Top Durga Temples in India
Durga or Shakti is the mother of the universe. Therefore she is referred to as 'maa
' by her devotees. Maa Durga was created when demon king Mahisasura was causing havoc on heaven and on the Earth.
When the Gods approached the Trinity - Brahma, Vishu and Mahesh for their help, the Trinity or Tridev combined their powers and created Durga - the powerful female goddess.
Maa Durga killed Mahisasura by stabbing him on the ninth day of her fight with her trident. This is also the reason why she is known as Mahisasura-mardini - one who annihilated the demon.
Every year Durga puja is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion. The festival also marks the triumph of good over evil.
Famous Durga Temples in India
It is believed that you cannot make a plan to visit this temple. Instead, you will be able to visit the temple only when Goddess Durga wishes you to. Devotees chant 'Jaikara Sheran wali da
' and 'Bol Sache Darbar Ki Jai'
during their journey to Durga temples.
Most of these temples are located on hilltops and it is an arduous journey to visit the temple. however, it is faith that makes devotees overcome all hurdles and difficulties and enjoy the satisfaction of having visited the Durga temple. Some of the mare as follows:
Vaishno Devi, Jammu and KashmirVaishno devi
shrine is situated inside the cave which comprises of idols of Goddess Kali, Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Lakshmi. According to a legend, Vaishno devi who was a devotee of Lord Vishnu, ran inside the cave on being chased by tantric Bhairon Nath.
Here, she assumed the form of Goddess Kali and cut of the head of Bhairon Nath. The place where the tantric's head fell off is the spot where Bhairon temple or Bhairon Mandir is located. Read More
Naina Devi Temple, Himachal Pradesh
Naina Devi temple is situated in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. Naina devi is a form of Maa Shakti and is also one of the fifty one Shaktipeeths. The temple has been built at the spot where mata Sati's eyes fell. Read More
Kamakhya Temple, Assam
The Kamakhya temple
is situated on Nilachal hills in
Assam. The temple is dedicated to Kamakhya devi who is believed to be another form of Maa Durga.
A famous festival celebrated in this temple during monsoon season is the Ambubachi Mela
. Navratri is also the time when devotees visit the temple in large numbers. It is believed that a devotee visits this temple thrice during his lifetime.
Dakshineswar Kali Temple, West Bengal
This is a temple situated in Kolkata, West Bengal. It is located on the banks of river Hoogly in Dakshineswar Kali Temple in Kolkata.
It is dedicated to Maa Bhavatarini, one of the forms of Goddess Kali, another name of Maa Durga. Both during Durga puja and Kali puja (Diwali) that devotees offer prayers. Read More
Karni Mata Temple, Rajasthan
The famous 600 years old Karni Mata Temple is situated in Deshnoke, Rajasthan. Karni Mata is also believed to be an incarnation of Durga maa.
This temple is also popular for its holy rats which are protected by priests and devotees! Another temple in Rajasthan dedicated to the Goddess Durga is Adhar Devi Temple. Read More
Danteshwari Temple, Chhattisgarh
This temple is located in Dantewada town, in Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh. Danteshwari Devi is also a form of Maa Durga. The temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas of Durga.
The temple has been built on the place where the tooth of Sati fell. During Dussehra festival, every year, the idol of Danteshwari Devi is taken out of the temple premises and thousands of devotees offer prayers to Goddess Danteshwari.
Actually, Dantewada town has been named after Goddess Danteshwari who was the presiding deity of the earlier Kakatiya rulers. She is the Kuldevi (family goddess) of Bastar state.
Devotees gather in the temple for prayers during Dussehra every year and the idol is also taken out of the temple followed by huge procession. This is known as 'Bastar Dussehra festival'. During navrathras, Jyoti Kalash is also lighted.
The temple is situated at the confluence of Shankini river and Dhankini river which have diverse colours! Danteshwari Temple is a 600 years old temple.
The idol of Danteshwari mata is carved out of black stone. The temple was built in the 14th Century by the Chalukya kings in South Indian style of architecture. Garudha pillar stands at the entrance of the temple.
Civil Line, Jagdalpur,
According to a legend, when Sati committed self immolation in yagna kund due to insult of Shiva by her father Daksha, Lord Shiva destroyed the yaga.
He lifted Sati's body and started doing 'tandav
' which could result in holocaust. So, Lord Vishnu cut Sati's body into pieces to free Shiva of his grief. Parts of Sati's body fell at 52 places which were consecrated as the Shakti Pithas. Read More
Mahalaxmi Temple, MaharashtraMahalaxmi temple
too is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas and is situated in Kolhapur city in Maharashtra. The idol is created of black stone and is 3 feet in height and weighs 40 kgs.
