Goddess Parvati, the daughter of the mountain king ‘Himavant’, is the wife of Lord Shiva and known to be the goddess of power. She is revered to by Hindus all over the world and regards her as Shakti. Mythology states that Shiva is incomplete without Parvati. She is also regarded as ‘Adi Parashakti’, since she can take different forms when required to destroy evil.
The incarnations that Parvati Maa has taken are Kali, Durga, Chandi, Tara, Shitala Devi, Mahavidyas, Lalita, Bhuvneshwari, Kamaltmika, Mahagauri and Kathyayini. She is also the mother to Kartikeya and Ganesha. However, she has a total of 108 names.
Parvati, in Sanskrit stands for ‘pavitra’, which means ‘holy’ or ‘sinless’. She is both benevolent and at the same time ‘wrathful’. Gods and human beings have looked upon her to save them from demons and evil kings and to provide peace. She is said to have left her royal lifestyle to follow her husband, and live the life of an ascetic. There are plenty of temples in her name.
Devotees and pilgrims worship her and pray for their well being and for power. Some of the popular temples where the different forms of Parvati are worshipped predominantly include, Meenakshi Amman temple, Shakti Peethas, Ambaji Temple, Akilandeswari temple, etc. The worshippers visit the temples from all corners of the world to seek her blessings and for the well being of their family.
Many festivals are celebrated with much fan fare, in her name. Some of the popular festivals include Gauri festival, Navaratri, Gauri tritiya, etc. Most of these festivals are observed by women. The festivals are conducted with everyone chanting the name of the goddess and prayers being offered.