Exposures Travel

Saptashrungi Devi Temple Vani – A Photo Tour, History & Story

on
May 29, 2015

Saptashrungi Gadh is a Hindu pilgrimage site near Vani, Nashik, Maharashtra. The name ‘Sapta’ stands for ‘Seven’ and ‘Shrunga’ for ‘Peaks’. Thus, the temple is surrounded by seven hills. Saptashrungi temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas in India. A large number of devotees visit Vani Devi temple every day.

I published this post last year (May 2015) as a photo gallery. I casually posted photos of Saptashrungi temple I took during trip to Vani. Eventually, the post started getting top ranking on Google, and by today (February 2016) it has more than 7000 views.

I’m updating original article, “Saptashrungi Devi Temple Vani – A Photo Tour, History & Story”, with intention to make it most useful to readers. Like other travel posts, photos will be the essence.

Let’s hit the road!

Carved Roads Saptashrungi Devi Temple Vani 19

Plan of Saptashrungi Devi Vani

I had a week off in college so I packed bags and set off for home.

On one bright Sunday morning, mom pinned a one-day-trip plan to Saputara and Saptashrungi devi temple.

Why not!

Within a couple of hours, we were seen passing through the hilly terrains of Sahyadri range. Impromptu trips always turn out as splendid ones, so was the case with trip to Saptashrungi devi.

Inside Grapes Farm Saptashrungi Devi Temple Vani 4
In one grape farm on Saputara Vani road

First Impressions Reaching Saptashrungi

Our time of visit fell under Chaitra Navratri. During Navratri period, fair is organized on the hill top. Road to Saptashrungi Garh is made unavailable for public access — and that’s for good. Traffic problems come down to zero.

MSRTC buses were running frequently between Nanduri – Saptashrungi Temple. Nanduri is base station to reach Saptashrungi. From here, last steep road to hill top stretch starts.

Bus from Nanduri to Saptashrungi

Inside The Bus Saptashrungi Devi Temple Vani 5

I’d like to praise management of Saptashrungi. The systematic way they used to manage traffic and huge crowd is commendable.

In this post, you’d find many photos of fair too. It’s a catch! You might not get to see the same scenes during rest of the year.

Valley view point

Valley View Point Saptashrungi Devi Temple Vani 12

Geography & Infrastructure

Saptashrungi is a hill range consisting of seven hills locally called Ghads and form part of the Sahyadri Range of hills in Western Ghats.

The Dhodap, in the center of this mountain range, is the highest peak with an elevation of 4,600 feet (1,400 m), and Saptasrungi is towards its west.

There are 108 water bodies (ponds) located in the watershed of these hills, which are called Kundas.

Nanduri and Vani are the villages nearest to the temple, which are situated at the foot of the hills.

View of Nanduri village

Zig Zag Path To Top Saptashrungi Devi Temple Vani 6

Saptashrungi Temple is two storied shrine with the Devi enshrined in the top floor. The Saptashrungi Devi image is carved in a cave at the base of a sheer scarp rock face. The Saptashrungi Devi is said to be swayambhu (self-manifested) on a rock on the sheer face of a mountain.

Saptashrungi is quite developed pilgrimage and tourism place. Tourism infrastructure is well created and maintained by Shree Saptashrungi Nivasini Devi Trust.

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Kid selling Dupattas

Saptashrungi Mata Temple Vani Photos, Story, Devi Photos, History 2

Tale of Saptashrungi Devi & Temple Story

As with the case with many Indian temples and Goddess, Saptashrungi too has quite a few of them. Let’s go over them one by one with help of Wikipedia.

  1. Saptashrungi Devi temple is also one among the 51 Shakti Peethas located on the Indian subcontinent and is a location where one of Sati’s (first wife of Lord Shiva) limbs, her right arm is reported to have fallen.
  2. When I was taking photos of hills around Saptashrungi, mom pointed me out to a hill, that has a door-like hole. She said, Devi entered to Saptashrungi through that mountain door.Saptashrungi Mata Temple Vani Photos, Story, Devi Photos, History 6
  3. The Goddess had taken the form of Durga (the Mahalakshmi of Devi Mahatmaya) and slew the buffalo-demon Mahishasura, who troubled the universe. After that the Goddess is believed to be settled here. As the Goddess took form here and resided at Saptashrungi, it is considered the original location of the Goddess.
  4. In the epic Ramayana war, when Lakshmana was lying unconscious in the war field, Hanuman came to Saptashrungi hills in search of medicinal herbs to restore his life.
  5. Sage Markandeya, while living in a cave near Saptashrungi is believed to have recited puranas (Hindu scriptures) to entertain the Devi.
  6. A local myth says that a tiger resides in the garbagriaha (sanctum sanctorum) every night and a keeps a watch on the temple but goes away before sunrise.
  7. Another myth is that when a person was trying to destroy a beehive, the Devi appeared before him to prevent the act.
  8. There’s one more story of Saptashrungi Mata, linked to Shirdi Sai Baba and his devotees.

