Navratri, The nine divine night’s of festival, dedicated in the honour of Goddess Durga. The biggest annual festival is celebrated at every temple of Maa Durga across the country. There are innumerable temples throughout India, dedicated to Maa Durga.
Durga (a form of Shakti) is also known as Maa or Mother of the Universe. She was created when a demon King named Mahisasura was terrorising the Earth and heaven. The Gods went to trinity (Brahma, Vishu and Mahesh) for help. The Tridev then merged their powers and created a gorgeous female named Durga. She went to kill Mahisasura and on the ninth day of the fight, she stabbed him with her trident. After this, she was named Mahisasura-mardini (annihilation of the demon). Since then Durga Puja and Navratri is celebrated with great zeal as it shows the win of good over evil.
Famous Durga Temples in India
There are more than 30 Durga temples in India. Various forms of Durga are found in temples like Vaishno Devi, Kalkaji Mandir, Amba Mata, Chandi Devi, Bhadrakali, Tara Tarini, Saptashrungi Devi Adhar Devi to name a few. These temples are located across states, cities and small towns. Even hill top temples of Goddess Durga are very famous. Lets brief out the most popular Durga temples in India.
Vaishno Devi Temple
The world famous and most religious pilgrimage destination in India, Vaishno Devi Mandir is located at the height of 5300 ft on in the trikuta hills of state Jammu and Kashmir. The holy shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi is located inside a cave in a hill, It is one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimage site, Approximately 8 million yatris visit the temple every year. There is another famous hill temple known as Mata Balaji Sundri Temple in kathua, Jammu and Kashmir.
Sharda Mata Temple
Maihar wali Mata Temple is situated on a trikuta hill of maihar in the state called heart of India. The sacred and holy temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peeth of goddess Parvati,where the necklace of Sati fell. The temple is well known for the 1063 steps to the top, Millions of devotees throng the temple all round the year. Other most famous Durga temples in Madhya Pradesh are Ratangarh Wali Mata, Tulja Bhavani Devas and Salkanpur.
Kalka Devi Temple
Located near Nehru Place in South Delhi, it is a very popular temple dedicated to the Goddess. It is a pretty old temple with the some portions dating back to 1764 A.D. The Kali Temple however had been built more than 300 years back. Legend says that even the Pandavs worshipped here. The uniqueness of the temple lies in the special evening tantric aarti.
Tara Devi Temple
The Tara Devi Temple is situated at the top of a hill called the Tara Devi Mountain in Simla, Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the famous temple and most popular tourist attraction of the city,surrounded by lush green devdar trees, green forests and green meadow. The temple was built approximately 250 years ago, Every year thousands of pilgrims visit Tara Devi temple. Himachal Pradesh also has two other most popular Hindu temples Chamunda Devi Temple and Jawala Ji temple.
The Chamundeshwari Temple is situated on the heights of Chamundi Hills at Mysore in the state of Karnataka. The Chamundedshwari Temple is considered to be a very religious temple having large silver gates and golden idols. Chamundi Hills is one of the best tourist attractions in Mysore, Other religious tourist attractions are Devarayanadurga, Hidimbeshwara Temple and Ekanatha Temple.
Adhar Devi Temple
The Adhar Devi Temple is one of the Popular religious destinations, Located in the Mount Abu region of Royal state Rajasthan. The temple is situated in a cave with picturesque views of the surrounding mountains and forests. The Adhar Devi Temple is dedicated to the Goddess Durga, another world famous temple in Rajasthan is Karni Mata Temple.
Situated very close to Varanasi, this 18th century shrine was built by a Bengali queen. The multi tiered shikhara is reminiscent of the Nagara style of architecture. The temple is located on a huge rectangular tank.
The Goddess here is said to fiercely protect the locals from any outside influence. Some say that the idol here was never installed by anyone. Rather it manifested on its own. While non-Hindus can enter the temple, they are not allowed in the inner sanctum. This temple is also called the Monkey Temple due to the manifold presence of this animal here.
Saptashrungi Devi Temple
The Saptashrungi Devi temple is located at Vani near Nashik in Maharashtra. This temple is also one among the 51 Shakti peethas located on the Indian subcontinent. The image of the Devi is huge-about 10 feet tall with 18 hands, holding various weapons, A large number of devotees visit every year. Renuka/Anusuya Devi Temple, Ekvira Devi and Tulja Bhavani Temple are few famous temples of Goddess Durga in Maharashtra.
Devi Patan Temple
Located 70 km. from Gonda, this is the spot where, as the story goes, the right shoulder of Sati had fallen. The temple was constructed by King Vikramaditya anad later renovated by King Suheldeo. During Navratri a huge fair is held near the temple. Interestingly, during this time the deity of Pir Ratan Nath is got from Nepal as well and the two are then worshipped together.
Mansa Devi Temple
Mansa Devi is one of the most visited and most popular temple, dedicated to goddess Mansa in the holy city of Haridwar, in the Uttarakhand state. The temple is located at top of Bilwa Parvat on the Sivalik Hills, a mountain chain of the Himalayas. The Shakti Peeth is one of the famous siddh peethas along with other two Peethas are Chandi Devi Temple and Maya Devi Temple located in Haridwar.