Republished from the Kumbha Mela Times
Traditionally, Lalita Devi is said to be the presiding deity of Prayaga Raja. According to Tantrics, there are 51 shakti shrines located throughout India and the surrounding Himalayan kingdoms. Lalita Devi is one of them.
The temple of Lalita Devi is situated near the Yamuna River in the locality known as Mirapur. Until the 1970s, the old and crumbling temple at this site was neglected and was visited only by the occasional devotee. It began to reclaim its rightful place when a group of scholars, including Justice Katju, G.N. Kaviraj, and Pandit Rama Datta Shokla, brought this shrine to public attention through their writings. Today there stands a small but beautiful temple. The campus also includes a shiva lingam made of solidified mercury.
The goddess Lalita is a purely tantric goddess. She is one of the ten great goddesses of tantra. Lalita is also known as Tripura or Sri Vidya. She is worshipped in tantric fashion. However, we have not heard of anyone worshiping this goddess in the left-handed tantric manner. Learned and resourceful sadhakas organize grand tantric rituals known as sahasra archana to worship Lalita. Sahasra archana means worshipping the Divine Mother with her thousand names.
We were happy to know that the resident priest has a large collection of manuscripts. The majority of those manuscripts belong to tantra and ayurveda traditions. We also met some yogis here who claim to know the esoteric science of alchemy, and possess the knowledge of solidifying mercury.