Rani Sati, also identified as Narayani Devi and referred to as Dadiji (grandmother), is said to be a Rajasthani woman who lived sometime between the 13th and the 17th century and committed sati (self-immolation) on her husband's death. Various temples in Rajasthan and elsewhere are devoted to her worship and to commemorate her act.
About the Temple
Shri Rani Sati mandir Jhunjhunu is a well-known temple situated in Jhunjhunu district in the Rajasthan.
This temple has a history of more than 400 years and is an indication to feminine bravery and spirit which certainly captures the attention of all Bhagaks. It is also famous for its magnificence, and extraordinary paintings. It is also part of one of the oldest presented Indian pilgrimages.
A special Pujan utsav is held on the occasion of Bhado Amavasya (no moon day).This day the Rani sati temple is full with devotees. People from all over the country visit this place to offer their puja to Goddess Sati Devi (Dadi maa). The most amazing feature of this famous temple is that it does not hold any paintings or statues of either female or male gods. Instead a trident depicting power and force is worshipped religiously by the followers. However one can surely find a beautiful portrait of Rani Sati in the pradhan mand. The temple is prepared with white marbles and has colorful wall paintings.
In the complex of Rani Sati temple there is also the Hanuman Temple, Sita Temple, Ganesha Temple and Lord Shiva Temple. The regular ‘prasad’ distribution takes place after every ‘aarti’. There are also arrangements made for the meals in day time on payment basis. It is beautiful and intricately crafted, not to forget the golden pot at the top of the temple.
It is the firm belief of Marwaris from Rajasthan that Rani Sati is an avatar of Maa Durga. The Marwari society of Rajasthan as well as from all other part of the country worship Rani Sati Dadi daily in their houses .Several temples in India, especially in the North Western state of Rajasthan, are devoted to Rani Sati and her act of sati. There are numerous other Sati temples in the region including Narayani Sati in Alwar, Dholan Sati in Raipur and Rani Bhatiyani in Jasol. Sati worship had been common in these regions, Banarasidas in his Ardhakathanaka (1643), mentions his family visiting the sati shrine associated with his clan. Though veneration of Rani Sati and patronage of these temples cut across caste, regional and even religious lines, they are particularly prevalent amongst the merchant Marwari community, and its Agrawal sub-caste. Members of those communities have funded the construction of Rani Sati temples, and transformed her status from a kuldevi (family deity) to a Goddess subject to public worship.
The most prominent of these shrines is the Rani Sati Temple Jhunjhunu in the Shekhavati region of Rajasthan, administered and attracting a large following from Kolkata. The temple was inaugurated in 1912, and started off as a set of simple memorial mounds. Construction of a larger complex began in 1917, financed by donations from the Jalan clan of the Agarwal community, and was completed in 1936. As of today, the temple is a monumental complex with a multi-storey structure, a main hall made of marble, and dual courtyards surrounded by rooms that can house up to 300 pilgrims. Rani Sati herself is represented by a trident, and considered a manifestation of the Goddess Shakti. In the sanctum, there is a depiction of Rani Sati surrounded by Ganesha, Shiva and Durga, while a wall frieze recounts the events leading to her husband's death, her self-immolation, and the subsequent construction of the temple itself. The temple is said to have an annual income of Rupees Twenty lakhs and assets of Rupees Eighty lakhs. The temple trustees also organize a well-attended annual fair to celebrate Rani Sati. There are other Sati shrines belonging to other satis in the same family in the compound. There are other Sati temples in Jhunjhunu belonging to other communities.
Oldest Sati Temple
Perhaps the oldest existing Rani Sati temple outside Jhunjhunu dates to 1837 and is located at Kankurgachi in Kolkata. Hundreds of other Rani Sati temples are located in Bombay, Delhi, Varanasi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and other places in India, as well as in Rangoon, Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and the United States. On 1 December 1980, a public procession taken out by Rani Sati devotees in New Delhi to celebrate the construction of a new Rani Sati temple in the city was protested against by feminists and those opposed to the practice of sati. This led to discussions in both houses of the Indian Parliament over promotion of the practice of sati, and Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi halted construction of the new temple, calling satipuja (worship of satis) a "barbaric medieval, and illegal" practice.
