Famous Durga Temples in India For A Devotee In You
Durga is a warrior goddess who protects the earth from demonic forces. There are different incarnations of Durga that are worshipped in every corner of India. Numerous cities and towns are dotted with Durga temples that attract thousands of devotees. But, the most important are called shakti Peethas.
There is a fascinating story behind the origin of these Peethas. Goddess Sati, another form of Durga, was married to Lord Shiva and died due to an unfortunate incident. Her death pained Lord Shiva so much that he carried her body across the country and performed Tandav. But, when Sati’s body was cut up by Lord Vishnu’s Sudarshan chakra, the pieces fell at different places. These sites ultimately became the Shakti Peethas that are famous Durga temples in India today. Here is the list of Durga Mandir that you must visit -
1. Vaishno Devi - Katra, Jammu & Kashmir
Vaishno Devi Mandir is the most popular Durga temple in India. Tucked away in Trikuta Mountains, this temple is 13.5 kilometers (8.3 miles) from Katra village. A road leading to the temple is difficult and not everyone can cover it on foot. Different transportation modes like horses, ponies, palanquin along with Vaishno Devi helicopter ride are easily available. Many people follow Vaishno Devi Yatra for a wholesome experience. Keep in mind that even though the temple is open throughout the year, the best time to visit Vaishno Devi Mandir is from March to October.
2. Chamunda Devi - Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
Chamunda Devi Temple is amongst 51 Shakti Peethas. Located around 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from Palampur, this ancient temple has a history dating back to more than 500 years. Nestled on the banks of the Baner River and surrounded by forested hills, this simple Durga Mandir looks divine. Chamunda is a fierce form Goddess Durga and the idol at the temple is completely covered with a red cloth as it is considered religiously significant. There is a small cave on the premises where Shiva Lingam is worshipped.
3. Jwala Ji Temple - Kangra, Himachal Pradesh
One of the oldest Durga temples in India, Jwala Ji is a unique place of worship. It is located in Jwalamukhi town and has been mentioned in Mahabharata as well. The shrine has a main flame that burns continuously without any supplements. It is believed that the tongue of Goddess Sati fell here and has taken a form of flame. That also makes it one of the 51 Shakti Peethas that is visited by thousands of devotees every year.
4. Dakshineswar Kali Temple, Kolkata
Dakshineswar Kali Temple is a beautiful shrine that is situated over a 20-acre land. It was built by Rani Rashmoni in 1855 on the banks of Hooghly River. Today, it has become one of the majestic temples in India that worship a form of Durga. It is believed that Saint Ramakrishna got enlightened at this temple. The nine spires of this temple represent the traditional Bengali-style architecture. You will find 12 identical Shiva temples on the premises here
5. Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati
Kamakhya Temple is a popular pilgrimage destination that also attracts tantric devotees. Though the exact date of the establishment is not known, this ancient temple dates back to the 8th century. This is the site where female genitalia of Goddess Sati is said to have fallen. Considered to be the core of female energy, animal sacrifices are common here to please the goddess. The area of the temple is home to different worship places as well as a cave with natural spring.
6. Chamundeshwari Temple, Mysore
Chamundeshwari Temple, which is also called as Naada Devathe by locals, is amongst 18 maha shakti Peethas. It is a pilgrimage site that was originally established in the 12th century and has been renovated a couple of times since then. But, it has succeeded in maintaining its old charm. Chamundeshwari is one of the few Durga temples in South India. If you want to listen to the beautiful Durga Aarti, then this is the place to visit during the Navratri festival!
7. Durga Temple, Varanasi
Durga Mandir in the city of Varanasi is built in the traditional North Indian style by Bengali queen in the 18th century. It has become one of the most famous temples in Varanasi. The temple is painted in striking red colours as the icon of deity is also red. Many worshippers believe that the icon of Goddess Durga is not man-made and appeared at the site of this temple. You wouldn’t want to miss the Durga puja here! The pond around this place adds charm to its beauty.
8. Amba Mata Temple, Gujarat
Ambaji Temple is Gujarat is located in Ambaji town that is known as historically as well as the mythologically important site. The temple of goddess Durga is among the important shakti Peethas as the heart of goddess Sati fell here. This site is different than other places of worship as you will not find any idol or picture here. There is a small cave in the inner wall where the gold-plated yantra (device) is placed. Keep in mind that you cannot take photos of this device.
9. Renuka Devi Temple, Mahur
Renuka Devi Temple is a famous pilgrimage place in Maharashtra but is one of the lesser known temples in India. This temple is located on top of the hill and is surrounded by natural caves. You will need to climb around 250 steps in order to reach the temple. This place of worship dates back to at least 900 years and plays a significant role in the local history. Located less than 10 kilometers from the town of Mahur, it is easy to reach by road.
10. Naina Devi Temple, Uttarakhand
Naina Devi Temple is shrouded in mythological stories and is a well-known Hindu pilgrimage site in India. It is located on the shores of the famous Naini Lake. Naina means eyes and the name of the temple derives from the story that says the eyes of the goddess Sati fell here. Though this temple was destroyed during the landslide in 1880, it was soon rebuilt by the locals. Idols of different gods and goddesses can also be found on the premises of the temple.
Visit these Durga temples to offer your prayers and learn about their fascinating history.