A Comment By Dr. Damodar Mandore

EDIT: 12-05-2016

Yesterday, I’ve received an detailed and insightful comment on this article by Dr. Damodar Mandore.

Adding it here:


I too am a fan of Vani and had been visiting here since my childhood during the Chaitrotsava.(This year too I was there).

I would be glad, if at all you could add a bit more about the story of “Parsaram Bala”, who is said to be the younger brother of Saptashrungi Devi and his temple is located exactly behind that of Devi. Local story/belief is that, Devi hid him behind her during some emergency situation and thus his statue is behind her and so is the temple. For visiting this temple you have to take the parikrama marg and reach exactly half way, and directionally opposite side of the hill. I had visited there around a decade back or so.

The chaitrotsava was very exciting, thrilling and joyful, in the past days (Though facilities were less, but joy was good in a different perception), where you could see many poor beggars sleeping on beds of thorn in full noon time, under naked sun, some hand emerging out of ground and chanting string of bead and many such adventurous and rare activities. In fact the adventure used to begin right the way while climbing up the hill via the narrow road and two way traffic with some indisciplined and speedy drivers used to take your breath away. But, yes, as mentioned by you, the new facilities have definitely made the trip a safe and smooth ride these days and many new technologies are being roped in for further betterment.

One more thing that I wish to add is a story/belief that during the end of Pournima, a person from a particular family, carries the flag of the temple and after hoisting it secretly in the night time, when he emerges out, all his white clothes are torn. Nobody knows about the whereabouts of this path and the guy.

Saptashrungi Temple from ground

The Temple Saptashrungi Devi Temple Vani 15

Saptashrungi Devi Is Also Known As…

Sapatashrungi – Goddess of seven hills

Saptashrunga-nivasini – One who resides on Saptashrunga – the seven hills

Saptashrunga-mata – The mother-(goddess) of Saptashrunga

Brahmasvarupini – one who has form of Brahma as the Goddess is reported to have appeared from the kamandalu (water-pot) of the creator-god Brahma.

Last photo I took of temple. Photography isn’t allowed inside Mata Temple.

Saptashrungi Mata Temple Vani Photos, Story, Devi Photos, History 2

How to Reach Saptashrungi

If you’re visiting by own vehicle, there are many ways you can reach to Devi temple. Google Maps would be your best guide.

Distance Matrix:

From To Distance in km / Time
Surat Sapatashrungi 200 km / 5 hrs
Nasik Sapatashringi 70 km / 1.5 hrs
Mumbai Sapatashrungi 250 km / 5 hrs
Saputara Sapatashrungi 50 km / 1 hr
Vani Sapatashrungi 25 km / 45 min

Awesome views

Saptashrungi Mata Temple Vani Photos, Story, Devi Photos, History 4

In case of public transportation, plenty of MSRTC buses run to-from Sapatashrungi. Nearest railway station is Nasik Road.

After a fatal bus accident in 2008 which resulted in death of 43 people, security measures have been taken by authorities. The circumlocutory path around the Sapatashrungi hill has now barricades and warning signs.

MSRTC buses are frequent

State Transport Buses Are Frequent Saptashrungi Devi Temple Vani 1

Best Time to Visit

Monsoon.

Though I visited Sapatashrungi in April and enjoyed the cool winds, monsoon should’ve your preferred time for a trip to Sapatashrungi.

Sapatashrungi has elavation of 1000+ meters. Thus even in summer, sun won’t burn you.

Saptashrungi Mata Temple Vani Photos, Story, Devi Photos, History 3

Sapatashrungi Live Darshan

Shree Saptashrungi Nivasini Devi Trust has setup a live streaming service for online darshan on their official website.

