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Kumari Amman Temple Kanyakumari

Kumari Amman Temple Kanyakumari

Devi Kanyakumari in Kumari Amman Temple is worshipped as Shree Bhagavathy in the form of an adolescent girl child. She is known as “Devi” or as mentioned earlier, “Bhagavathy” that refers to “Durga” or “Parvati”. The Devi is also worshipped as Bhadrakali.  The Goddess is known to be the one who removes the rigidity of our mind. Devotees actually feel the emotions in their mind when they pray to the goddess in devotion and contemplation.

The Kumari Amman temple is 3000 years old and is dedicated to Devi Kanyakumari. She is the virgin goddess who stands strong protecting her devotees. The temple is located on the seashore of Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu. It is a renowned temple that speaks of ardent worship and devotion.

Kumari Amman Temple Kanyakumari

History of Kumari Amman Temple

I am Manifest Divinity, Unmanifest Divinity, and Transcendent Divinity. I am Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, as well as Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati. I am the Sun and I am the Stars, and I am also the Moon. I am all animals and birds, and I am the outcaste as well, and the thief. I am the low person of dreadful deeds, and the great person of excellent deeds. I am Female, I am Male”.

The worship of Devi goes back to the Vedic times. And the monotheism worship goes back to Advaita times. Devi Kanyakumari has been mentioned in Ramayana, Mahabharata, and the Sangam works Manimekalai.

Devi Kanyakumari has a mysterious story that once Banusura, the demon king got power over Devas and gave cruel punishment to them. The Devas performed a Yagna seaking to punishand remove the evils.  So Devi Parasakthi came to Kumari in the form of a virgin girl and began her penance. Meanwhile Lord Shiva fell in love with her and arrangements for the marriage were made in the midnight a particular day. Now the Narada realised that their marriage would destroy the chances of castrating Banusura because he could be killed only by a virgin. When Lord Shiva was on his way to Kanyakumari, Sage Narada assumed the form of a cock and crowed falsely heralding the break of dawn. Thinking that the auspicious time for the marriage was past, Lord Shiva returned disappointed. The Goddess too decided to remain virgin after that. Then, when Banusura attempted to win the Goddess by force, she killed him with her Chakragudha, and relieved the sufferings of Devas. Then she resumed her penance and remained virgin.

Significance of Kumari Amman Temple

  • Kumari Amman Temple is one of the 51 Shaktipeethams – or divine abode of Goddess Shakti.
  • One of the hundred and eight “Durga Alayas”, this Temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga.
  • The nose ring of Devi Kanyakumari is designed with rubies. They are so bright that it could be seen even from the far at night.
  • It is said that some ships sailing in the sea, mistook the brightness of the rubies as the light from the Lighthouse and got wrecked, hitting against the rocks nearby. Due to this reason, the eastern side gate of the Kumari Amman Temple is kept closed.
  • The eastern door of the Temple is opened on new moon days in the months of Edavam, Karkkidakam (Capricorn and Cancer), during Navaratri and in the month of Vrischikam.
  • Walking around the outer corridor and crossing the Navaratri Mandapam, the pathway leads to the second corridor encircling the shrine. At the entrance here, is the Kala Bhairava Shrine and the well known as “Patal Ganga Teerth” which provides water for the Devi’s Abhisegham. After this is the Dhwajastambha (flag mast).
  • Swami Vivekananda, the great reformist visited this Temple to get the blessings of Devi on December 1892, as told by his Guru Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

Timings of Kumari Amman Temple – Rituals and Poojas

  • The rituals are performed here in the Keralite way. The mantra is “Amme Narayanaa! Devi Narayanaa! Lakshmi Narayanaa! Bhadre Narayanaa!”
  • Darshan starts in the early morning from 6:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m in the afternoon.
  • Later again the Darshan starts from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • The devotees offer red sarees and ghee wick lamps.

Festivals celebrated at Kumari Amman Temple

  • The Chaitry Purnima Festival is celebrated on the Full moon day in May.
  • The Navarathri festival is celebrated in the month of September–October. On the 10th day of the Navarathri, called as the Vijaya Dasami, the destruction of Banasura is celebrated.
  • The Vaisakha festival which is a 10 day festival is celebrated in the Tamil Month of Vaikasi (May–June). The image of the Devi is taken around the town in procession, both in the morning and evening.
  • The Kalabham festival is celebrated in the Tamil month of Aadi (Karkkidakam) that is in July – August. The idol is covered with Sandal paste on the last Friday of the Tamil month (Aadi).

How to reach Kumari Amman Temple

  • By road: visitors can reach the temple by taking taxis and auto-rickshaws that are easily available. City buses also are regularly accessible. The temple is 1km away from Kanyakumari bus stop.
  • By rail: the temple is 1km away from the rail station where regular based trains are available.
  • By air: the temple is well connected to major cities like Chennai, Madurai, and Thiruvanathapuram. Domestic flights are regularly available.

Hotels nearby Kumari Amman Temple

  • Hotel Sangam is located at Beach road, provides guests with a peaceful retreat that feels like a home away from home.
  • Hotel Singaar International located at Main road, Kanyakumari is well known for it’s multi cuisine restaurant and well suited rooms.
  • Hotel Shivas Residency located 1 km away from the Kanyakumari Rail station is a good place to relax and enjoy the locale around.

Places nearby Kumari Amman Temple

  • You should definitely visit the Olakaruvi Falls once you have visited the temple. It has magnificent beauty and its surroundings are splendid to look at.
  • The Lord Subhramanya Temple is located 34 km away from Kanyakumari and is dedicated to Lord Murugan who is the God of warfare and victory.
  • The Thanumaayan Temple known for its architectural splendour is a 17th century Hindu shrine in the Suchindrum town of Kanyakumari. It is also known as the Suchindrum Temple and Sthanumalayan Temple by locals.

9 Must Know Rituals of Navratri

9 Must Know Rituals of Navratri

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Navratri (“nava” i.e. 9 + “ratri” i.e. nights) means “nine nights.” This ritual is observed twice a year, in spring and in autumn. During Navratri, Hindus undertake nine days of fasting and worshipping. The Divine Mother or Devi is worshipped by her own command for nine days and in different forms. This festival is celebrated with various rites and rituals as believed by the devotees and hence, commencement of all the rituals makes it more auspicious. Here is a list of some popular rituals undertaken for Navratri. 

Ritual 1 – Worshipping the 9 forms of Goddess Durga

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It is believed that Goddess Durga has 9 forms. All these nine manifestations of goddess are worshipped during the Navratri and each manifestation has its own significance. Each day of Navratri is dedicated to one goddess each and the devotees worship accordingly. These 9 forms of goddess are as follows-

  1. Shailputri Mata
  2. Brahmacharini Mata
  3. Chandraghanta Mata
  4. Kushmanda Mata
  5. Skanda Mata
  6. Katyayani Mata
  7. Kalratri Mata
  8. Mahagauri Mata
  9. Siddhatri Mata

Ritual 2 – Ghatsthapana

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During this religious festival, instalment of a pot in one’s pooja room is meant to be auspicious. This installation of a pot is termed as “Ghatsthapana”. This pot symbolises the universe and is filled with a mixture of seven kinds of grains and covered with a coconut.

Ritual 3 – Lightening of Akhand Jyoti

akhandjyoti

As the name suggests “Akhand” means uninterrupted and “Jyoti” means light. During this festival a lamp is lit for nine days continuously and taken care so that it doesn’t go off. Burning of it for all nine days non-stop is said to put an end to negative energies and make the devotees aware of their consciousness. It is also believed that this akhand jyoti is the medium through which one worships “Adi Shakti” i.e. Godess Durga.

