Patan Devi (Hindi: पटन देवी मंदिर), also called Maa Patneshwari, is the oldest and one of the most sacred temples of Patna
. It is regarded as one of the 51 Siddha Shakti Pithas in India
. According to Puranic legends, the 'right thigh' of the corpse of Sati had fallen here when it was chopped off by Lord Vishnu with his 'Sudarshan Chakra'. The ancient temple, originally called Maa Sarvanand Kari Patneshwari, is believed to be the abode of the goddess Durga.
The name of the city Patna is widely believed to have been derived from the name of the Bari Patan Devi Temple
. Some however doubt whether the name of Patna is derived from this temple. According to them the name is derived from patan which means a town and Patna was a big place of export and import.
According to the Hindu mythology, it is believed that the right thigh of Devi Sati fell in Magadh and it is said that the part of the body of Sati fell in both Maharajganj and Chowk areas in Old Patna city. At these places, the Badi Patan Devi temple and the Chhoti Patan Devi temple were built. According to the Tantra Charumani, the small images of the Bari Patan Devi Temple, Patna are the Goddess Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati.
In Hindu mythology, these Goddesses protected Putraka, who was the founder of Pataliputra. A strange stone image has been found in a tank near the Bari Patan Devi Temple, Patna. That image has been kept in the eastern veranda of the main temple where this stone is being worshiped regularly.
As in many other places, a mela is also held near these temples at the time of Vijayadashmi. On Saptami, Ashtami and Navami (Durga Puja)during the mela about 600 people come to offer prayers daily at either of the two temples. Visitors generally bring sweets, garlands and fruits to offer to the deities. The priest of the temple takes some quantity of the prasad and returns the rest to the devotees.
He marks their forehead with Rori (red powder). The devotees also give some money to the priest as "dakshina". As regards the routine of the rituals, the deity is daily bathed morning and evening and this is followed by offerings of prasad (fruits and sweetmeats etc.) and aarti with the usual reciting of hymns by the priest, accompanied by the ringing of bells.