Sharika Devi temple is dedicated to Goddess Jagadamba Sharika Bhagwati, an incarnation of Mata Durga/ Shakti. The idol inside the temple has 18 arms and is regarded as the presiding deity of the Srinagar by Hindu followers. This temple is regarded as one of the most sacred sites by Kashmiri Pandits, this day is celebrated as Har Navum.The shrine is thronged with devotees in large number on the birthday of Sharika Bhagwati.
According to legend, the Hari Parbat hill was once a huge lake inhabited by the demon Jalobhava. The inhabitants called on the goddess Parvati for help. She took the form of a bird and dropped a pebble on the demon's head, which grew larger and larger until it crushed the demon. Hari Parbat is revered as that pebble and is said to have become the home for all the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Another version of the myth says that two demons, Tsand and Mond, occupied the fair valley.
Tsand hid in the water near the present location of Hari Parbat and Mond somewhere above the present Dal Gate, and both terrorised the people of the valley. The gods invoked Parvati who assumed the form of a Haer (myna) and flew to Sumer, picked up a pebble in her beak, and threw it on the demon Tsand to crush him. The pebble grew into a mountain. Parvati is worshipped as Sharika in Shri Tsakra (an emblem of cosmic energy pervading the universe) occupying the middle part of the western slope of the hill.
The hill is also called Predemna Peet. On the birthday of Sharika Bhagwati, the devotees make a sacrificial offering of `Taher-charvan' (Taher - rice boiled with turmeric powder and mixed with oil and salt; Tcharvan - cooked liver of goat) to the goddess. This day is celebrated as Har Navum.
Sharika Devi Temple Srinagar
The temple is devoted to Goddess and hence the customs are the same that are offered to the Goddess in the region. The Kashmiri Pandits implore here with special chants and mantras and the poojas last as long as the implication of the occasion. During Navratri, special poojas are performed here and the Goddess is offered special prasadam and is decorated with all beautiful clothes. There are many fairs and procession carried out in and near the temple during this time of the year.