Durga Bhawani Temple, Karnal

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Durga Mata or Durga Bhawani is revered by millions of Hindus in India and abroad. Although her devotees have their own perspectives on her depending upon their social and cultural backgrounds, she is universally regarded not only the divine mother of all the human beings, but also of all the gods and goddesses.

To some, she is the eternal companion of Lord Shiva and helps him in critical times in demolishing the evil forces. For example, she helped the gods in killing the demon Mahishassur who had received a boon from Lord Shiva that he could kill any man by putting his hand on his head. Ma Durga assumed the form of a beautiful woman dancer. She charmed him into putting his own hand over his head and killing himself.

It is believed that Ma Durga visits her mother for nine days and departs on the tenth. This is how the festival of Navratre is celebrated for nine days and culminates on the tenth day called Dashmi. The historic Durga Bhawani temple, situated near the old bus stand in Karnal, is more than one thousand years old. Hordes of devotees visit it to seek her blessings.

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