Ritual 4 – Sowing of Barley

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In a pot of sand or copper, barley seeds are sown. Barley is the symbol of first fruit and signifies growth, affluence and abundance. Hence, it is worshipped as well as taken care for all nine days. It is believed that the length of the barley shoots determines the quantum of income and prosperity that a family will have.

Ritual 5 – Offerings to Goddess Durga

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Different kinds of offerings are made to Goddess during 9 days of Navratri as a token of thanksgiving from the devotees for listening to their prayers and keeping them away from ill happenings. The offerings are in the form of fruits, food, clothes, jewellery, etc.

Ritual 6 – Enchanting of Durga Sapshatti Paath

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Reciting of the Durga Sapshatti Paath during Navratri is considered to be extremely auspicious. If not completely one can choose to recite particular Adhyayas as each adhyaya has its own significance. Enchanting the same, sanctions the devotee with peace, tranquillity, wealth and prosperity in life.

Ritual 7 – 9 Colours for 9 Days

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All the nine days of Navratri have a colour in their name. All these colours hold certain significance and devotees prefer wearing those nine colours accordingly or as per the day. Those nine colours are as follows – Green, Blue, Red, Orange, Yellow, Indigo, Violet, Pink and clothes with hues of golden.

Ritual 8 – Singing and Dancing

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Singing and dancing during Navratri is now a part of festivity and fun and also a reason to dress up and catch up with your friends. But generations back it was believed and is still believed that singing and dancing in front of the idols of Goddess is auspicious and brings good luck. When goddess observes you to be happy and praising her in this form bestows you with more joy and happiness in life.

Ritual 9 – Kanya Bhoj

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In Hindu Religion girls from the age group of 1-12 are termed to be as the little goddesses. Hence, on the ninth day small girls are called over to various people’s houses and then first worshipped and later served with food. Further, they are offered with sweet beetle leaves, chunari, gifts, etc as we offer the goddesses.

Follow all these rituals and your navratri’s will be all the more fun, perfect and filled with happiness and prosperity.

Lokanarkavu Temple

Lokanarkavu Temple: Dedicated to Kalarippayattu

Lokanarkavu Temple is in Memunda 4 km from Vatakara. Lokanarkavu Templ is located in Kozhikode District, North Malabar region of Kerala state of south India. There is a association of  heroes and heroines of the Vadakkanpattu or northern ballads with this temple. It  combines an arresting simplicity and a legendary aura. The candid murals and carvings here are a delight to art lovers. Lokanarkavu is a short form of Lokamalayarkavu which means lokam (world) made of mala(mountain), aaru (river) and kavu (grove). It is the official family temple of the 500 Aryan Nagariks who had migrated to Kerala and their successors.

The main deity in the Lokanarkavu temple is Goddess Durga. It is adjacent to two shrines dedicated to the Lord Vishnu and Lord Siva. The dance, performed during the festival is Thacholikali. It resembles the martial art Kalarippayattu. Kalaripayattu artists seek the blessings of the deity of lokanarkavu temple with legendary hero Thacholi Othenan. The main temple, according to legend is 1500 years old.

Lokanarkavu Temple

Lokanarkavu Temple History

  • Trade was the main occupation of the Aryans Brahmins. It was the temple built by the Aryans Brahmins. They accepted the traditions of the local Nairs and made relationship with them. But on close examination their customs and beliefs were evidently different from local Nair community.
  • The goddess travelled with them to Lokanarkavu in the form of a lady who followed the five hundred Aryans. The successors still see this goddess as their mother and not as goddess. Othenan was a great devotee of Goddess Durga. But he had nothing to do with the establishment of Durga temple. It is evident from the fact that the goddess is Durga at Lokanarkavu and not the Kali form.
  • The same applies to the local rulers who later claimed Lokanarkavu as their family goddess. All the rulers of Kerala had Goddesses with Thamasa pooja or shakteya pooja. During such poojas there were the sacrifice of either animals or humans to praise the lord. This tradition was not only followed by the locals but also by the Kerala Kings and later it was modified. This was one of the common practice of the locals and kings.
  • In the older times they have refused to pay taxes to the local kings of kerala, as none of them was an Aryan. This shows that the race spirit was so high at that time. But at the same time or say at a later period they began to ignore the cast restrictions and even seemed to threaten the cast equations. But slowly they became adjusted. And more reclusive and settles around Lokanarkavu Temple areas and withdrew from all other matters of Local people.
  • As time passed there were certain modifications that were made by replacing human sacrifice with cutting plantain or performing poojas with tender coconut. And cereals were meant to replace liquor and meat. Unlike this local tradition Lokanarkavu durga temple do not have any such traditions. 

Significance of the Lokanarkavu Temple

  • Thacholi Meppayil Kunjhu Othenan or more popularly Thacholi Othenanwas a legendary hero from North Kerala, a small state in south India. He lived in the 16th century. His real name was Udayana Kurup who started practicing Kalarippayattu  from a very young age. Later through practise he became a skilled warrior. Legends portray him as being a merciless opponent to enemies and a friend to the helpless.
  • This is the only temple where a peculiar folk dance called Thacholikali is presented during festivals. The dance, performed during the festival resembles the martial art Kalarippayattu. Even today, all Kalaripayattu artists seek the blessings of the deity before their debut due to the association of lokanarkavu temple with legendary hero Thacholi Othenan.

Lokanarkavu Temple Timings

The temple remains open from 4 AM to 9 AM in the morning and 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM in the evening.

Festivals celebrated at the Lokanarkavu Temple

Lokanarkavu Utsavam

This main festival of the temple, which lasts for 41 days. It is held during the Malayalam month of ‘Vrischikam’ (mid November to mid December). It is locally known as ‘Mandalavilakku’ Festival or ‘Mandala Utsavam’. A folk dance called ‘Thacholikali’ is performed during the temple festival. ‘Thacholikali’ is similar to the traditional martial art form called ‘Kalarippayattu’. Large numbers of people from various places flock here to see this festival. People come together to lit the lamps in the temple and the sight is worth seeing.

Meenam Festival

Meenam Festival is celebrated for eight days with ‘Kodiyettam’ (flag hoisting) on the ‘Rohini’ day. The traditional dance performance of ‘Theyyambadi Kurup’ is the special attraction on the fifth and the sixth days. On the seventh day is the ‘Nadu Valam Vekka’ and ‘Pallivetta’ (holy hunt). On the ‘Pooram’ day is the ‘Poorappattu’ and ‘Poorakkali’ (a traditional dance ritual performed by men). ‘Poorakali’, conducted during night, is a fascinating event. ‘Poorappattu’ includes theme from the life history of the Goddess. The idol of the goddess is taken for ‘Arattu’ on the ‘Pooram’ day.

Poojas and Rituals

Earlier rulers of Kerala used to worship goddesses by following Thamasa Pooja or Shakteya Pooja. According to this pooja either man or animal were sacrificed to the goddess.  As time passed, this tradition was followed by generation to generation. It was followed by the local people as well as the kings of Kerala. Later, this tradition was replaced with chopping plantain or performing Poojas by making use of tender coconut and cereals, owing to the Aryanisation of temples.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

By Air: The nearest airport to reach Lokanarkavu Temple is Karipur International Airport (Calicut International Airport). The airport is around 87 km from Memunda.

By Train: Vadakara Railway Station (or Badagara Railway Station), managed by the Southern Railways. It is the nearest railway station to reach Lokanarkavu Bhagavathi Temple. Situated on the Kozhikode – Mangalore railway line, some of the major trains passing through Vadakara Railway Station include Kannur Express, Parasuram Express, Mangalore Mail, Malabar Express, Chennai Mail, Maveli Express, West Coast Express, Netravathi Express, and Ernakulam Express.