In 1996, many of Rani Sati devotees celebrated the 400th anniversary of her supposed birthday on 4 December, including at a large public yagna near the temple at Jhunjhunu (the date was possibly picked in tacit protest of the formal banning of sati in Bengal Presidency by Lord William Bentinck on 4 December 1829.)
On 20th November 2015 its been marked as 734 Birthday of Dadi Rani SatiThe practice of worshiping satis has often been subject of controversy in India, and the Rani Sati Temple at Jhunjhunu came under particularly harsh spot-light when a 19-year widow Roop Kanwar (who was reported to be a devotee of Rani Sati) committed sati in 1987 in the nearby town of Deorala. Following Kanwar's immolation, the Indian government issued an order proscribing the 'glorification of Sati', and tried banning the annual fair at Jhunjhunu. The Calcutta High Court lifted the ban, and on appeal, the Supreme Court of India modified it to allow worship of Rani Sati within the temple while forbidding the celebration of her sati through the chunari ceremonies in which brides seek the Goddess's blessings by offering her their bridal veils. The court also disallowed the fair, which is held on the temple's outer grounds. However the controversy and court decisions, brought even greater attention to the town of Deorala and the Rani Sati temple, and attracted thousands of pilgrims to the temple and the fair that year. Elsewhere in India, while many Rani Sati temples halted their public celebrations soon after Roop Kanwar's death, their activities resumed within a few years.
Legend and Stories
The accounts of Rani Sati's life and the events leading to her death vary widely. Her death has been dated to 1295 or 1595 according to many different legends. One such legend, recounted by Sakuntala Narsimhan, says: Rani was a seventeen-year-old girl of the Bania caste. The legend is that the nawab coveted the white mare that her betrothed rode on, and in the confrontation that ensued, (Rani's husband) Tandhan Das was killed, leaving his faithful servant as the only survivor apart from Dadi Narayani Devi, and her mare. When the servant asked her whether he should take her back to her father's or to her father-in-law's, she is said to have replied that she would become a sati and wherever the horse stopped while carrying the ashes of the couple, a temple to their memory should be raised.
Another version of the legend, as related by Anne Hardgrove, says: “On one day about six hundred years ago a fourteen-year-old Hindu bride named Narayani Devi was coming home for the first time with her husband (of the Jalan lineage) just after their marriage. Her husband worked as a merchant in Jhunjhunu. Muslim invaders suddenly attacked her husband and his companions, brutally killing them. Only Narayani Devi and (in some versions) a loyal Muslim servant named "Rana" survived the attack. According to the story, Narayani Devi then bravely burned herself to death by spontaneously bursting into flames to avoid being captured and kidnapped by these invaders."
Other accounts ascribe the killing of her husband to a band of dacoits, and say that Rani died by the same hand in trying to defend her honour. Yet other versions regard Rani as the first of thirteen widows in her Jalan family to commit sati. The history of Rani Sati starts from the time of Mahabharata. It is believed that Rani Sati was Uttara, wife of Abhimanyu (son of Arjun). When Abhimanyu was killed in the battlefield, Uttara decided to be sati along with Abhimanyu’s funeral. However amidst all this Lord Krishna came to her rescue and pursued her against her decision. He also granted her wish of being married to Abhimanyu and her desire to be sati in her next life.
As granted by Lord Krishna, in her next life she was born as the daughter of Gursamal in the village of Dokwa in Rajasthan. She was named - Narayani. Abhimanyu took birth in Hissar as son of Jaliram and named - Tandhan. Tandan and Narayani got married and were leading a peaceful life.shri rani sati temple jhunjhunu He was in possession of a beautiful horse which was being eyed by the son of king of Hissar from quite some time. Tandan refused to hand over his precious horse to the king’s son. The king’s son then decides to forcefully acquire the horse and thus challenges Tandan for a combat. However Tandan fights the battle bravely and kills the King’s son instead. The enraged king thus kills Tandan in front of Narayani in the battle. Narayani symbolic to female bravery and power fights with the king and kills him. She then commanded Ranaji (the caretaker of the horse) to make immediate arrangements for her to be set ablaze along with her husband’s cremation.
