In Hinduism, Bagalamukhi or Bagala is one of the ten mahavidyas (great wisdom goddesses). Bagalamukhi Devi smashes the devotee's (or the devotee's enemies') misconceptions and delusions with her cudgel. She is also known as Pitambara in Northern Parts of India.
"Bagalamukhi" is derived from "Bagala" (distortion of the original Sanskrit root "valgā") and "mukha", meaning "bridle" and "face", respectively. Thus, the name means one whose face has the power to capture or control. She thus represents the hypnotic power of the Goddess. Another interpretation translates her name as “crane faced”.
Bagalamukhi has a golden complexion and her dress is yellow. She sits in a golden throne in the midst of an ocean of nectar full of yellow lotuses. A crescent moon adorns her head. Two descriptions of the goddess are found in various texts- The Dwi-Bhuja (two handed), and the Chaturbhuja (Four handed).
The Dwi-Bhuja depiction is the more common, and is described as the Soumya or milder form. She holds a club in her right hand with which she beats a demon, while pulling his tongue out with her left hand. This image is sometimes interpreted as an exhibition of stambhana, the power to stun or paralyse an enemy into silence. This is one of the boons for which Bagalamukhi’s devotees worship her. Other Mahavidya goddesses are also said to represent similar powers useful for defeating enemies, to be invoked by their worshippers through various rituals.
Bagalamukhi is also called Pitambaradevi or Brahmastra Roopini and she turns each thing into its opposite. She turns speech into silence, knowledge into ignorance, power into impotence, defeat into victory. She represents the knowledge whereby each thing must in time become its opposite. As the still point between dualities she allows us to master them. To see the failure hidden in success, the death hidden in life, or the joy hidden in sorrow are ways of contacting her reality. Bagalamukhi is the secret presence of the opposite wherein each thing is dissolved back into the Unborn and the Uncreated.
Once upon a time, a huge storm erupted over the Earth. As it threatened to destroy whole of the creation, all the gods assembled in the Saurashtra region. Goddess Bagalamukhi emerged from the 'Haridra Sarovara', and appeased by the prayers of the gods, calmed down the storm.
Major temples to the goddess are situated in the Himachal Pradesh in the north, and at Nalkheda at Shajapur and Datia in Madhya Pradesh. Nepal, where the worship of tantric goddesses had Royal patronage, also has a large temple devoted to Bagalamukhi in the Newar city of Patan. The territory of the Bagalamukhi temple in Patan also has several other temples dedicated to Ganesha, Shiva, Saraswati, Guheswar, Bhairava etc. The main difference between any other temple and a Bagalamukhi temple is that if someone worships all the gods in this temple, they would actually worship all 330 million gods and goddesses at one place. Bagalamukhi Devi Temple is situated at Guma in Mandi, in the state of Himachal Pradesh in North India. Large numbers of Hindu devotees offer prayers here to fulfil their wishes. Bagalamukhi Puja is performed by an experienced Pandit, as any mistake in the ritual may result in bad effects.
Bagalamukhi Devi is one of the ten Hindu Goddesses of Power. Bagalamukhi Puja is performed according to Vedic ritual, to defeat enemies. It not only decreases the power of the enemy, but also creates an atmosphere where they become helpless. The Abhimantrit Bagalamukhi Yantra is also used for the same purpose. It protects the person from enemies and evils. There is a beautiful Mandir of Maa Bagalamukhi in Varanasi as well.