By Road: Lokanarkavu Temple is situated at Memunda about 6 km from Vadakara. National Highway 17 passes through Vadakara, and the place is around 48 km north of Kozhikode. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and several private bus owners operate frequent bus services to Memunda.

Where to stay

  • Hotel Paramount Tower: Hotel Paramount Tower is a luxury hotel in Calicut. It provides Wi-Fi services on its premises. The Kozhikode Beach is at 3 km from the hotel. This Calicut hotel houses 53 spacious rooms spanned across 8 floors. The rooms in this hotel is well equipped with attached bathroom, chargeable Internet connection, TV with satellite channels, minibar, and designer toiletries. There are in-house multi-cuisine restaurant and roof top Barbeque restaurant in this hotel. The hotel facilitates currency exchange, laundry, travel desk, medical, and room services. Contact: Kozhikode, Calicut, Kerala – 673 001
  • Queens Hotel: Queens Hotel in Calicut offers a total of 21 rooms which comprise of several amenities like cable television, separate sitting area, air-conditioner and an attached bathroom with supply of hot and cold water.  One can easily reach from the Kozhikode railway station as it is at a distance of 1 KM from the hotel. Contact: Calicut, Kerala – 673 002
  • Hotel Nalanda: Hotel Nalanda consists of 10 rooms spread over 3 floors. In-room amenities include a television, welcome amenities, makeup mirror, bottled/drinking water, attached bathroom with hot and cold running water supply and a wardrobe. This hotel in Kozhikode is 3 km from Kozhikode Bus Stand and 30 km from Calicut International Airport. Contact: Calicut, Kerala – 673 001
  • Apex Inn: Apex Inn provides 24-hour front desk assistance to its guests. This property in Calicut provides services like laundry, medical assistance and room service to its guests. Apex Inn has a power backup generator in case of emergency. One can easily reach here from the Calicut International Airport. Contact: Calicut, Kerala – 673 032
  • Park Residency: Park Residency is the most happening place in town with a host of modern features like a multi-cuisine restaurant and a conference hall.  There is 24/7 assistance that is provided and each room of this hotel is well equipped. Contact: Ramanattukara, Calicut, Kerala – 673 633
  • The Gateway Hotel Beach Road: The Gateway Hotel Beach Road (A Taj Hotel) offers royal comforts & peace to business & leisure travelers. This hotel accommodates its guests in stylishly furnished rooms. Guests can enjoy modern facilities like fully equipped health club, rejuvenating swimming-pool, gift shop, high-speed internet access, rental cell phones, currency exchange, multi-cuisine restaurant & many such hi-end comforts are been set. Contact: P T Usha Road, Calicut, Kerala – 673 002

Where to eat

There are several food joints and restaurants near by that serves delicious food. It is a blend of ingredients with culinary art. Here are some of the best places that serve the most luscious food in comforting atmosphere to the tourists.

Nearby Temples

Sree Valayanad Devi Temple: The Valayanad Devi temple was built in the 14th century by the Zamorins. The temple, which faces north, has four gopurams(towers).  The Devi temple at Valayanad has its own distinct identity and is different in several respects from other Devi temples in India. The poojas in this temple are performed in accordance with practice of Ruruji worship.  Goddess from Kashmir known as Chandika is known as  the presiding deity of this temple. The Goddess is also called Mahartham and Kalasarppini. The annual festival commences every year on the day of Karthika of Makaram and continues for seven days.  There are five Moosad families residing around the Shri Valayanad Kavu.

Azhakodi Devi Temple: The samoothiri entrusted six of his generals to the temple Arikkodikkavu which is presently renowned as Azhakodi Devi mahashekthram. An idol of ‘Bhavani Devi’ was given by the samoothiri which was gifted to him by the traders of Gujarat. The generals were instructed to place the idol adjacent to the ‘Bhagavathi Idol’ in the ‘Arikkodikkavu’ sreekovil and worship the same.

Tali Mahakshetram: The Tali Siva temple was one of the two Brahmanical royal temples patronized by the Zamorin. And to this day remains one of the most important spiritual and cultural centres in Kozhikode. The temple’s date of origin is uncertain but was most likely built during the foundation of the city itself in the 12th century or before. The temple is surrounded by gigantic walls of ‘elephant belly’ (aana palla) type with broad base and narrower neck at the top. One of the two tanks attached to the temple can be seen to the right.

Thalikkunu Shiva Temple: Thalikkunu Shiva Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, is situated in Mankave, Kozhikode, Kerala, India. The most important is the Maha Shivaratri which is celebrated on the Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi of Hindu calendar month Maagha. As said Lord Shiva is the Main Deity. Lord Ganapati and Ayyappa is worshiped inside the Ullambalam and Nagaraja is worshiped outside besides a big Banyan Tree.

Sree Kanteswara Temple:It is  installed by the great spiritual leader Sree Narayana Guru. Sree Kanteshwara Temple is located in the southwest corner of the Kozhikode stadium at a distance of 1.5 km from the railway station. Devoted to Lord Shiva, this temple also known as Puthiyambalam has a Shiva Lingam in the Dhakshinamoorthi Sankalpa as the main deity. Besides these, many other offerings and rituals like Shodashabhishekam, Udayasthamana Pooja etc. Lord Subramanian, Sree Ganapathi, Sree Dharma Shastha, Maha Vishnu, Bhagavathi and Navagraha are the upadevathas (other deities) here. It is believed that centuries earlier a temple named Nalliswara Kshetram

Durga Temple Aihole

Durga Temple Aihole

Aihole is considered to be the ‘cradle of Hindu rock architecture’ due to its beautiful temples. It is also mythologically an important place as it is believed that Parashurama washed his axe here after killing the Kshatriyas. The Durga Temple Aihole is a landmark of the religious life of Karnataka.  Maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India, the Durga Temple Aihole is also at the pending list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. TheDurga Temple Aihole is dedicated to Lord Shiva or Lord Vishnu and exhibits a blend of Dravidian and Nagara architectural style. Durga Temple Aihole complex is well maintained and hence is neat and clean.

Durga Temple Aihole

History and Legend of Durga Temple Aihole

The Durga Temple Aihole has several historical events surrounding it.

  • Durga Temple Aihole was built between the 7th and 8th century by the Chalukya dynasty.
  • Though the temple is mistaken to be a Durga Temple, it is actually not so. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Shiva and is named as Durga Temple to mean that it is the temple of the fortress; Durga here actually means, ‘Durg,’ that is, the fortress.
  • The Durga Temple is a part of the fortification of the Marathas.

Significance of the Durga Temple Aihole

The Durga Temple Aihole is one of the architectural wonders of Aihole.

  • The Durga Temple Aihole is quadrilateral in shape. The contour of the temple exhibits the Gajaprasta style, that is, the backside of an elephant.
  • Durga Temple Aihole is impressive with numerous pillar reliefs which exhibit the unique Chalukya architectural style.
  • Also known as the fortress temple, the Durga Temple Aihole depicts a Buddhist chaitya and is adorned with exquisite carvings.
  • One of the most beautiful sculptures of the Durga Temple Aihole is that of Goddess Durga.
  • The seven headed serpent carved at the ceiling of the Durga Temple of Aihole is another impressive work by the artisans.
  • All the walls of the Durga Temple are decorated with sculptures of Hindu gods and goddesses.
  • The temple also comes with a porch and an entrance to the epistle. Through the porch you can enter the rooms of the temple.
  • There are several rooms within the Durga Temple along with a Garba Griha. This is the main part of the shrine where the spirit of the shrine is located.
  • There are two main pillars of the temple, namely, the Mukha Mantapa and the Sabha Mantapa.
  • The elevated plinth, the high galleries and the moulded adisthana are the other characteristics of the Durga Temple.
  • The fine sculptures of Lord Narashima, Goddess Chamundi and Lord Shiva are the other attractions of the Durga Temple.

