Shakti Peeths are regaded as living forms of mother-power and the primeval power (adi-Shakti). In the Hindu religion they are considered to be the most sacred places. The devotees in lacs go on pilgrimae to these places every year.
The worship of power has been in vogue in India since ancient times. In Hadappa Civilization, the mother power (matri-Shakti) was regarded as the centre of all spiritualism. In Vaidic literature, there are detailed discriptions of different devis (goddesses), living at different places.
After the Gupta period, a new cult of the worshippers of power (Shakti) emerged. Which was called Shakti? Among them, tantra, mantra sacrifice of animals and tough sadhna' were wide-spread. This cult increased in Eastern India rapidly.
The worship of power (shakti) is accomplished in two ways. Where as in the peaceful form, Sati, Parvati, Laxmi. Sarswati, etc. are worshipped in violent form; it is Durga, Kali, Chamundas, Bhairvi etc. who are worshipped.
The relalation of Shakti-Peeths are related to Sati, the first wife of Lord Shiva. It is her under different names at different places. There even Lord Shiva is present under the names of different Bhairavs with Sati.
The stories believed the emergence of these 'Shakti-Peeths have been narrated in different Purans such as Devi Bhagwad Puran and different Tantric books such as Tantra Churamani Besides. On local levels, there are prevalent many stories, myths and bolk-tales associated with these Shakti-Peeths.
According to different Pauranic books, Devi Sati was the daughter of Prajapati Daksh, the mind-born son of Brahma. Daksh did not like Lord Shiva because of his ascetic appearance. Once he held a yagna in which all the Gods and rishis were invited except Shiva and Sati.
Devarshi Narad informed Shiva and Sati about this Yagna being held by Daksh. On this information, Devi Sati began to put pressure on Shiva for attending this ceremony Lord Shiva pleaded with Sati that one should not go to such Yagnas without being invited but Sati insisted on going there. Therefore. Shiva allowed Sati to go there along with gans (attendants).
Sati felt humiliated when she did not find any place either for herself or her husband, Shiva. She sacrificed her life under this humiliation. The attendants of Shiva, therefore, ruined the Yagna of Daksh. On gettin this news, Lord shiva beheaded Daksh and began to do tandav nritya' putting the dead body of Sati on his shoulder. This threatened the existence of the whole universe.
In order to save the creation from total annihilation, Lord Vishnu, on the reguest of gods, began to cut the body of Sati into differerent parts with his 'Chakra'. The parts of Sati's body began to fall at different places being cut. the body of Sati was cut into 51 parts that fell at different places and this way, Shakti-Peeths emerged. It is beliefved that Devi lives in her most live form at these places and fulfills all the wishes of her devotees.
The 51 Shakti-Peeths of Devi are spread in the whole of Indian sub-continent. Besides India, these Sakti-Peeths exist in Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The Shakti-Peeths situated in foreign countries have briefly been described because of a little information available about them. These Shakti-Peeths are mostly concentrated in eastern India and Bangladesh.