India is home to infinite temples of God and Goddess, Maa Durga is the prime deity among them. There are many famous temples of Durga situated at different parts of the country along with popular 51 Sakti peets. Each of these temples are thronged by devotees all through the year. The come here to seek the Mother's blessings and also to forgive their sins.
Here is a guide to a few of the Durga Temples in India.
Naina Devi Temple
Naina Devi Temple is a ‘shakti peeth', located on the northern end of the Naini Lake. This temple is devoted to the Hindu Goddess Naina Devi.Alongwith the statue of Goddess Naina Devi, idols of Ganesha and Kali are also enshrined in this temple. There is a huge peeple tree at the entrance of the temple which is considered to be very holy.
Photo Courtesy: Vipin8169
A visit toGuwahatiis considered incomplete without visiting the famous Kamakhya Temple. This is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas according to Hinduism and is the counted among the most important pilgrimages. Located at the top of the Nilachal Hills, there are ten individual temples dedicated to ten ‘mahavidyas'. While the idols of Tripurasundari, Matangi and Kamala are found inside the main temple, the other seven forms are found in separate temples surrounding the main temple. Tantric saints from across the country visit the temple during Durga Puja and Manasha Puja.
Photo Courtesy: Kunal Dalui
The DakshineswarKaliTemple is most famous temple of GoddessKalisituated on the bank of Hooghly River in Dakshineswar near Kolkata. Dakshineswar Temple is dedicated to Maa Bhavatarini, one of the aspect of GoddessKali. Temple is visited by thousands of devotees every day and by millions of devotees during the Durga Puja festival.
Photo Courtesy: Nikkul
Karni Mata Temple
Karni Mata Temple also known as the Rat Temple is the main tourist attraction of Deshnok. The Goddess Karni Mata is the presiding deity of the temple, who is widely accepted as an incarnation of the Hindu deity Durga. According to legends, Rao Bikaji, the creator of Bikaner was blessed by Goddess Karni Mata. Since then, the goddess is being worshipped as the patron deity. This temple was constructed by King Ganga Singh in the 20th century and is adorned with marble carvings and has a huge silver gate in the entrance. The temple is famous for its rats, popularly known as 'Kabas'. These Kabas live on the prasad offered by the devotees.
Photo Courtesy: dalbera
Adhar Devi Temple
The Adhar Devi Temple is a popular tourist attraction in Mount Abu. The temple is built on a high peak and is dedicated to Goddess Durga. The temple is located inside a cave. Devotees climb 365 steps into the mountain, with each step symbolising a day in a year, to reach the temple. The long journey does not deter the pilgrims, who visit here in large numbers to seek blessings of Goddess Durga.
Photo Courtesy: Selmer van Alten
Durga Temple, dedicated to goddess Durga, is situated in Ramnagar, Varanasi. Believed to have been built by a Bengali Maharani in 18th century, the temple is currently under the control of the royal family of Banaras. The temple is constructed in Nagara Style of the North Indian style of architecture. It stands on a square platform opposite a pond called Durga Kund. The temple has tall watch towers on each of its four corners and a multi-tiered spire or shikhara. The building is painted in red with ochre shade in line with the clothes worn by the goddess herself. According to a belief, the idol of goddess Durga was not created by human beings, but appeared on its own and that it protects the city from the evil forces. Thousands of devotees throng the temple during Navaratri and other festivals. The temple is also called the Monkey Temple because of the presence of a large number of simians on its premises.
Photo Courtesy: Henk Kosters
Chamunda Devi Temple
Chamunda Devi Temple rests amid mountains and forests on the banks of the river Baner and is approximately 700 years old. The temple has immense religious importance as it is counted among one of the 51 Shakti Peethas or places of worship. The shrine of the temple is dedicated to Hindu deity Chamunda, popularly known as Durga, which is kept under cover, owing to its religious significance. The ambiance of the temple is serene and calm, owing to which a large number of devotees meditate there and seek blessings of the Goddess. Travellers can also find a beautiful pond inside the temple, which is believed to have sacred water. A cave-like hollow bearing resemblance to a ‘Shiva lingam' is seen in the temple. One can also find paintings of other Gods and Goddesses inside the temple complex.
Photo Courtesy: Varun Shiv Kapur