Goddess Durga is conferred as ‘shakti’ or ‘devi, who is believed to be the most powerful goddess of the Hindus. As ‘shakti’, she is the destroyer of evil and as ‘devi’ she is serene and symbol of life. She is the fierce form of the protective mother goddess. Kali, Bhagvati, Mahagauri, Bhavani, Ambika, Lalita, Kandalini, Katyayani and Rajeswari are among her many forms. Durga is sometimes referred to as Durgatinashini, which means “the one who eliminates adversity.”
Goddess Durga is cherished also as the protector of devotees and the destroyer of evil. Thus, there are thousands of temples dedicated to Goddess Durga around the globe. If you are a devotee of the warrior goddess, bet you don’t want to miss these most fascinating Durga Temples.
Hence, here are 10 Durga Temples every devotees must visit once in their lifetime.
1. Vaishno Devi Temple
Vishno Devi temple is located in a holy cave in the folds of the three peaked mountain named Trikuta within the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is one of the holiest pilgrimages. This sanctuary of Goddess Durga is a place where people come with the faith that their ceaseless wishes will be fulfilled. You could hear chants of ‘Jai Mata Di’ all the way on your walk to the top. The entire way to the shrine is well-lighted and suitable arrangements have been made to facilitate devotees.
2. Chamundeshwari Temple
Chamundeshwari Temple is situated on the heights of Chamundi Hills at Mysore in the state of Karnataka, India. This temple was named after Chamundheswari or Durga, is considered as Shakti Peetha. The temple is also known for its architectural beauty and it has large silver gates and golden idols. There are many idols in the temple depicting various gods and goddesses.
3. Manakamana Temple
Manakamana Mandir is a temple of Hindu Goddess, Durga Bhawani, which situated in Gorkha District of Nepal. Literal translation of the ‘Manakamana’ means the “wishes in our hearts”. Hence, it is believed that the prayers and wishes of ones who visit and worship her with pure heart is always fulfilled. Originally, the temple was famous with the name, Manakamana Mai (Devi). Later, the name grew as Manakamana Madir (Temple).
The temple is situated at around 1300 meters on the top of a hill, which is surrounded by a small village community. Hence, the location of the temple is quite remote, yet, it is quite fascinating too. Earlier, pilgrims used to walk for up to 3 hrs through suspension bridges (also known as, Rocking Bridge) and then stand for 3-5 hrs in the queue for temple darshan (visit). However today, there is a facility of cable car, which is also quality amazing to reach the temple which is on top of a hill.
4. Adhar Devi Temple
Situated 3 Kilometers north of the main town of Mount Abu, Adhar Devi Temple is also known as Arbuda Devi Temple. One has to take 365 stairs to reach the temple, which signifies each day of the year. The whole temple is constructed of one huge solid piece of rock and the inner shrine is reached by crawling narrow cave. It is believed that an image of the Goddess Durga is found hanging in the air, hence the name Adhar Devi.
5. Kalinchowk Bhagawati Temple
Kalinchowk bhagwati temple is situated at just above a small village called ‘Kuri’ in the Dolkha district of Nepal. It is very powerful temple of Devi and is famous for the fulfilment of pilgrims’ prayers and desires. Being situated at a high altitude of 3842m, the temple is usually closed during winters, as the temple is covered with thick snow and is very cold for normal humans.
Besides the blessing from Goddess Bhagawati (Durga), it offers a breath-taking view of Mt. Gaurishankar, Annapurna and Everest. Hence, the destination is popular for short hikes and photography as well. Vigorous blessing and a panoramic view, what else does one needs!
6. Kamakhya Temple
Kamakhya Temple is located on the Nilachal hill in the capital city of Guwahati, India, the idol of the temple; Kamakhya Devi is venerated as the ‘Bleeding Goddess’.
It is believed that the mythical womb and vagina of Shakti are supposedly fixed in the ‘Garvagriha’ or sanctum of the temple. Besides this, shrine holds tremendous religious, historic and archaeological significance.
7. Pathibhara Devi Temple
Pathibhara Devi represents feminine Shakti, who is believed to fulfil the prayers of her devotees. The temple is located at Taplejung, Nepal at an altitude of 3794m. The Goddess is believed to fulfil the wishes of devotees like blessing them with a child for those who couldn’t have one or gaining prosperity and wealth for indigents. Pathibhara region is located in the midst of a wide variety of floras. It is also one of the most beautiful place in the eastern region of Nepal, which is blessed with Devi Shakti and an amazing landscape.
8. Kanaka Durga Temple
Kanaka Durga Temple is located at Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India. This temple is a place where Arjuna attained the Pasupatha-astra after his great penance for Lord Shiva. The temple is believed to be constructed for Goddess Durga by Arjuna. The colour of the Goddess Durga here is of glowing golden shade and she is decorated with golden ornaments. Hence, it gets the name of Kanaka Durga as ‘Kanaka’ means gold in Sanskrit.
9. Badimalika Temple
Badimalika Temple is located at Bajura District of Seti Zone, Far Western Region of Nepal. The temple which lies at an altitude of 4219m and is dedicated to Goddess Bhagawati. It is also considered as one of the ‘Shakti Peetha’. The journey to the temple of Badimalika will give you an experience of incredible high passes, life style of locals, green hills, white Himalayas and grace of Goddess Durga.
10. Karni Mata Temple
Karni Mata is worshipped as the incarnation of the warrior goddess Durga. The Karni Mata Temple is famously known as the Temple of Rats. As legend has its own story of Karni Mata’s male children to be reincarnated as rats, many people travel great distances to pay their homage to the holy rats. Located 30km south of Bikaner in Rajasthan, Karni Mata Temple is one of the India’s bizarre attractions.