Live Darshan at: (Unfortunately, this link is no more online now. It seems like the official Saptashringi site is dead now. :/ )

You can contact Shree Saptashrungi Nivasini Devi Trust at (02592)- 253351

This peak is highest in all seven

Focus Shift Saptashrungi Devi Temple Vani 13

Devi Pooja Timetable

Morning: 06.00 AM
Noon: 12.00 PM
Evening: 07.30 PM

Devotees taking holy dip in water body near Mahadev Temple

A Little Lake Saptashrungi Devi Temple Vani 11

Yearly Festivals / Fixtures

Navratri Festival – Usually in September

Chaitrosav – Usually in April

Purnima – Every Month

During festival time

The Streets of Saptashrungi Devi Temple Vani 8

Food, Accommodation and Facilities At Sapatashrungi

While I was wandering in streets of Sapatashrungi, I had seen many restaurants. Food options are in abundance.

For lodging, trust has built Dharmshala with capacity of 190 rooms.

Dharmshala office is open 24 hours. No reservations. Rooms are offered for a day.

As far as I can remember, there’s a school, bank, ATM and hospital too was present in Sapatashrungi.

View of downtown from top. As easily noticeable, lack of free space has stopped development of Saptashrungi.

From The Top Saptashrungi Devi Temple Vani 9

Heading Back

After Darshan of Sapatashrungi Devi, we started our return journey to home via Saputara.

If you’re going towards Gujarat, from Nanduri, take route

Nanduri – Abhona – Kanashi – Hatgad – Saputara.

The landscapes are exqusite! I had total fun capturing photos…

Returning…

Parking Base Saptashrungi Devi Temple Vani 18

 

A minimal streetlight photo while waiting for bus

Minimalistic Street Light Saptashrungi Devi Temple Vani 10

 

Somewhere near Hatgad. I told you, the landscapes are breathtaking!

Breathtaking Landscapes Saptashrungi Devi Temple Vani 22

 

Golden farms!

Inside The Grain FarmSaptashrungi Devi Temple Vani 21

 

Sooraj Sa Chamkein Hum, School Chalein Hum!

School Chalein Hum Saptashrungi Devi Temple Vani 20

 

This is one of my favorite photos!

Saptashrungi Mata Temple Vani Photos, Story, Devi Photos, History 5

 

Cheers!

A Huge Thumbs Up Saptashrungi Devi Temple Vani 24


All photos are from April 2015. Taken by Kunj Dodiya and me. From Redmi 1S.

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23 Comments
  1. Reply

    MOHIT CHHAJER

    November 21, 2018

    Hey Hi, really a nice blog.

    Needed a small piece of advice. We are planning a 3 day visit to Surat-saputara-Nashik. And would like to add a wildlife sanctuary in between and the saptashrungi Devi shrine also. Which national park is preferable Vansda or Purna wildlife sanctuary.

    • Reply

      Darpan Dodiya

      November 25, 2018

      Hey Mohit,

      Vansda will fall right on your route to Saputara. You’ll not have to take a detour. For Purna, you’ll have to drive for a couple of hours in North Dangs.

      If you have plenty of time, say 7-8 hours extra, then go for Purna. Purna is in deep jungles of Dangs and you’ll get feel of remoteness. Vansda National Park on the other hand runs parallel to the Vansda Waghai road.

  2. Reply

    Anand

    October 23, 2017

    Do you suggest Shirdi to Vani Saptashrungi Devi Gad by Own Car or Public Trasport ?
    Also among available option of stay by management, which has good facility?

    • Reply

      Darpan Dodiya

      October 23, 2017

      If you have own car, then it’s always preferred.

      If that’s not the case then public transport surely can be an alternative. The state transport frequently runs buses to and from Saptashrungi Gadh. Public transport connectivity shouldn’t be an issue.

      My last visit in Saptashrungi was in April 2015, it’s been quite a while since then so my suggestion could be inaccurate.

  3. Reply

    Darpan Dodiya

    May 29, 2017

    A traveler asked about number of steps to reach Saptashrungi Temple.

    There are around 600 steps to reach the temple. Steps are wide and are covered with metal roof sheet. It’s an easy climb.

  4. Reply

    Gayathri

    March 20, 2017

    Thanks for the information… After I read I want to plan immediate weekend to Vani..

    • Reply

      Darpan Dodiya

      March 24, 2017

      Happy to see it helping you. Happy Journey! 🙂

  5. Reply

    A N Sapthagireesan

    February 9, 2017

    Recently on Feb 08,2017, we visited the saptashrungi Garh.
    We also visited a shrine of Devi in the small town Vani and it was written in that temple,it was the original Half Shakti-peeth. The image of the goddess was only a bust and not whole figure. Wanted to share this information. There was also a small Ganesha temple behind a dilapidated well. Wanted to share this information. A N Sapthagireesan–Thane(w)

    • Reply

      Darpan Dodiya

      February 9, 2017

      Thanks for sharing this.

