Temples relevant to the practice of Sri Vidya
Sahasrakshi Meru Temple
Devipuram, Andhra Pradesh, India
Location: Via Ammulapalem P.O, Anakapalle, Andhra Pradesh 531001, India
How to reach: Devipuram is 35 km from Visakhapatnam, which is well connected by air and by train. Devipuram is about 25 km from the airport, 35 km from Visakhapatnam railway station and 12 km from Anakapalle railway station.
Contact information: Phone. + 91 94408 45333; + 91 95532 55583
Founder: Sri Armritananda Natha Saraswati
Devipuram is the only temple in the world which has a Sri Meru temple. A three-dimensional representation of the Sri Chakra is a Sri Meru. This temple called Sahasrakshi Meru Temple measures 108 feet (33 m) square at its base and rising 54 feet (16 m) high. Construction of the temple was started in 1985.
Devi or the Divines Goddess appeared as Bala (child form) in Sri Armritanandanatha Saraswati’s meditations and instructed him to build a ‘home’ for her. In meditative visions, She showed him the Sri Meru Nilayam and asked him to use that as the design. In pursuance of this vision, In 1983, Devi yagna was performed for 16 days, wherein Sri Armritanandanatha Saraswati was approached by the brothers of the Putrevu family, with a donation of three acres of land. Having acquired the land, Guruji was looking for divine guidance, a sign of approval to commence construction of the temple.
In the vicinity of the donated land, there was a small hillock where Guruji would often spend time in meditation. On the slopes of the hillock, he noticed a formation very similar to that of the Kamakhya Peetam in Assam. One day, while in meditation he experienced himself lying on the Peetam, while four others were performing a homam with the flames emanating from his body. And during purnahuthi, he felt a heavy object being placed on his heart. Awakening from his meditative state, Guruji was prompted to dig that site. Unearthed from that very spot, he found a Sri Chakra Maha Meru made of panchaloha. It was later discovered that a huge yaga had been performed in that area more than 250 years ago.
The sanctum sanctorum of the Sahasrakshi Meru Temple is reached by circumambulating inward and upward, past more than 100 life-sized murthis of various shaktis or yoginis (deities expressing essential aspects of the Devi) who are, in Srividya cosmology, said to inhabit and energize the Sri Chakra. Their exact locations are “mapped” in an elaborate ritual called the Navavarana Puja (“Worship of the Nine Enclosures”), which was in turn condensed into a mantric composition called the Sri Devi Khadgamala Stotram (“Hymn to the Auspicious Goddess’s Garland of Swords”), forming the basis of the temple’s layout.
This temple is unconventional in its practice of allowing devotees to perform puja to the Devi themselves, without regard to caste, creed or gender. The other temples in the Devipuram temple complex include the Kamakhya Peetham and Sivalayam, which are located on hills adjacent to the main temple.