Ranaji playing a vital role in fulfilling her wish to be sati with her husband is then blessed by Narayani that his name will be taken and worshiped along with her name and since then she is known as Rani Sati. Beliefs of Temple The Rani Sati Temple in Jhunjhunu is administered by Marwari Temple Board from Calcutta. It is one of the wealthiest Temple trusts in India. It is said that earning of this temple amounts little less from that of Tirupati Balaji Temple in south India.
There are many organizations that have made numerous efforts for the sati puja to be banned. They perceive the practice and devotion of people to such number of Sati temples across India as the spreading Shri Rani Sati Dadijiand affirmation of Sati Pratha. To a certain extent it may be considered as a threat to people still living in the ancient era. However one can also not ignore the profits made by Sati Temple, through these devotees, which in turn has proved quite beneficial for the progress of natives. Ranisati Dadiji has shown millions of miracles and comes to the rescue of her devout in times of crisis. Her followers/worshippers are increasing by the day. Recently, Mrs. Bimala Devi Pulasaria of Calcutta, a devout dadiji follower was cured of cancer. Dadiji also saved the life of another devout Mr. Subash Agarwal also a resident of Calcutta of a fatal accident.
There are in all 13 sati temples in the complex with 12 smaller ones and 1 main temple dedicated to Rani Sati Dadi built in pure white marble with a red fluttering flag at the top, the building forms are interesting and marvelous. A huge statue of Lord Shiva in the center of the complex surrounded by the lush green gardens, adds to the beauty of the place. Inside the temple, the interiors, adorned with exquisite murals and fascinating rich glass mosaics depicting the entire history of the place, are eye-catching.
Rani Sati mandir is one of the most famous temples in Rajasthan. It is situated in Jhunjhunu district. BHADO AMAVASYA or Bhadi Mavas when the sky at night appears without the moon is the Main festival of Shri Rani Sati Jee (Dadi ma). This day the temple is crowded with devotees in enormous number. People from all over the country visit this place to offer their puja to deity Sati Devi. Millions of followers and worshippers stand in queue from early morning to take a magnificent sight of Shri Rani Sati Jee on this festival day.
The nearest airport is the Jaipur International Airport.
Jhunjhunu is connected by both Rail and Road. The railway station of Jhunjhunu falls on the Delhi-Rewari-Loharu-Chirawa-Jhunjhunu-Sikar-Ringus-Jaipur railway line. Earlier the line was meter gauge, now the same is being converted as broad gauge.
By road one can reach Jhunjhunu from Delhi and Jaipur in 4-5 hours.
Chobari Mandi Colony,
Pincode - 333 001.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Get married to a person of a girl's choice
- Health and longevity of husband
Sarva Mangala Maangalye Sive Sarvaardha Saadhike, Saranye Tryambake Gauri Naarayani Namosthuthe
Meaning -We offer you our salutations, Oh auspicious Naraayani, who is the good of all good, who can achieve everything and can offer refuge, Oh three-eyed Gowri.
Saranaangatha Dheenaartha Parithraana Paraayane Sarvasyaarthi Hare Devi Naaraayani Namosthuthe
Meaning -We offer salutations to you, Oh Narayani, who has the infinite power of creating, preserving and destroying. You are the basis and epitome of the 3 gunas.
Sarvaroope Sarvese Sarvasakthi Samanvithe, Bhayebhyastrahi No Devi Durge Devi Namosthuthe
Meaning -I offer my salutations to you mother Durga, who is present in all beings and has all power, save us from all our wrongdoings O mother of the universe.
Yaa Devi Sarva Bhooteshu Shakthi Roopena Samsthita Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namaha
Meaning -Salutations to the Goddess who resides as Shakti in all beings.