Durga Temple Aihole Timings

The Durga Temple Aihole is a heritage of the country. Tourists come to visit the marvellous architecture of the temple. These temples are no more in use and hence regular rituals and worship are not performed at this shrine. Hence you can enter the temple premises from morning till dusk.

Durga Temple Aihole Food Timings

The Durga Temple is just a heritage site for visit and hence the tradition of distributing the ‘prasada’ after worship is no more practised.

Dress Code for Durga Temple Aihole

There is no specific dress code to be followed by the tourists to visit the temple. But as the climate is hot and humid, light coloured clothes are suggested.

Festivals celebrated at the Durga Temple Aihole

The Durga Temple is one of the tourist hotspots of Aihole due to its rich history and architectural features. Festivals are not celebrated here.

Poojas and Rituals at Durga Temple Aihole

The Durga Temple Aihole is no more used for worship.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

By Air: The nearest airport to the Durga Temple of Aihole is the Belgaum aiport. It is located approximately at 189 kms from Aihole. The city is directly connected to Mumbai by Vayudoot flights.

By Road: Aihole easily accessible from the major cities of Karnataka. It is located at 17 kms from Pattadakal, 44 kms from Badami and 490 kms from Bangalore. The roads are good and tourists can hire cabs to the temple. There are ample buses plying to and fro from Aihole.

By Rail: The nearest railway station to the Durga Temple of Aihole is the Hubli- Sholapur meter gauge line. It is located approximately at 34 kms from the city. There is ample number of transport facilities available at the railway station that takes you directly to the Durga Temple.

Hotels in Aihole: Where to stay

One of the famous sites of Aihole, the Durga Temple has several hotels around it. The Laxmi Vilas hotel is nearest to the temple. The hotel comes with both affordable and premium accommodations. There is ample supply of water at the hotel, besides the basic amenities. The Krishna Cottage and the Hotel Badami court are the luxury accommodations at Aihole. Besides car parking, you get quality food and convenient staying facilities here. Among the budget accommodations, the Heritage Resort and the Clarks Inn Badami are well known. Tourists can also opt to stay at Badami, which is just at 40 kms from Aihole.

Where to eat

From cafes to dhabas, there are numerous eat outs at Aihole. Durga Temple being a tourist hotspot has several hotels near it. These restaurants generally serve pure vegetarian food, namely, dosa, bisi bele bhath, akki roti, jolada roti, idli, vada, sambar and Mysore pak as desert. The hotels are hygienic and bottled drinking water is available. The Udipi restaurant, Amba Sagar restaurant, Banashree, Raaga fast food, Savaji non vegetarian hotel, College canteen, Hotel Vijaya Restaurant are some of the well known restaurants near the Durga Temple of Aihole.

Nearby Temples

There are almost 125 temples at Aihole, the ancient capital of the Chalukya dynasty. Temple architecture of Aihole can be divided into two phases; one is the 4th and 5th century and the other is the 12th century. Numerous temples were built during this time span and every temple is unique in itself. Artisans experimented with the styles and created gems out of rock. Some of the famous temples near the Durga Temple are:

  • Lad Khan Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this is one of the oldest Hindu temples of India. Located to the south of the Durga Temple, this rock cut temple is exquisite with floral patterns and delicate lattice work on its floor and walls.
  • Ambigera Gudi Temple: Situated just opposite to the Durga Temple, it is a complex of three temples. The Ambigera Gudi Temple is dedicated to Lord Surya and Lord Vishnu and exhibits a beautifully engraved lotus at its ceiling. This 10th century construction reflects the Nagara style of architecture with shikaras, mandapas and sanctums.
  • Mallikarjuna Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is located at the small town of Basaralu. Reflecting the Hoysala style of architecture, this shrine comes with a trikuta, which means three shrines are connected with a common hall. Built over a platform, this temple comes with a decorative pot, known as kalasa, a Hoysala crest, that is, the emblem of a Hoysala warrior and decorative walls.
  • Chikki Temple: This is a Jain temple built in 1204 AD. The temple pillars are engraved with Kannada inscriptions which narrate the era of Ratta King Kartaveerya IV and Sevuna Yadava Krishna.
  • Eniyar Temple: A group of eight temples, this temple complex is located at the western outskirts of the Aihole village. While the first two temples do not have images, the third temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The other temples are adorned with the images of Gajalakshmi, Ganapati and Karthikeya.
  • Hucchimalli Temple: One of the oldest temples of Aihole, the Hucchimalli Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple comes with a large hall and engraved with beautiful works.
  • Jain temple, Meguti temple: This Jain temple is located at a hilltop, just at 16 kms from Aihole. The temple is built with mortar and comes with a 16 columned porch and hall extensions.
  • Ravana Phadi rock-cut temple: This is a sandstone temple of Aihole, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple houses a wonderful sculpture of Nandi, the Vahana (vehicle) of Lord Shiva. The temple also comes with numerous small pillars.

Hence visit Durga Temple of Aihole to unravel a glamorous facet of temple architecture of India.

Chamundeshwari Temple

Chamundeshwari Temple Mysore

Located at the top of the Chamundi hills, the Chamundeshwari Temple of Mysore is a landmark of the temple architecture of Karnataka. You can get a sight of the Chamundeshwari Temple from a distance as the Chamunda hills rise to a height of 3489 feet. Located in close proximity to the Mysore Palace, this temple is dedicated to Goddess Chamundeshwari, also known as Goddess Durga. Goddess Chamundeshwari, the fierce incarnation of Shakti is the deity of the Mysore kings for hundreds of years.

The Chamundeshwari Temple is considered one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas and is known by the name of Krouncha Pitham; Shakti Peethas refer to the sites on which the body parts of Goddess Sati fell when Lord Shiva was carrying her and wandering through different places in deep morose. It is believed that the hair of Goddess Sati fell at the site where the Chamundeshwari Temple has been constructed. It is named after the name of the place; the site was known as Krouncha Puri during the Puranic times. The deity is seated on a lion with a trident in her hand, which is pierced into the demon Mahisasura. The buffalo lies in the body of the asur.

The Chamundeshwari Temple was built during the Hoysala rule in the 12th century. The temple is enormous and there are 1000 steps to reach the hill top to the temple. The Chamundeshwari Temple comes with a seven storied Gopura. The interiors of the sanctum are spectacular with numerous intricate carvings. While the statue of Goddess Chamundeshwari is said to be made of gold, the entrance gates are made of silver. The Chamundeshwari Temple is a quadrangle structure, built in the Dravidian style of architecture. The temple can be segregated into different parts, like the doorways, Navaranga Hall, Antharala Mantapa and Prakara. The Gopura consists of a small tower, known as Vimana while the Shikaras come with glittering golden Kalashas. The inside of the entrances of the Chamundeshwari Temple are adorned with images of Lord Ganesha, while the images of Dwarpalakas, that is, doorkeepers seem to guard the goddess.

There is also a Kalbhairab temple within the temple complex, dedicated to Kalbhairab, another incarnation of Lord Shiva. The Kalbhairab temple also features a huge granite statue of Nandi, the Vahana of Lord Shiva. With a height of 15 feet and length of 24 feet, this idol is adorned with bells.

