Mookambika Temple, Kollur, Karnataka, India

Deities: Goddess Mookambika
Location: Kollur, Karnataka
Built in: Sanakanna Nayaka King of Keladi
Importance: one of the seven Mukti Sthalas
Best time to visit: September-October
STD Code: 0825

Namasthe Jagadatri Sadbrahma Rupe
Namasthe Haropendra Datryadivandye
Namastheprasanneshtadhanaikadakshe
Namasthe Mahalakshmi Kolapuresi.

Kollur is one of the most important places of pilgrimage in Karnataka is in the distance of 128 Kms from Mangalore. The temple here is dedicated to Mookambika and stands on a spur of the Kodachadri peak.

The Goddess Mookambika is in the form of Jyotir-Linga incorporating both Shiva and Shakthi. The Panchaloha image (five element mixed metal) of the Goddess on Shree Chakra is stated to have been consecrated by Adi shankaracharya during his visit to this place. There is an exquisite sculpture of Panchamukha Ganesha here.

The main statue in the temple is the Shiva linga called the Jyothirlingam. This Jyothirlingam in front of the image of the Goddess Mookambika is of great antiquity. A golden line divides this lingam into two unequal parts and is visible only in the light of reflected sunlight pointed at the lingam. The right portion of this lingam is said to represent Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva – as the conscious static principles and the larger left part Lakshmi, Saraswathi and Parvathi – the creative energy principles.

It is a belief that the three goddess and the three lords emerged out of it. Temple of Mookambika Devi is one of the ‘Seven Muktisthala’ pilgrimage sites in Karnataka.

Tippu Sultan of Mysore had visited this temple and a special ‘mangala arthi ( Deeparadhana)’ was conducted at his behest. That pooja is being continued even today and it is called ‘Salam Mangalarthi’ which follows the main pooja during night session.

Legend:
According to the legends, Kola Maharshi who was doing penance here was disturbed by a demon who was also engaged in doing penance to please Lord Shiva, to get a boon from Him. To prevent the demon from fulfilling his evil desire, Adi Shakti made him dumb (mooka) and when the Lord appeared before him, he could not ask for anything. Thereupon he got enraged and soon began troubling Kola Maharshi who prayed to Adi Shakti for deliverance. Adi Shakti, who vanquished demon Mookasura, was extolled by the gods as Mookambika. At Kola Maharshi’s prayer, the Divine Mother accompanied by all the Gods; stayed there to be perpetually worshipped by the devotees.

It is believed that Sri Adi Shankaracharya had a vision of Sri Mookambika Devi and he installed the deity here. The story goes like this. Adi Shankara mediated at Kudajadri hills and Devi was incarnated before him asking for his wish. He revealed his wish to incorporate Devi to a place in Kerala to worship where his wanted.

Devi agreed and put forward a challenge that she will follow Shankara and he should not look back until he reaches his destination. But to test Shankara Devi deliberately stopped the voice of her ornaments when they reached Kollur, and Shankara turned back because of doubt.

Devi then asked Shankara to install her vigraha as he sees her. Kollur was also a part of ancient West coast which stretched from Gokarna to Kanyakumari.

Festival:
Sri Mookambika Temple celebrates various festivals and regularly conducts Pancha Pooja and Thrikala Bali. Various celebrations of the temple can broadly be classified as Nithyothsavam, Varothsavam, Pakshothsavam, Masothsavam, and Varshikothsavam.

Navarathri days are considered to be the most auspicious time to worship all Shakthi devathas. It is also the most important festival of Mookambika. Thousands of pilgrims throng the temple on those nine days. Vijaya Dashami day is the most auspicious day for beginning education (Vidya Arambham).