One of the most famous festivals celebrated here is 'Kirnotsav festival
' which marks the touching of the feet of the temple deity by the sun during sun set on 31st January and 9th November.
Ambaji Temple, GujaratAmbaji temple
is located in Banaskantha district of Gujarat. Mount Abu
is nearby and devotees also make a trip to Mount Abu after having 'darshan
' in the temple. The temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas and is dedicated to Goddess Amba mata. Read More
Sirsangi Kalika Temple, Karnataka
The Sirsangi Kalika temple is situated in Belgaum district in Karnataka. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. It is situated 20 kms. from Saundatti. During Ugadi festival, the Palanquin festival is also held here at the Bannimantapa. On Amavasya too, cultural programmes are organized here.
Earlier this place was known as Pirising which gradually changed to Hirisongi and much later to Sirsangi. According to a legend, saint Vrushya Shrunga was doing penance in the forest here when demons disturbed his meditation.
As a result, Goddess Chikkumbasura and Hirekumbasura killed these demons and later settled down here where the temple has been built in Sirsangi.
Devotees put jaggery, wheat, coconuts, rice and edible oil which are equivalent to their own weight in Tulaa Bhara Seva
. The famous "Butti
" ritual is also performed in the temple. Halegodi Amavasya and Vishwakarma Mahotsava are also celebrated every year.
Other Famous Durga Temples in India
- Bhagavathi Amman Temple, Tamil Nadu: This temple is dedicated to devi Kanyakumari who is believed to be the virgin goddess and the aspect of Devi.
The temple has been constructed on the confluence of oceans - Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. In Tamil Nadu, there is yet another very famous Durga temple named as Patteeswaram Durga Temple located in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu.
- Chakkulathukavu Bhagavathy temple Located in Alappuzha District, Kerala. It is believed to be one of the 108 Durga temples built by Lord Parasurama.
- Jwalaji Devi Temple, Himachal Pradesh: The temple is located in Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas in India and a famous Durga temple. The name 'Jwalaji' comes from the fact that there is a place in the temple where a set of flames burns continuously.
- Sharda Mata Temple, Madhya Pradesh: Maihar wali Mata Temple is located on Trikuta hill in Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the 51 Shakti Peeth of goddess Parvati. This temple is built on the spot where the necklace of Sati fell.
You have to climb up about 1063 steps to reach the temple. Ratangarh Wali Mata, Tulja Bhavani Devas and Salkanpur are other Durga Temples in Madhya Pradesh.
- Tara Devi temple: Located on a hill top known as Tara Devi Mountain in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. The entire temple premises is surrounded by green forests and beautiful devdar trees. The temple is about 250 years old! Other famous Durga temples in Himachal Pradesh are Chamunda Devi Temple and Jawalaji temple.
- Kanak Durga Temple: located in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. The idol in this temple is of Goddess Kanak Durgeshwari. The temple is located on hill top on the Indrakiladri mountain on the banks of river Krishna. This temple is also the second largest temple in India.
- The Chamundeshwari Temple, Karnataka: Chamundeshwari Temple is located on Chamundi Hills at Mysore, Karnataka. The gates of the temple are made of silver while the idols are composed of gold!
- Mansa Devi Temple, Uttarakhand: The temple is located at top of Bilwa Parvat on the Sivalik Hills. It is one of the famous Shakti Peethas. People throng this temple during Navratri festival and offer prayers here.
- Bamleshwari Devi Temple, Chhattisgarh: This temple is situated on hilltop which is 1,600 ft high. It is situated in Dongargarh, Chhattisgarh. Dongargarh is both - a pilgrimage centre as well as tourism centre in Chhattisgarh.
Maa Bamleshwari temple is also famous as Badi Bamleshwari. There is another section of this temple which is about half-a-kilometre away from the main shrine and is known as Chhoti Bamleshwar. Another famous temple in Chhattisgarh is the Danteshwari tenple.
- Saptashrungi Devi Temple, Maharashtra: This Durga temple is situated in Vani near Nashik in Maharashtra state. Saptashrungi Devi Temple is one of the 51 Shakti peethas.
The idol of the goddess has 18 hands with a weapon on each hand. Other temples of Maa Durga in Maharashtra are Renuka/Anusuya Devi Temple, Ekvira Devi and Tulja Bhavani Temple.
- Tara Tarini Temple, Odisha: This temple is a Shakti peeth and is situated on Taratarini hill in Odisha. Actually, the temple is dedicated to two Goddesses Tara and Tarini! Both are manifestations of Adi Shakti or Durga Maa.
It symbolizes that good always partakes evil and evil is ultimately punished. So, have faith and do visit these shrines during your vacations and during Navratri festival!