Chamundeshwari Temple

History and Legend of Chamundeshwari Temple

The temple is the oldest temple in the hills of Mysore. It is not only a bearer of the rich cultural history of South India but also has several myths revolving round its foundation.

  • It is believed that demon Mahisasura tortured the people of Mysore and hence the goddess rose to her power to destroy the evil forces and relieve the people.
  • The temple had been built almost 1000 years ago and was the home deity of the monarchs of Wodeyars.
  • The place where the temple is located was known as Trimuta Kshetra, meaning a place surrounded by eight hills. The Chamunda Hill lies at the western part of the group. It is believed that Lord Shiva used to reside at the Mahabaleshwar temple and hence this hill was named as Mahabaladri.
  • The deity of Devi Chamundeshwari is in a seated posture with eight shoulders, known as Ashta Bhujas. This deity is considered to be very old, being established by sage Markandeya.
  • It is believed that when Krishnaraja Wodeyar III was blessed by the Goddess Chamunda, he decided to build the beautiful Gopura in 1827 AD. He also gifted a Simha Vahana, that is, the vehicle of the goddess along with other animal vehicles to the temple.
  • The proof that the temple was revamped by Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar III lies within the temple complex. There is a large 6 feet statue of the king in religious apparels along with his three wives, Ramavilasa, Lakshmivilasa and Krishnavilasa within the shrine.

Significance of the Chamundeshwari Temple

Being one of the oldest shrines of Mysore, the Temple is visited by thousands of pilgrim every year. Chamundeshwari Temple holds a significant place in the religious facet of Karnataka.

  • It is believed that Goddess Chamunda, the slyer of demon Mahisarsura and Chanda, Munda fulfils all the wishes of the devotees.
  • The route to the Chamundeshwari Temple is through dense jungles and hence, visitors can view breathtaking natural beauty and is a great bird watching area.
  • Visitors can get a panoramic view of Mysore from the Chamunda hilltop. The Mysore Palace looks imposing when lit with lights during the festive season of Dusshera from the hilltop.
  • The statue of Mahisasura near the Chamundeshwari Temple is an amazing piece of architecture.
  • The Chamundeshwari Temple is also important due to the small footprints of the goddess that is found within it, along with a flagstaff.
  • The rare images of Anjaneya, Nandini and Kamalini also enhance the importance of the Chamundeshwari Temple.

Chamundeshwari Temple Timings

A strict schedule is followed at the Temple for worship and offerings.

  • Time for visiting Devi Chamundeshwari is from 7.30 am to 2 pm in the morning, again from 3.30 pm to 6 pm in the afternoon and again from 7.30 pm to 9 pm in the evening.
  • Abhisheka Timings are from 6 am to 7.30 am in the morning and again from 6 pm to 7.30 pm in the evening on all days except Fridays. On Fridays, the timing is from 5 am to 6.30 am.

Chamundeshwari Temple Food Timings

  • Free meals are served at the Temple and the meal is known as Dasoha.
  • After worshipping the goddess, laddu is offered to the devotees. Cleaning drinking water is also available for the visitors.
  • Plastic bags are not allowed within the temple complex to keep the hill areas and the waters clean.

Festivals celebrated at the Chamundeshwari Temple

Temple is one of the important shrines of Mysore and hence are marked with major religious celebrations.

  • Navaratri Festival: Navaratri is celebrated to mark the success of the goddess in demolishing the demon and hence is an important affair. Devotees line up at the Chamundeshwari Temple to offer their prayers during the festival. This festival is also known as the Mysore Dasara festival.
  • Rathothsava Festival: 10 days after Dusshera, this festival takes place. On the auspicious day of full moon, known as Ashwayuja Purnima, this car festival takes place. The deity of goddess Chamundeshwari is mounted on the vehicle. A representative of the royal family of Wodeyar draws the chariot in a symbolic manner following the rituals and then the vehicle along with the deity is taken round the Chamundeshwari Temple.
  • Theppothsava Festival: Thousands of devotees gather at the Chamundeshwari Temple to witness the pious celebration of Theppothsava, which means the floating festival. The festival takes place in the night and the deity of Devi Chamundeshwari is taken round the Devi Tank on a boat. As lights fall on the crystalline waters of the tank, a magical environment is created.

Poojas and Rituals at Chamundeshwari Temple

  • Worship of the goddess is a glamorous affair at the temple. Multiple priests are engaged in the worship of the deity. The royal family donate gifts to the temple to maintain the pomp and show of the shrine.
  • Coconuts, fruits and fresh flowers are the popular ingredients in the worship of goddess Chamundeshwari.
  • Ashada Shukravara, that is, the first Friday of the Hindu lunar month is considered auspicious and devotees folk here to check out the special puja.
  • Devotees may also request for special sevas like homas, abhishekas and utsavas by intimating the temple committee prior to two days.
  • Devotees can also offer saree to the goddess by 30 days prior intimation to the Chamundeshwari temple committee.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

  • By Air: The nearest airport to the Chamundeshwari Temple is the Bangalore airport. You can get direct buses and taxis to Mysore from here.
  • By Train: The Mysore Junction is the nearest railway station to the Chamundeshwari Temple. You can get trains to the city from the other towns and there are auto rickshaws, cabs and buses available for your next part of the journey to the Chamundeshwari Temple.
  • By Road: Though located at an elevation, the Chamundeshwari Temple is connected with a proper motorable road. There is also a different route to the Chamundeshwari Temple through the Nanjangud side. There are buses available to the Chamundeshwari Temple from all parts of the Mysore city. Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) plies buses to the temple every day with a time gap of 30 minutes from the City Bus Stand. You may also hire cabs to the temple; it is a 10-12 kilometres drive from the Mysore city.

Hotels in Mysore: Where to stay

The Chamundeshwari Temple committee maintains a guest house for the devotees. This 20 room guest house comes with decent amenities. Mysore is an important city of Karnataka and hence tourists can find both deluxe and budget hotels easily near the Chamundeshwari Temple. Radisson Blu Plaza, The Viceroy Comforts, Ginger Mysore, United 21 Mysore, Pai Vista and Royal Orchid Metropole are to name a few.

Where to eat

There are several vegetarian restaurants around the Chamundeshwari Temple. From hot dosas to piping hot coffee, you can get both authentic South Indian and other types of dishes out here. Visitors can also enjoy pizzas at the nearby food joints. Vinayaka Mylari, The Foodie Restaurant, Hotel RRR Restaurant, Little Woods and Corner House are some of the popular restaurants near the Chamundeshwari Temple.

Nearby Temples

Mysore is known for its beautiful palaces and sacred shrines. Some of the other temples worth visiting the city are:

  • Narayanaswamy Temple: Located near the Chamundeshwari Temple is this temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Cheluva Narayana Swamy, also known as Tirunarayana. The inscriptions on the pillars of the shrine are invaluable.
  • Prasanna Krishnaswamy Temple: Dedicated to Lord Krishna, this temple houses 40 bronze statues of gods and goddesses. The murals which adorn the walls of the temple are jewels of the Mysore painting school.
  • Lakshmiramana Swamy Temple: Dedicated to Lord Nambinarayana, this ancient shrine has interesting facts revolving round it. The temple is also famous for its beautiful statues.
  • Mahabaleshwara Temple: also located at the Chamundi Hills, this temple is in close proximity to the Chamundeshwari Temple. Dedicated to Mahabaladri, this temple is impressive with images of Sapta Matrikas, Nataraja, Parvathi and Bhairava.

The Chamundi Village located near the temple is also an attraction of the place due to its unique lifestyle and simplicity.

