Kumar Rajiv Nayan
Ara: Devotee queued up since 3.30 am before a two storey house on the ninth day of Sharadiya Navaraitra on Monday to have a glimpse of Maa Aranaya Devi. The Aranya Devi temple is situated between the Old and New Ara and is considered to be one of the “Siddh Peeth” in the country. People from all parts of India and also from abroad come here every year to offer prayer.
It is said that Lord Ram on way to Mithila from Buxar along with his brother Laxman and Guru Vishwamitra had passed through Ara and had offered prayer here. Even Yudhishthir along with Bheem, Arjun, Nakul, Sahadev and their wife Draupadi, had worshiped at the temple when they were wandering.
The temple has two main idols, smaller one is of Maha Saraswati while the longer one is Maha Kali. In the recent past, with the help of the residents of Ara, the temple was renovated and idols of lord Ram, Laxman, Bharat, Shatrughan, Goddess Sita, Lord Hanuman and Shivaling were also installed. Akhand Jyoti is illuminated during the nine day Sharadiya Navratra at the temple.
Though people of Ara visit this temple every day but during Sharadiya Navaratra, its importance increases manifold. Thousands of people thronged the temple for prayer and offerings. At the temple, people also perform ‘yajna’.