How to Reach:
by Road: Mangalore city is only 50 km away from Udupi. Express buses ply between Mangalore and Udupi at regular intervals.
by Rail: The railway station at Udupi falls on the Konkan Railway network and there are trains to most major cities of the state.
by Air: The nearest airport is the Mangalore airport located at Bajpe, 60 km away from Udupi. There are 2 flights daily from Mumbai and from Bangalore.Sri Mookambika TempleP.O. Kollur – 576 660 Udupi dist. Karnataka State INDIA.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Dakshineswar Temple, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Deity: Goddess Kali
Location: Kolkata
Built in: 1885
Built by: Rani Rashmoni
STD Code: 033
Best time to visit: October to March

The Dakshineswar Kali Temple located in Dakshineswar locality, Kolkata. Situated on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, the presiding deity of the temple is Bhavatarini, an aspect of Kali.

The temple compound, apart from the nine-spired main temple, contains a large courtyard surrounding the temple, with rooms along the boundary walls. There are twelve shrines dedicated to the aspects of Shiva, Kali’s companion, along the riverfront, a temple to Radha-Krishna, a bathing ghat on the river, a bookshop, a shrine to Rani Rashmoni. The chamber in the northwestern corner just beyond the last of the Shiva temples is where Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa spent a considerable part of his life. It is Holiest place in the Universe.

Dakshineswar Ramakrishna Sangha Adyapath operates in the region. The compound contains many orphanages, schools and homes for elderly people. The organization has been dedicated to the great spiritual leader.

Legend:
In the year 1847, the wealthy widow queen Rani Rashmoni prepared to go upon a long pilgrimage to the sacred city of Banaras to express her devotions to the Divine Mother. In those days there was no railway line between Calcutta and Banaras and it was more comfortable for rich persons to make the journey by boat rather than by road. We are told that the convoy of Rani Rashmoni consisted of twenty four boats carrying relatives, servants, and supplies.

But the night before the pilgrimage began, the Divine Mother, in the form of the goddess Kali, intervened. She appeared to the Rani in a dream and said, “There is no need to go to Banaras. Install my statue in a beautiful temple on the banks of the Gangas River and arrange for my worship there. Then I shall manifest myself in the image and accept worship at that place.” Profoundly affected by the dream, the Rani immediately looked for and purchased land, and promptly began construction of the temple. The large temple complex, built between 1847 and 1855, had as its centerpiece a shrine of the goddess Kali. A scholarly and elderly sage was chosen as the head priest and the temple was consecrated in 1855. Within the year this priest died and his responsibility passed to his younger brother, Ramakrishna, who over the next thirty years would bring great fame to the Dakshineswar temple.

Places of Interest:
To the north of the Kali-temple is a Dalan of Radha-Krishna. To the west, twelve Siva temples of Bengali atchala style stand in rows on the Hughli River with a ‘chandni-bathing ghat’, which is flanked by these Shiva temples, six each on either side. The temple compound on three sides – north, east and south – are enclosed by rows of guestrooms and offices.

How to reach:
by Air: Kolkata is well connected by air to all major countries in the world, as well as to Indian cities.
by Rail: Trains are available from all parts of the country to Calcutta. Most inward bound trains stop at Howrah, which is also the station from which major trains to other cities depart.
by Road: A few buses ply from Orissa and Bihar to Calcutta Buses are also available to nearby towns.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Naina Devi, Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh, India

Deities: Goddess Naina Devi
Location: Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh
Built in: 1880
Built by: Raja Bir Chand
Importance: One of Shakti Pithas
Best time to visit: July to September
Altitude: 3,995m
STD Code: 01978

“O! Mother, you always prevail in heart of every individual in form of Wisdom, Wealth and Strength. Please shower your blessings on us.”

The most notable place of worship in the district is the temple of Shri Naina Devi. It is one of the 51 ‘Shakti Pithas’. Situated 60 km from Bilaspur district in Himachal Pradesh, Naina Devi Temple is one of the highly venerated Shakti Temples in India. The charming hill resort of Nainital gets its name from the Goddess Naina Devi. A temple dedicated to the deity stands here. The Naina Devi temple is situated atop Naina hillock in Nainital.