Kalkaji Mandir

Kalkaji Mandir

There are many places where one can visit in Delhi. There can be a shortage of time but there can never be a shortage of places. From monuments to the zoo, museums to shopping malls. There are various Temples which one should visit. Visiting temples make one mind peaceful and rejuvenating. One of them is Kalkaji Temple which is located in South Delhi. Kalkaji Mandir is a very famous tourist destination. People from all over the country come here to offer prayer and seek blessings.

Kalkaji Temple is one of the oldest temples. Kalkaji Mandir is dedicated to Maa Kalka, an avatar of Goddess Durga. This temple is also known as “Jayanti Peetha” or “Manokamana Sidha Peeta”. So it is believed to be the holy shrine where Maa Kalika Devi gives blessings so that one can fulfill one’s desire and wish. Kalkaji Temple is a highly respected Hindu Temple and is famous among Hindus. This temple is one of the major tourist attraction of Delhi. This temple is always crowded with people but the apex time is during Navratra. During Navratras, the temple is all decked up like a bride and followers from all over the world come here to seek blessings and offer prayers. Kalkaji Temple is very much crowded during this time of year. As Navratras take place twice in a year, both the time a large number of devotees come here to worship Goddess Kalka Devi.

Kalkaji Mandir 2

Kalkaji Mandir History

  • Built in 1764, legends say that Pandavs and Kauravs came here to worship. It was the treasurer of Emperor Akbar Second, Raja Kadarnath who made changes in the mid 19th century. It was by the contributions of devotees that the present structure was built. The new structure was built in the 20th century.
  • The story behind Maa Kalika Devi is that many years ago, the gods who lived near the present temple were troubled by two demons. As a result, gods went to Lord Brahma to save them. Lord Brahmais considered being the Lord of all the gods.
  • Lord Brahma refused to interfere in the matter but also referred Goddess Parvati. It was Kaushki Devi who sprung out of Goddess Parvati, who slaughtered the demons. But because their blood fell on the barren land, thousands of other demons came into life. This battle was alone fought by Kaushki Devi.
  • Out of the eyebrows of Kalika Devi came Maa Kali whose lower lip touched the sky. She drank the blood of all the slaughtered demons which poured out from their wound. Tis has how Kali Devi won the battle against the great odds.
  • It is believed that Kalka Ji Temple has a very ancient origin. But it is said that the oldest portion of the present building was not constructed earlier than 1764 A.D.
  • Legends say that hundred years ago Baba Balak Nath of Nath Sampradaya visited this holy place and had Kalka Devi’s darshan. After which the Goddess asked him to stay there and construct a temple. That temple got ruined after the passage of time.
  • It is also said that Goddess Kalka took the form of Maa Kali to kill the demon Raktabija. It is said that the shrines of Goddess Kali are self-manifested. This happened in Satyug era.

 Significance of the Kalkaji Mandir

  • People from all over the country come here to offer prayer to the Goddess Kalika Devi. This temple is always crowded with devotees but the apex point is during the festival Navratri.
  • This temple is surrounded by pyramidal towers. It is constructed of the bricks, finished with plasters and then marbles. The Central Chamber is 12 sided and there are 36 arched opening in the temple.
  • There is a doorway on each side. Each doorway is surrounded by the verandah. This verandah is 8’9” wide which contains 36 arched openings. The verandah is enclosed with the Central Chamber on all the sides.
  • There two red sandstone tigers sitting on a marble pedestal opposite the eastern doorway. The subscription article is Urdu. Between the tigers there is an idol of Kaali Devi with the name engraved on it in Hindi.
  • Visitors should be alert while visiting temple as the temple is always crowded and there can be the presence of lots of pickpockets.
  • This temple is made up of marble and black pumic stones. The black stone inside the structure represents Maa Kali.
  • It is said that Kalkaji Mandir has its existence from the very first yuga. It is believed that this temple has survived all the four yugas: The Satya Yuga, The Treta Yuga, The Dvapara Yuga and the Kali Yuga.

Poojas and Rituals at Kalkaji Mandir

  • Each day the Goddess’s idol is bathed with milk and is followed by Arti. Arti is done two a day: 6 am in the morning and 7:30 pm in the evening.
  • There are many stalls outside the Mandir where devotees can easily purchase offerings. There are various packages provided by these stalls. If a devotee needs only Agarbatti and nariyal for prayer he can take it and if he wants to buy an extensive package he can buy that too.
  • Devotees attend this temple throughout the year but it is more crowded during Navratras. Devotees from all over the country come here to offer prayer and seek Goddess Kalka Devi’s blessings.
  • Pujari’s performed archana and rituals on the turn by turn basis.
  • Tantric arti is held in the evening. Devotees meditate here as the atmosphere is very airy and bright with the light.
  • During the reign of Yudishthir, it is said that the Pandavas and the Kauravas worshiped Goddess Kalka in this Temple. It is also said that there is only a part of the temple left at present and the original temple destroyed with the passage of time.

Kalkaji Mandir Timings

  • Kalkaji Mandir is opened at 4 am for the devotees. The Goddess’s idol is bathed.
  • The closing time for the Temple is 11:30 pm. The temple is closed after the arti is done. The Temple is closed with the regular ritual which the Pujari’s perform.
  • During winter, the morning part starts from 6 am to 7:30 am ad during summer, the morning arti starts from 5 am to 6:30 am.
  • During winter, the evening part starts from 6:30 pm to 8 pm and during summer, the evening arti takes place from 7 pm to 8:30 pm. The actual timing may vary as it depends on the Pujari’s.
  • The temple remains closed during 11:30 am to 12 pm for offering prasad to the deity Maa Kalka Devi
  • From 3 pm to 4 pm, the Mandir is again closed for cleaning purposes. The devotees are not allowed to enter during this time.

Festivals celebrated at the Kalkaji Mandir

  • Chaitra Navratri– According to the Hindu Calender, Chaitra Navratri is celebrated on the first day of the calender. This festival is celebrated from 1st to 9th day of Chaitra month Shukla Paksh. The 9th day is celebrated as Ram Navami which is Lord Ram’s birthday.
  • Vasanta Navratri– This festival is celebrated in Autum this is why it is called Vasant Navratri. Vasant means Autum in Hindi. Vasant Navratri usually falls in the month of April but it may differ according to the Hindu Calender.
  • Maha Navratri– This festival is very famous and this is why it is celebrated across India. Maha Navratri is celebrated equally important as other festivals in Chhattisgarh. There is a lot of crowd in temples on this festival. People come from various parts to offer prayer.

There are many other festivals that are celebrated in the Kalkaji Temple. There are festivals like Diwali, holi, Mahashivratri, Purnima festival, Vijaydashmi, Durga Puja followed by Mahashashthi, Mahasaptami, Mahaashthami, and Mahanavami etc. But Navratra is the only festival which is celebrated twice a year but with equal importance. Navratra is celerated in West Bengal by the name Durga Puja. Durga Puja is celebrated equally importantly as Navratra.

How to reach: Road, Rail, and Air

  • By Air– The nearest airport to the Kalkaji Mandir is Indira Gandhi Airport, New Delhi. This airport is 15km away from Kalkaji Temple.
  • By Rail– The nearest railway station to Kalkaji Temple is H Nizamuddin Railway Station which is 4km away from the Temple.
  • By Road– One can take any regular bus. Buses are operated by the state-owned Delhi Transport Corporation, which is connected with all major cities. Delhi is connected by Road to various parts of the country through several National highways. The bus will either leave you at Rajiv Chowk in Delhi or can directly drop you at Kalkaji Mandir Metro Station.

