Kunjapuri is the temple of Goddess Durga as it is one of the thirteen Shakti Peethas (Power Centers) in the Shivalik range and one of the three Shakti Peethas in the Tehri district established by Jagadguru Shankaracharya, Other two Shakti Peethas in the district are Surkanda Devi and Chandrabadni. Kunjapuri, along with these two peethas form a holy triangle.
According to Skandpuran, Sati, the daughter of King Daksha, was married to Lord Shiva. After the Asuras were defeated in Treta Yuga, Daksha was chosen as the creator of all the gods. He performed a yagna at Kankhal to commemorate it. He, however, did not invite Lord Shiva as Lord Shiva objected to Daksha becoming Prajapati.
Lord Shiva and Sati saw all the gods passing through Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva, and realized that they had not been invited. When Sati heard about this humiliation of her husband, she went to the place of sacrifice and sacrificed herself in the Havan Kund. By the time Shiva reached there, she was sacrificed.
In a fit of rage, Lord Shiva performed the orgy and released Gan from his jatas, and ordered him to cut off the head of Daksha and kill all the gods. The repentant gods apologized to Lord Shiva and requested him to allow Daksha to complete the Yagya But Daksha’s neck was already cut. Therefore, the neck of a sheep was cut and placed on Daksha’s body so that they could complete the Yagya.
Lord Shiva took out the body of Sati from the Havan Kund and carried it around her shoulders for years, being mourned and angry. All the gods gathered to discuss this unusual event because they knew that Lord Shiva in anger could destroy the whole world. Eventually, it was decided that Lord Vishnu would use his Sudarshan Chakra.
Without knowing Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu divided Sati’s body into 52 pieces with his Sudarshan Chakra. Wherever on earth, a piece of Sati’s body fell, those places became known as Siddha Peethas or Shakti Peethas (centers of knowledge or power). For example, The upper part of her body (Kunja) fell at the place which is today known as Kunjapuri Temple.
It is counted among the Shaktipeeths (Naina Devi of Himachal Pradesh) is where her eyes fell, Shakambhari Devi of Saharanpur where her head fell, Jwalapa Devi is where her tongue fell, Surakanda Devi is where her neck fell and Chandbadni The goddess is there.