The spiritual city of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh has a lot of famous temples and the Harsiddhi Maa Temple is one of them. The Harsiddhi Maa Temple was constructed by the Marathas and hence the structural design has a strong Maratha influence. There are entry gates on all four sides of the temple. The main deity here is Devi Annapurna. Apart from the idol of the main deity there are idols of Maha Saraswati and Maha Lakshmi which are placed is on its either side.
According to Hindu mythology, Devi Sati sacrificed her life by jumping into the ‘havan’ at the Yaga conducted by her father Prajapathi Daksha. Angered and saddened by the loss of his beloved, Lord Shiva is said to have done the Pralaya Thandavam carrying her corpse. Lord Mahavishnu then decided to unleash his chakra to stop the thandava from destroying the Universe. The Chakra broke the corpse of Sati into pieces. Each of the sites where the parts of Devi Sati’s (Shakti) corpse fell was considered sacred and came to be known as the Shakti Peethas. It is believed that the Harsiddhi Maa Temple is the site where her elbow fell and hence it is considered as the 13th of the 51 Shaktipeethas across the country.
There are also stories among locals about the origin of the temple. As per folklore, the original Harsiddhi Temple is in Dwaraka, Gujarat. The legendary King Vikramaditya was a staunch devotee of the Maa Harsiddhi and it was at his behest that the deity decided to come to Ujjain. It is believed that Harsiddhi Maa remains in Gujarat during the day and is present in Ujjain during the evenings. Hence the evening Aarti at this temple has special significance. People worship the Harsiddhi Maa to overcome all their negativities and believe that the divine Goddess has the power to bless them with wealth and prosperity.
The main attractions of the temple are the two stone pillars or ‘Deepa Stambhas’ if front of the shrine. The huge tapering pillars have protruding deepams or diyas all around till the top. There are a total of 1111 deepams on both the Deepa Stambhas. It is said that it takes nearly more than 60 kilograms of oil to fill the deepams and light them up. It is believed that these two pillars, one slightly smaller in size, represent Shiv and Shakti. The two Depastambhas are fully lit daily for the evening aarti. The simultaneous lighting of the hundreds of diyas creates an atmosphere of divinity and brilliance that is unexplainable.
The idol of the main deity here is coloured with dark red sindhoor colour. ‘Shri Yantra’, a symbol of ‘shakti’ or power of the divine Goddess is also present in the Harsiddhi temple. Shri yantra supposedly brings spiritual glory and wealth, and instills a positive temperament in those meditating by it. Lord Shiva too is worshipped here in the form of Kunteswar Mahadev. It is believed that one can get rid of one’s kala-sarpa dosham by worshipping Lord Shiva in this form. The nine day festival of Navraatri and the Durga Pooja are the major festivals that are celebrated with great fervor. The temple is florally decked and special lighting is done during festivals. The Harsiddhi Maa Temple is just around 2Km from the closest railway station at Ujjain.