the rituals. The waters of Myntdu and Myntang rivers was also collected and carried to Ayodhya. The bhoomi pujan was performed by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, and attended by many eminent personalities.
|Mandir Name||Nartiang Durga Mandir (Jayanti Shaktipeeth, Jainteshwari Mandir)|
|Deity||Goddess Durga (as Devi Sati, Shakti)|
|Established||Current Temple was built between 1400 CE – 1500 CE|
|Address||Nartiang Durga Mandir, Nartiang, |
West Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya 793150