Goddess Durga is considered a symbol of power, courage, and bravery in Hindu mythology. She is worshipped in various forms and is the protector of the people. There are millions of devotees of Goddess Durga. In India, several temples have been established to worship Her and seek her blessings. People believe that Devi Durga saves humanity from evil demons. In India, especially in the state of West Bengal, devotees worship her for 4 to 5 days every year. The festival is popularly known as the Durga Puja and is celebrated with great devotions and merriment.
As per the myth, Goddess Durga had killed the demon Mahishashura to save heaven and the earth from his evil acts. The day is known as Mahalaya and after almost 7 days Durga Puja is celebrated. Today is that day and on this auspicious day, I want to share about 6 divine and famous Durga temples in India.
Dakshineswar Kali Mandir in West Bengal
Dakshineswar Kali Mandir is one of the most pious Durga temples in India. Here, Goddess Durga is worshipped in the form of Goddess Kali. The temple was established in 1855 by Rani (Queen) Rashmoni. The legendary spiritual saint Ramkrishna Paramhansa was very closely associated with the temple. He along with his wife Ma Sarada Devi spent their lives inside the temple premises. Besides the power of the divine Goddess, the temple is artistically curated with a huge compound in the middle. There are 12 shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, a bathing ghat, a temple for Lord Krishna and Radha, and a shrine dedicated to Rani Rashmoni.
Kamakhya Temple in Assam
Kamakhya temple is one of the oldest and purest Durga temples in India. Nestled within the Nilachal hills on the western side of the city of Guwahati (capital city of Assam). The temple is dedicated to the 10 forms of Goddess Durga – Tara, Kali, Bhairavi, Tripura Sundari, Chinnamasta, Bhuvaneshwari, Bagalamukhi, Dhumavati, Kamalatmika, and Matangi. It is believed that the temple was first established in approximately between the 8th and the 9th centuries. Several renovation works were undertaken after that. A myth states that during Lord Shiva’s dance of destruction or Tandav following Sati’s demise; the genitals of Sati fell in this place. Sati is considered as another form of Goddess Durga. The best time to visit the temple is during the Ambubachi Mela (fair) and during Durga Puja.
Vaishno Devi Temple in Jammu and Kashmir
Vaishno Devi temple is one of the renowned Durga temples in India. To visit the temple, devotees walk for a distance of about 13 km. Nestled within the Trikuta mountain, the temple is located at a height of about 1584 meters above sea level. As per Hindu mythology, it is believed that Goddess Vaishnavi is an incarnation of Goddess Durga. Every year thousands of pilgrims, visit the temple to offer their prayers, seek the blessings of the Goddess, and purify their souls. It is recommended not to visit the temple during the winter season as the roads are covered with snow and are slippery.
Chamunda Devi Temple in Himachal Pradesh
Chamunda Devi Temple is one of the most popular Durga temples in India. The temple is located near the town of Palampur in Himachal Pradesh. It is dedicated to Goddess Chamunda Devi, a deity and incarnation of Goddess Durga. The temple is believed to be established about 400 years ago. The devotees and pilgrims visit the temple mostly to pray for their ancestors. There is a pond within the temple. People prefer to go for a dip into the pond waters, considered sacred and holy. Besides being a religious and holy place, the temple also entices travelers and photographers for enjoying the visual beauty of the scenery and click some amazing photos.
Chamundeshwari Temple in Karnataka
Nestled within the beautiful Chamundi Hills in Karnataka, the Chamundeshwari temple is one of the renowned Durga temples in India. This temple is also dedicated to Goddess Chamundi. The establishment of the temple dates back to the 12th century. The idol of the Goddess is made of pure gold. Located at a height of about 3300 feet from sea level, there are 1000 steps leading to the main temple. You can plan to visit the temple during the festivals of Navratri (coinciding with Durga Puja) and Ammanavara Vardhanthi.
Naina Devi Temple in Uttarakhand
Naina Devi Temple is one of the sacred Durga temples in India. Situated in Nainital, the temple is beautiful with its curated structures and splendid colors. It is believed, during Lord Shiva’s dance of destruction, the eyes of Goddess Sati fell at this place. Naina means Nayan or eyes, as per the colloquial language. The location of the temple is spectacular, surrounded by the majestic Shivalik range of the Himalayas and Mt. Nanda Devi, the highest peak of the mountain range. You can visit the temple during the months of August and September and be part of the Nanda Ashtami festival.
There are many more Durga temples in India. All upheld the divinity and purity of the Goddess. If you plan for a trip to India, please do visit at least one of them. You can feel the power of the Goddess.
A travel enthusiast craving to explore the exotic destinations in the world, deciphering the mysteries and the thrill concealed in them.