The History of Danteshwari Temple
In ancient days when Bastar area was famous by the name of Chakrakot, present Dantewada region was known as Tarlapal. The kings of Chalukya Dynasty made Barsur their capital and ruled this region; in course of time they transferred their thrown to Dantewada. Along with Chalukya Kings their ancestral deity of Warangal also came and got established in a temple as Danteshwari near the confluence of Dankini and Shankini rivers and thus this place is called Dantewada.
It is believed that Danteshwari of Chalukya kings is the changed name of Manikeshwari of the kings of Naga Dynasty, who ruled this region earlier to Chalukyas. Chalukya Kings had the temple constructed during fourteenth century.
According to a prevalent myth in connection with Danteshwari, due to an insult committed by her father Prajapati Daksha towards her consort Lord Shiva during a Yaggya, Goddess Sati got frustrated and committed self-immolation in the fire pit of yaggya. Lord Vishnu cut the dead body of Goddess Sati into pieces with his Sudarshan to make Lord Shiva free from the grief caused by the death of Sati. Parts of the dead body of Goddess Sati were scattered to fifty-two different places, which were consecrated as Shakti Pithas by different names. It is believed that a tooth of Sati had fallen here and Danteshwari Shaktipith was established.
Resurrection of the present construction of temple was done before Independence of India. The temple is divided into four parts such as Garbh Griha, Maha Mandap, Mukhya Mandap and Sabha Mandap. Garbha Griha and Maha Mandap were constructed with stone pieces. It is said that several statues were brought from Barsur and were established here. A Garud Pillar has been erected in front of entrance of the temple, which was brought from the temple of Barsur.
Chalukya rulers were the dedicated devotees of Danteshwari. Whenever they came from Bastar to obtain a glimpse of goddess, a village was offered to the name of goddess. The number of these villages, thus became as much as one hundred and forty four by 1909, it has become a Mukasha or Maphi Jagir (estate, received from a ruler as a gift or reward). Temples management was done by the Zia family and followers of this family have been performing the worship hereditarily till today.
Affectionately known as Maiji among her millions of devotees both tribal and non-tribal, Danteshwari has become a living Shakti Pith in the form of deity, faith and belief.