The word Naina is synonymous with Sati’s eyes. Since then, devotees started visiting this temple. On the right side of the temple there are idols of Lord Hanuman Ji and Ganesh Ji. After reaching the main entrance of the temple, there are two statues of lions. Inside the temple, devotees have darshan of three deities. On the extreme left is Mata Kali Devi, the centre representing two Netras or eyes is Maa Naina Devi and to right side is idol of Lord Ganesh.

History:
There was a peepal tree which is existing even today in the temple premises. Naina often observed that milk would flow down from the breast of cows which have not given birth to the babies when they stand under that papal tree, Naina wondered over this incidence. One day Naina went under that tree and saw that there was an idol of durga beneath the leaves of the tree. The same day Durga Maa appeared in the dreams of Naina at night and said to him “I am Adishakti Durga” you should build a temple at this place under the peepal tree and I will become famous with your name. Naina was a staunch devotee of Durga and in the morning the next day he laid down for the temple. Very soon the information and importance of this place went around in all directions and devotees started powering in for darshan. This beautiful temple is known as Naina Devi Temple since then. There is also a cave near the temple which is known as the cave of Naina Devi.

Legend:
The attractive lake of Nainital is said to be the eyes of Sati, wife of Lord Shiva. Sati had jumped into the sacrificial fire to escape the humiliation of her husband by her father, King Daksh. Then Lord Vishnu unleashed. His Chakra and cut the Sati’s body into fifty one pieces to save the earth from Shiva’s wrath. All the fifty one places – where parts of Sati’s body fell.It is believed that Sati’s eyes fell at the place where this temple is situated. Therefore, this temple is called Naina Devi.

To mourn the death of his beloved wife, Shiva carried her mortal remains across the country. The parts of her body fell at various places which today are sacred places of worship for Hindus. It is said that the shimmering green waters of the Naini Lake is a reflection of the emerald green eye of Sati. ‘Naina’ means eyes which symbolizes the eyes of Sati. On the northern side of the lake is built a temple dedicated to Sati and is called the Naina Devi temple.

Festival:
Naina Devi welcomes one and all throughout the year. There are 3 festivals Navratris, Shravani & Chaitra.

The Navaratri celebration in Sept -Oct is the largest fair and two more annual melas i.e. Shravani Mela in July-August & Chaitra mela in March-April , attract lakhs of people of divergent religious faith, caste, creed and culture. The colourful melas become the melting pot of Hindus, Sikhs and others-a unique sight of real Unity in Diversity.

Other important temples in Himachal Pradesh:
Baijnath Temple
Jwalamukhi Temple
Bajreshwari Devi Temple
Masroor Rock Temple
Kathgarh Temple
Lakshami Narayan Temple
Chaurasi Temples of Bharmaur
Hadimba Temple
Bijli Mahadev Temple
Prashar Temple
Bhima Kali Temple
Hatkoti Temple

How to reach:
by Air: The nearest airport is at Shimla, 85 km away.
by Rail: The nearest broad gauge railhead is at Kiratpur Sahib (65 km), while the closest narrow gauge railway station is at Shimla.
by Road: Well-connected by the Chandigarh-Manali National Highway-21, Bilaspur can be reached by bus conveniently from New Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla, etc.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Durga Temple, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Deities: Goddess Durga
Location: At Durga Kund, Varanasi
Built in: 18th century
Built by: Bengali Maharani
Attraction: Design Pattern and Busts
Best time to visit: Throughout the year
STD Code: 0542

Jay Mata Di
The Durga temple is one of the most important temples in Varanasi and is built in the 18th century, by Bengali Maharani and is stained red with ochre.

This temple is built in north Indian Nagara style with a multi-tiered shikhara (spire). The shikhara of the temple is formed by many small spires which are built one on top of the other. Goddess Durga is a significant manifestation of Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva. In fact she is said to be Shakti, or the manifestation of Parvati that signifies the female element of Power and harmony in nature.

