The Shakti Peethas are the holy places dedicated to goddess Shakti. They are the places where body parts of Sati devi fell throughout Indian subcontinent. We find all the Shakti Peethas are accompanied by her consort lord Bhairava (one of the manifestation of lord Shiva).
Legend of Shakti Peethas:
According to Brahma purana and Shiva purana, Daksha son of Lord Brahma performed several yagnas (vedic ritual of fire) to obtain shakti as his daughter. Daksha found that sati was bought to this world in the motive of getting married to lord Shiva which he didn’t like it because lord Shiva cut off his father lord Brahma’s fifth head (which was like donkey head) for supporting demons and confusing gods.
However Sati got attracted to Shiva and started praying from her childhood and finally got married. This marriage increased Daksha’s hatred towards Shiva. Once Daksha performed grand yagna for which he invited everybody except Shiva. Although Sati was not invited to yagna ceremony she wanted to attend yagna, Shiva tried to convince Sati not to attend but she convinced shiva and attended yagna. Sati was not respected and also insulted lord Shiva so she immolated herself.
Enraged by the act of Daksha, Shiva sent Virabadra to destroy yagna where he even cut off Daksha’s head. Later when all gods prayed lord Shiva for mercy, he replaced with male goat head and restored Daksha’s life. Still lord was immersed in grief, performed Shiva Tandava (cosmic dance of destruction). Gods requested lord Vishnu to stop this destruction, so he used his Sudarshana Chakra to cut the corpse of Sati, and then various parts fell at several places throughout Indian Subcontinent.
Places where parts fell down are considered as Shakti Peethas and there are 51 Shakti peethas. Out of which there are 4 Adi Shakti Peethas.