India is a country full of sacred places, centres of pilgrimages with holy rivers, temples and Peethsthans.
Vrindavan also known as Brij is a town in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is one such sacred town situated on the banks of the holy river Yamuna. It is 150 Kms from Delhi and is approachable by rail and road.
’Vrindavan has an ancient past, associated with Hindu history, and is an important Hindu pilgrimage site. One of its oldest surviving temples is the Govinda Dev temple, built in 1590, with the town founded earlier in the same century. It is here in Vrindavan that the Sri Sri Katyayani Shakti Peeth Temple is also situated.
The history of Vrindavan dates back to the ancient puranic age
Several references are found in the Hindu scriptures. Srimad Bhagwat Puran gives a detailed description of Vrindavan as the playground of Lord Krishna (incarnation of Lord Vishnu) during his childhood, and as the grazing pastures for the cows belonging to his kin.
The Shiv Puran mentions that "Dakshprajapati" father of Goddess Sati, (consort of Lord Shiva), organized a big Yagna in which he did not invite Lord Shiva. When Sati learned that Lord Shiva was insulted she jumped into the fire. This enraged Lord Shiva who took the burning body of Sati on his shoulders and performed the Tandav dance (dance of destruction). According to the legend when Lord Vishnu saw mass destruction all around he tried to normalize Lord Shiva and cut the burning body of Sati into pieces with his Chakra (Mace). It is said that the various spots where parts of Devi Sati fell became Shakti Peeth Sthans. There are supposed to be 108 such Sthans, out of which only 51 are known today. It is stated that the hair of Goddess Sati fell in Brij and that spot is known as Katyayani Peeth
The Arya Shashtra Adya Stotra mentions "Brijay Katyayani" para, meaning that in Brij, where Vrindavan is situated, Goddess Katyayani is the deity for worship. Shrimad Bhagwat Puran mentions that Lord Vishnu directed “Yogmaya”, his ’Shakti’, to appear in Brij as the daughter of Nandbaba and Yashoda before He himself was to be born there as Krishna avatar for the establishment of Dharma “righteousness” in this world.
The Gopis of Vrindavan worshiped the Goddess Katyayani on the banks of the Yamuna at the Peethshan to get her blessings for having Lord Krishna as their consort. Goddess Katyayani blessed them and they attained the supreme state of devotion and performed "Maharaas" (Krishna consciousness)