The Puranas locate Durga Ji at her present site, and she has kept this place for many centuries. She is said to protect Varanasi from the south, as one of the fierce goddess guardians of the sacred zone. According to some who serve this temple, the image of Durga was never established by human hands, but is a self-manifest image. It appeared here of its own accord.People have a belief that the Holy Scriptures confirms the location of Goddess Durga at this spot only and she has kept this place for many centuries. She is said to protect Varanasi from the south, as one of the fierce goddess guardians of the sacred zone. History of the Durga Temple, Varanasi.

Varanasi is a place highly revered by the Shaivite Hindus. The general trend noticed is that Durga Temples are a rare find in regions which has many followers of Lord Shiva. This is why it is indeed quite surprising to find a Durga Temple in a place like Varanasi reputed for being a Shaivite stronghold. Even though she is credited with the construction of the temple, the deity that is enshrined within the temple was not established by her. According to popular legend, Durga herself appeared in this temple at Benaras (the other name by which Varanasi is known), India.

The Durga Temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh is a fine example of the Shikhara or North Indian style of Temple architecture. Positioned on top of a rectangular tank referred to as the Durga Kund, this ochre red colour temple boasts of a multi tiered Shikhara that never fails to catch anyone’s attention. Separate Spires are built one on top of the other to form the Shikhara and the diameter of these spires keep decreasing with increasing height.

According to popular belief Goddess Durga worshipped in this temple is the savior and protector of this sacred place. She came here of her own and has been staying ever since as a guardian. She is a form of Parvati, Lord Shiva’s consort and an embodiment of power and harmony. No wonder people pour in by the lakhs to offer their prayers and seek her blessings. The number increases conspicuously when Navratri and other auspicious occasions are celebrated.

Open from seven in the morning to eight in the evening, it is of interest not only to ardent admirers of Goddess Durga but also to the lovers of art and architecture. Ensure that you pay a visit to the Durga Temple when on Tours to Varanasi. It is not simply one of the prime Holy Places in Varanasi; it is also one of the important Tourist Attractions in Varanasi.

Festival:
The number increases conspicuously when Navratri and other auspicious occasions are celebrated. Durga is the ‘terrible’ form of Shiva’s consort Parvati, so at festivals there are often sacrifices of goats. Non-Hindus can enter the courtyard but not the inner sanctum. It is commonly known as Monkey Temple due to many frisky monkeys that have made it their home.

Other Attractions:
Bharat Mata Temple
Dasaswamedh Ghat
Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Kedar Ghat
Man Mandir Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
New Vishwanath Temple (Golden Temple)
Panchganga Ghat
Shivala Ghat
Tulsi Ghat
Tulsi Manas Temple

How to reach:
by Air:
Varanasi is on several Indian Airlines routes. There are flights from Lucknow, Jaipur, Bhubaneshwar and Kathmandu also. The airport is about 22 km away from the city.
by Rail: there are not many trains running from Delhi or Calcutta to Varanasi, but most Delhi-Calcutta trains do pass through Mughalsarai, 12 km south of Varanasi.
by Road: there are buses running from Varanasi to Jaunpur, Allahabad, Lucknow, Faizabad, and Gorakhpur. No direct buses run to Khajuraho.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati, Assam, India

Deity: Goddess Kamakhya
Known As: Shakti Piths
Location: Guwahati, Kamrup District, Assam
Built By: King Narakasur
Re Built By: King Coochbihar Nar Narayan
Best time to Visit: Best to check with Kamrup District office, Assam

The temple of Kamakhya is situated on a hill three miles from Guwahati, the headquarters of the Kamrup District. It is about eight hundred feet above sea level. There is a small township on the hillock consisting of some 200 families who are mostly connected with the temple. It has certain modern facilities too such as a Post Office and certain educational institutions upto high school standard level.

