Mangalagauri Temple, Gaya
The Mangalagauri Temple in Gaya, Bihar, India has been mentioned in Padma Purana, Vayu Purana and Agni Purana and in other scriptures and tantric works. This temple is among the eighteen maha shaktipeeth. The present temple dates back to 15th century. The shrine is dedicated to Shakti or the mother Goddess in the predominantly Vaishnavite pilgrimage center of Gaya. Mangalagauri is worshiped as the Goddess of benevolence.
Mangalagauri Temple constitutes an Upa-Shakti Pitha — where it is believed that a part of the body of Shakti fell according to mythology. Here Shakti is worshipped in the form of a breast, a symbol of nourishment. It is believed that whoever comes to Maa durga with his wishes and prayers, returns successfully with all of prayers and wishes come true.
The temple is facing east and is built on top of the Mangalagauri hill. A flight of steps and a motorable road lead to it. The sanctum houses the symbol of the Goddess and it has some finely carved ancient relief sculptures. A small hall or mandap stands in front of the temple. The courtyard houses a fire pit for the home.
There are two minor shrines dedicated to Shiva and images of Mahishasura Mardini, Durga and Dakshina Kali.
The temple complex encompasses of temples of Maa Kali, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman and Lord Shiva.