  6. Reply

    Chirag Patankar

    December 12, 2016

    Thank you so much,bro!!😊

    • Reply

      Darpan Dodiya

      December 12, 2016

      Anytime boss!

      Once you’re back from your trip, do share some tips/photos of your experience. 🙂

  7. Reply

    Chirag Patankar

    December 11, 2016

    I wish u can help and guide to the road upto the gad,bro there are lot of confusion regarding the tricky road upto the temple.
    Is it safe for first time visitor to drive himself?

    • Reply

      Darpan Dodiya

      December 11, 2016

      Hi Chirag,

      The road is safe for first time visitor. It is wide enough even at curves. Go ahead! 🙂

  8. Reply

    sagar

    October 8, 2016

    i like temple

  9. Reply

    Ankita Soman

    June 27, 2016

    Hi Darpan,
    I would like to know if ropeway has started there. The way you have explained me, it has increased my eagerness to go there.

    • Reply

      Darpan Dodiya

      June 27, 2016

      Hi Ankita,

      As reported by a newspaper few days back, Security concerns delay trolley to Saptashrungi.

      “The funicular trolley ride was expected to commence from May 31 but additional security concerns have delayed the project. Though level two tests of the funicular trolleys were successful and the facility received authorisation certificate from experts, concerns over rock fall were raised recently.”

      I will update this article when the service starts.

      • Reply

        shiva

        October 6, 2016

        Hi Darpan,
        I am shiva from hyderabad . I am planning to visit this temple with my parents.
        I want to know ropeway started?

        Please update…

        Thanks
        Shiva

        • Reply

          Darpan Dodiya

          October 8, 2016

          Hi Shiva!

          I currently live in Hyderabad as well. 🙂

          No, there are no news of ropeway operations.

          I don’t think in this monsoon season, they’ll start.

          Maybe after Diwali season, it will start.

  10. Reply

    Damodar Mandore

    May 11, 2016

    That is a pretty good job by you and ofcourse, your camera.

    I too am a fan of Vani and had been visiting here since my childhood during the Chaitrotsava.(This year too I was there).

    I would be glad, if at all you could add a bit more about the story of “Parsaram Bala”, who is said to be the younger brother of Saptashrungi Devi and his temple is located exactly behind that of Devi. Local story/belief is that, Devi hid him behind her during some emergency situation and thus his statue is behind her and so is the temple. For visiting this temple you have to take the parikrama marg and reach exactly half way, and directionally opposite side of the hill. I had visited there around a decade back or so.

    The chaitrotsava was very exciting, thrilling and joyful, in the past days (Though facilities were less, but joy was good in a different perception), where you could see many poor beggars sleeping on beds of thorn in full noon time, under naked sun, some hand emerging out of ground and chanting string of bead and many such adventurous and rare activities. In fact the adventure used to begin right the way while climbing up the hill via the narrow road and two way traffic with some indisciplined and speedy drivers used to take your breath away. But, yes, as mentioned by you, the new facilities have definitely made the trip a safe and smooth ride these days and many new technologies are being roped in for further betterment.

    One more thing that I wish to add is a story/belief that during the end of Pournima, a person from a particular family, carries the flag of the temple and after hoisting it secretly in the night time, when he emerges out, all his white clothes are torn. Nobody knows about the whereabouts of this path and the guy.

    Wish you good luck and waiting for any further update on this blog.

    • Reply

      Darpan Dodiya

      May 12, 2016

      Thanks a lot for such an insightful comment!

      Updated the article to add your comment.

  11. Reply

    sanju

    May 9, 2016

    Great !!!. Should have add more pics 🙂

  12. Reply

    Akash Trivedi

    September 18, 2015

    I enjoy the efforts you have put in this, thanks for all the great posts.

    • Reply

      Darpan Dodiya

      October 26, 2015

      Thank you Akash! Very motivated to hear that!

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Darpan Dodiya
Raleigh, NC, USA

Hi! I'm Darpan. 24 yr old Software Engineer, now pursuing Masters in Computer Science at NC State University, USA. This is my personal blog to share my interests in travelling, photography, programming and life. Glad to see you here, have a look around the website, you'll enjoy. Drop a comment or reach out to me or get connected via links below. Have a good day! :)

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