Hotels – Where to stay

There are many Dharamshala built by the Temple Trust for the devotees. These dharamshalas are free of costs and have a hygienic environment. The Temple Trust takes care of the temple very well. They provide hygienic food to the devotees. The expenses incurred are borne by the Trusteed of these temples. These Trustees donate money and various other things like ornaments and other important things to the Temple.

Where to eat

There are a lot of dishes which are given to the devotees. There are one-time free prasads served to the devotees. There are many other dishes that are served to the devotees for which they need to spend money. The food is prepared in a very hygienic conditions. All the eatables are taken good care while preparing food. Foods are prepared in a very hygienic atmosphere.

Apart from the food we get in the temple, there are many other hotels and places where one can have food. In Delhi, we can find food stalls everywhere. There are hotels and cafes like Cafe Coffee Day, Pind Balluchi, The First Floor Restaurant and many more. There are many other hotels which have nominal charges keeping the taste of the consumer in mind. They prepare food in a very clean and hygienic environment.

 Nearby Temples

  • Shiv Kalkaji Temple– Shiv Kalkaji Temple is believed to be the oldest Seedhpeeth in South Delhi. All the followers of Mata come here to offer prayer and seek blessings. It is believed that Mata gives the blessing to all her followers.
  • Lotus Temple– This temple is located close to Kalka Mandir Metro Station. This temple is situated right next to Kalkaji Park. Lotus Temple is entered via a parking lot. Lotus temple is known for the peace one gets after entering the temple. This is a temple where one finds silence. This temple rejuvenates one’s mind.
  • Iskcon Temple– This temple is one of the famous and the oldest Lord Krishna’s temples in the country. This temple is located closed to Nehru Place Metro Station. This temple can be reached via autorickshaw from the Metro Station.This temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and her beloved Radha. Iskcon Temple stands for International Society for Krishna Consciousness or Hare Krishna Movement.

Apart from temples, there is other place here tourist can visit near Kalkaji Mandir. There are places like Nehru Place Market, Epicuria Mall, Kalkaji B Block Market, Laxmi Plaza, Prince Plaza etc. There are many places for tourist attraction in Delhi. There are many monuments, museums which can be visited living in Delhi. There are many places to shop as well to eat.

Kanaka Durga Temple

Kanaka Durga Temple: Deity with Golden Glory

Vijayawada is famous all over the world for the pilgrimage of Kanaka Durga Temple, also called as Sri Durga Malleswara Swami Temple. It is one of the largest temples in India and 2nd largest temple in Andhra Pradesh. One of the most popular temples in and around Vijayawada, it is located on a hill Indrakeeladri overlooking the city as well as the River Krishna. Mother Kanakadurgeswari is considered as the supreme Goddess of Andhra Pradesh, seated atop the Indrakilaparvatha at Vijayawada.

There is a ghat road which was laid in 1969, most of the pilgrims prefer to climb the steps leading to the temple an arduous task for women and children. Some devotees climb the hill, decorating the steps with turmeric powder and vermilion. There are inscriptions of different dynasties found in the temple. Hiuen Tsang, the Chinese traveler visited this temple. It is mentioned in the Vedas that,  the deity in the Kanaka durga temple is regarded as ‘Swayambhu’ or self-manifested, hence considered very powerful. It is also believed that Adi Sankara visited this temple and installed the Sri Chakra here.

Kanaka Durga Temple

Kanaka Durga Temple History 

  • In good olden days a Yaksha named ‘Keela’ had been performing awful penance about holiest goddess Durga. Goddess Durga was pleased with his penance and appeared to him. She asked him to beg a boon. Keela was so happy by the words of goddess Durga and begged her to be in his heart always. Goddess Durga gave the boon, by showering the lunar lights of smile and said “My Son! You remain here at the holiest planes of river Krishna in the form of a mountain. In Krithayuga, after the assassination of demons, I will remain in your heart”. As per the orders of the Goddess Durga, Keela was waiting for the Goddess  in the form of a mountain.
  • Thus, Keeladri became the abode of Durga. She took the form of Mahisasura Mardini with eight arms holding different weapons, riding on a lion and trampling Mahishasura on the hill of Indrakeeladri. Her consort Shiva took his place on an adjacent hillrock as Jyothirlinga. He was worshipped by Lord Brahma with jasmines (Mallelu) whereby he got the name of Malleswara Swamy. As celestial beings like Indra visited the place, the hill came to be called Indrakeeladri.
  • According to another mythology associated with this place is that Arjuna prayed to Lord Shiva on top of Indrakeela hill to win His blessings and the city derived its name “Vijayawada” after this victory. Since goddess Durga shined on this mountain with golden colour glowing, the name ‘Kanakachala’ also attained by this mountain.
  • Vijayawada is surrounded by many hillocks and the most important of them is Seethanagaram while the less important is called the Kanakadurga or Kanaka konda. On the southern side of the Kanakadurga temple, is a hillock with sculptures bearing inscriptions, indicating the names of Gods and Goddesses.
  • It is believed that the great saint Sri Sri Sankara Bhagavatpadulu visited this temple in the 8th century and installed “Sri Chakra” at the feet of the goddess. The temple was constructed during the rule of Moghal rulers where the Moghal Emperor Thanisha, with the assistance of his Ministers Akkanna and Madanna, managed the temple.
  • The nose-ring of Goddess Durga is never removed in this temple. As per the legends, Goddess Durga once borrowed the nose-ring of Krishna and did not return it. Krishna took a vow that by the end of Kaliyuga it would take back the nose-ring by raising its level to the hill top.

Significance of Kanaka Durga Temple

  • Goddess Kanaka Durga, the epitome of beauty, is the main deity of Kanaka Durga Temple and the Sanctum is covered with gold. Next to Kanaka Durga Temple is the shrine of Lord Malleswara Swamy, the consort of Goddess Kanaka Durga and the other deities located in this temple are Lord Krishna, Goddess Kali, and Nandi etc.
  • The epics Kaalika Puraana and Durgaa Sapthashati and other Vedic literature have mentioned about the epitome of beauty, Goddess Durga.
  • This place was an uninhabited area and the prays made by the people forced Lord Shiva to ask the Hills to make way for the flow of the river and the river started to flow via a tunnel is known as Bejjam which is believed to be constructed by Lord Shiva and this is the reason why this area is known as Bezawada.
  • This is a place of peerless spiritual significance and a very attractive pilgrim in Andhra Pradesh, which occupies a very special place in the scriptures of great Siva-Leelas and Shakti Mahimas. The scenic beauty of this place attracts both pilgrims and nature lovers.

Kanaka Durga Temple Timings

  • The Kanaka Durga Temple opens at 4.00 AM in the morning and closes at 9.00 PM.
  • On Friday and Saturday, the Temple opens at 4.00 AM in the morning and closes at 10.00 PM.
  • The Private Vehicles are also not allowed from 10.00 AM to 2.00 PM.
  • There are three different Darshanams that are Dharma Darshanam, Mukha Mandapam and Antaralayam Darshanam that takes place from 4.00 AM to 5.45 PM and 6.15 PM to 9.00 PM.
  • Every Thursday 5.00PM to 6.00PM one can perform Swarnapushparchana pooja in Antarayalam
  • For Mukha Mandapam one has to pay Rs. 20/- for one person and for Antaralayam Darshanam one has to pay Rs. 100/- for one person.
  • The entry to Dharma Darshanam is free.

Kanaka Durga Temple Food Timings

The timings for Anna Prasaddam is from 5.00 AM to 10.00 PM where free and unlimited food is offered to all the pilgrims. About 5000 pilgrims are being provided with free meals. According to the Anna Prasadam, scheme devotees may pay Rs.1,116/-., this will be deposited in the bank and with the interest gained by it, 8 people can be fed on one particular day desired by the donar. If these devotees pay Rs. 5,116/-, 35 people will be fed on one particular day in a year.

