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Want To Celebrate Navratri? Head To Kangra, Udaipur and Visit these 8 Durga Temples
There’s no dearth of pleasant surprises as one enters the festive season. It’s that time of the year when devotees whole heartedly offer prayers to the Hindu goddess Durga, fast happily and soak themselves in the vibrant colours of Garba. It’s time for Navratri!
Navratri, one of the most important festivals in Hindu tradition, is celebrated with utmost vigour and excitement. With the first day of this nine-day celebration being just a day away, we bring you a list of Durga temples across India that you can visit this year.
Vaishno Devi, Jammu
This is perhaps one of the most visited temples during Navratri. Located in Katra within Jammu and Kashmir, the cave shrine sees pilgrims from across the country paying obeisance during the first seven days.
Jwala Devi Temple, Kangra (Himachal Pradesh)
The temple of Jwala Devi is dedicated to Goddess Jwalamukhi. Located at a distance of 34 km from Kangra Valley, the temple boasts of a unique architectural feature. A copper pipe runs through the temple from which natural gas comes out and the priest lights this. The flames that burn continuously without any fuel are worshipped as a manifestation of the goddess.
Danteshwari Temple, Chhattisgarh
Dedicated to Goddess Danteshwari, this architectural beauty was built in the 14th century. According to the legends, the temple is the spot where the tooth (daanth) of Sati fell while the shrines were being created. The tradition of lighting Jyoti Kalash (lamps placed in earthern pots) by the devotees during Navratri is a common sight here. Thousands of tribals gather at the temple on Dussehra and pay homage to the goddess.
Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati
Situated in the western part of Guwahati city in Assam, this makes one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Pithas (shrines of Shakti). It is the main temple in a complex of the individual temples dedicated to goddess Durga. The temple is built in a hybrid indigenous style which is sometimes known as the Nilachal type; the kind with a hemispherical dome on a cruciform base.
Kaali Mandir, Delhi
One of the oldest temples dedicated to Kalka or Kali is situated in Delhi. Referred to as ‘Manokamna Siddha Peetha’ (desire, fulfilment, shrine), it is believed to be the holy shrine where one seeks the blessings of Kalka Devi for the fulfilment of one’s desires. Devotees gather and sing hymns and songs to appease the divine being.
Sri Chamundeshwari Temple, Mysore
Named after Chamundeshwari or Durga (fierce form of Shakti), it is believed to have been built in the 12th century. With several images of Nandi, the bull mount of Shiva, the temple is aesthetically built in Dravidian style. The style of construction includes a main doorway, entrance and sanctum sanctorum. A seven-tier pyramidal tower can be seen at the entrance of the quadrangular structured temple.
Kalighat Kali Temple, Kolkata
Known for the possession of a unique form of Durga idol, Kalighat is another temple which tops the chart. Early accounts of Shakti Peethas cite Kalighat as the dwelling place of Dakshina Kalika, a fierce manifestation of the goddess. The main temple is a four-sided building with a truncated dome. This is a classic example of the Bengali-styled architecture; a structural emulation of the mud and thatch-roofed huts of the villages.
Tripura Sundari Temple, Udaipur
This center of pilgrimage is known as Kurma Peeth because the shape of temple premise resembles that of a tortoise. Two identical idols of the same deity; Tripura Sundari and Chhotima are present at this holy place. Situated in Udaipur, the idol is created out of a reddish black stone known as Kasti in Bengali. While a lot of devotees prefer to visit this temple during Navratri, its Diwali Mela also sees thousands of pilgrims coming from various places across India.