Dress Code at Kanaka Durga Temple

Avoid shorts, shirts, tanktops and dresses exposing legs. Use of Cell phones and photography is restricted inside the Kanaka Durga Temple.

Festivals celebrated at Kanaka Durga Temple

Vasantotsavam or Vasanta Navaratri in Chaitra masam: A large number of devotees from different places across the country visit the temple for the darshan of the goddess and also be part of the week-long Chaitra Maasa Vasantha Navaratri Utsavaalu. There are different poojas that are performed and there are different varieties of flowers that are offered by the devotees as part of Laksha Pushpaarchana Puja. It is than followed by Chaitra Brahmotsavam which is celebrated in the month of March or April.

Shakambari Navaratri in Ashada masam: This nine-day festival falls on the month of ashadam. Ashada Navaratri uthsavam is also called as Shakambari Navaratri and the celebrations stars from the first day of ashada masad and concludes on Dashami. Sakambari Ammavari Uthsavam is performed in Ashadamasam every year.

Celebrations of Dasara: The festival of Dasara for Goddess Durga is celebrated with great enthusiasm among devotees at Vijayawada. It is also known as Navaratri and there is Saraswati puja and Theppotsavam celebrated which is very significant. It is a nine-day festival when the Goddess Durga is decorated in nine forms for nine days. A large number of pilgrims gather together to take the holy dip in the Krishna river. A symbolic representation of the 10 forms of the triumph of good over evil, the form (known as ‘Alankaram’) of the day for the Goddess is chosen as per the astrological star of each day, in accordance with the lunar calendar.

Day 1 -SRI SWARNA KAVACHALAKRUTA DURGA DEVI

On the first day, halwa and poori are offered to the goddess

Day 2 – SRI BALA TRIPURA SUNDARI DEV

On this day, Durga Devi is decorated as bala which is a small child. Payasam is offered today as prasadam.

Day 3 – SRI ANNAPURNA DEVI

This goddess  is the symbol for the one who grants nourishment on every level. Goddess Annapoorna is described as holding a golden spoon in her right hand and a vessel full of Paramannam(rice pudding) in her left hand.Pongal and minapa garelu (vada) are offered are prasadam.

Day 4 – SRI GAYATRI DEVI

The goddess often sits on a red lotus flower and appears with five heads and five pairs of hands and representing the incarnations of the Goddess as parvati and saraswati.  Nimmakaya (lemon) pulihora is offered as a prasadam.

Day 5- SRI LALITHA TRIPURA SUNDARI DEVI

She appears enthroned with her left foot upon the sri chakra, holding her traditional symbols like sugarcane, flower, noose (pasam), and goad (amkusam). Daddojanam (curd rice) or Gudannam (bellapu Annam, jaggery rice) is offered as prasadam

Day 6 – SRI SARASWATI DEVI

She is the goddess of knowledge and music and arts, and also she regarded as Vagdevi Goddess of sound, speech, consciousness and wisdom. Offering honey is very important in Saraswathi pooja, as honey represents perfect knowledge. Payasam is offered as parasadam on this day.

Day 7 – SRI MAHA LAKSHMI DEVI

She is the Goddess of wealth, prosperity, wisdom and fortune. She is offered with prasadams like Ksheeraannm and pournalu.

Day 8 – SRI DURGA DEVI

Durga Devi is mentioned by Vedas as a supreme power. On this Durgastami day, people believe in praying Durga Devi. Pulagam or Kadambam Annam is offered as prasadam.

Day 9 – SRI MAHISHASURA MARDHINI DEVI

Mahishasura mardhani is the form of Durga Devi after she killed mahishasura. She is offered with Pulihora (tamarind rice) Garelu (lentil dumplings) panakam (jaggery juice) vadapappu (moong dal salad).

Day 10 – SRI RAJA RAJESWARI DEVI

After her victory in the battle with Mahishasura we celebrate Dasami the 10th day as vijayadasami, vijaya means victory dasami means 10th day. Dasara is a very important and famous festival in Vijayawada which is celebrated every year. Here the Devi appears as Sri Rajeswari Devi.

Poojas and Rituals at Kanaka Durga Temple

There are different poojas and rituals that are performed in the Kanaka Durga temple such as Astothoranam Archana, Sahasra Namarchana, Lakshakumkumarchana  and many more. Accordingly there are different rates that are charged depending upon the number of persons performing the rituals.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

By Air: One can easily get regular flights to Vijayawada from other major cities of the country. There are direct flights to Vijayawada from the major cities as Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore and Delhi.

By Train: Kanaka Durga Temple is located in the heart of Vijayawada city, the temple is just a 10 minutes drive from the railway station. Vijayawada is located 275 kilometers from Hyderabad. Vijayawada is one of the largest railway station on the South Central Railway.

By Road: APSRTC runs frequent buses from Hyderabad, Kammam, Tirupathi, and Warangal. The nearest airport is, Gannavaram (20km). Bus facility is available to reach Kanaka Durga Temple from Railway station, Bus Stand and Ratham centre for every 15 minutes. If you are in Vijayawada, you can avail the local transportation to reach the temple. The city is served by NH 5 and NH 9 which connects it to cities.

Hotels in Vijayawada: Where to stay

A wide range of facilities for accommodation is available In Vijayawada. There are various Three Stars hotels and Guest houses that are available.

Madapati Guest House: Near by Railway Station 10th platform, One Town, Opposite Rajkumari theatre

Indrakeeladri Guest House:  Near by Devasthanam Steps, One Town Arujuna street, Opp Kottagullu Venakateswara Swamy Temple.

The Gateway Hotel: 39-1-63, M G Road Vijayawada Krishna Dist.

Quality Hotel DV Manor: M. G. Road Venkateswarapuram Vijayawada

The Kay Hotel: 48-12-4/1 Gunadala Vijayawada

Fortune Murali Park: 40-1-28, M. G. Road Labbipet Vijayawada

Nearby Temples

  • Nataraja Temple: Temples for Sri Vinayaka, Sivakama Sundari Devi, Nataraja are wide constructed by the way to Malleswara Swamy Temple from Goddess Durga Temple. Every day Astothara and Sahasra Namarchanas are performed here. Adoration to Sri Sivakameswari Devi also will be done along with Goddess Durga on the auspicious days of Dasara.
  • Temple of Subrahmanyeswara: Devasthanam has constructed a beautiful temple for Lord Subrahmaneswara Swamy along with Srivalli and Devasena nearby the ant hill of Nagendra. Devotees also can perform these rituals. ‘Sarpa Dosha Nivasraqna Pooja’ also performed daily in the premises of the temple only.
  • Ant-hill of Nagendra: Nagendara Swamy was shined long years back at the Nothern part of Goddess Durga on Indrakeeladi. This is very old and powerful ant hill. Devotees believe that by installing Serpant idol(Nagapratistha) barren women will be blessed with children.
  • Kshetrapalka Anjaneya Swamy: For every Kshetra there will be a guardian (Palaka). He is called Kshetra Palaka. Lord Sri Anjaneya is the place guardian (Kshetrapalaka) of this Kanaka Durga Kshetra. Sri Anjaneya is visible at the root temple of big fig-tree that is situated in front of Goddess Durga’s main temple.
  • Mangalagiri Narasimha Swamy Temple: The renowned temple of Lord Narasimha, one of the nine avatars of Vishnu, is located on the hillock at Mangalagiri, 12k south of Vijayawada. The unique feature of this temple, according to the devout.