The Legend of Kamakhya:
The name of the hillock where the shrine stands is called “Nilachala” (Blue Mountain). This name is associated with legend, which is preserved in the Kalika Purana in the chapter on ‘Daksa Yagna’. According to this source, when King Daksha, the father of Parvati (Sati), instituted a great sacrifice, he sent invitation to all his daughters and the gods and sages except his eldest daughter Parvati and Shiva, his son-in-law, as he disliked them.

This dislike was due to the fact that in spite of his opposition Parvati married Shiva, whose peculiar habits and quite irrelevant attitude were not favoured by him. Parvati however, came to learn about the performance of the sacrifice through Narada. She further learnt from Narada that all her sisters with their husbands had gone there. She very much desired to see her parents as well as her sisters and also wanted to know from her father what made him ‘adopt such a negligent attitude towards her and her husband.

Therefore, with the permission of her husband, Parvati journeyed to her father’s place uninvited. But to her utter dismay she found her father not a bit happy at her arrival. This was naturally discouraging to Parvati, who was further mortified to find that no necessary arrangement was made for the reception of Shiva although great care was taken to assign places of honour to all other gods. When she asked her father why Shiva was so much neglected by him, Daksha, without making secret of his displeasure started abusing Shiva.

Parvati could not bear to hear the insults and took her seat on the ground, closed her eyes, and reduced her body to ashes by the yogic fire produced internally by abstract meditation on Shiva.
Shiva, overcome by grief, destroyed Daksha’s sacrifice and wandered hither and thither in frantic sorrow carrying her dead body on his head. Brahma and other gods grew alarmed and approached Vishnu to put a stop to Shiva’s penance and save the world from destruction. Brahma, Vishnu and Shani then conspired to deprive Shiva of his wife’s body and free him from infatuation. These three gods, thereupon, entered into the dead body of Sati and disposed of it limb by limb.

The Sacred PithsThe places where pieces of Sati’s body fell are said to have become ‘Piths’ i.e., sacred places for worship of the goddess in her different forms and as much of the eastern land as was covered by wandering Shiva with Sati’s body on his shoulder should be regarded as sacrificial land or “Yajnodaka Desah”. The early Puranas and the Tantras, how ever, make mention only of the four important Piths (catus pith),

Which are:
(I) Odra, seat of Goddess Katyayani and Jagannath, in the west.
(I I) Jala Saila, seat of the Goddess Chandi and God Mahadev, in the north.
(I I I) Purna or Purnasaila (Purnagiri), seat of Goddess Purnesvari and God Mahanatha, in the south
(IV) Kamrup, seat of Kamesvari and Kamesvara, in the east.

The Foundation:
Having a stronghold of Goddess Shakti (Mahakali) Kamakhya became the centre of Tantra cultism. The original temple was installed by the king of Giant’s ‘Narakasur’ was destroyed by ‘Kalapahar’ in 1553 led to the building of a new temple in 1665 by the King of Coochbihar Nar Narayan.

Layout of the Temple:
The vertex of the temple is oval shaped like beehive-having 7 spires, 3 golden pitchers on blossoming lotus, upon that a golden trident. The temple is beautifully decorated and ornamented with gods & goddesses of Hindu Purana being depicted there on the temple wall. Even Lord Shiva in beard & whiskers is depicted in the temple.

The temple represents old Ahom sculpture. Goddess Kamakhya made of an alloy of 8 metals is seated on a throne made of five jewels (Panchratna), and is being worshipped in the other forms of Goddess ‘Durga’, ‘Kali’, ‘Tara’, ‘Kamala’, ‘Uma’, and ‘Chamunda’ also. The Goddess is very potent.

Kamakhya is one of the 51 piths. The vaginal form of sati severed by Vishnu-wheel was dropped here. A flight of steps leads into the dim lit interior where Devi Kamakhya is seated. The ‘Devi Kunda’ or the interior of the temple is in excess of water level overflowing out of the breach made of holy vaginal-pulpit.

The Ambubachi Festival Rituals:
In the period of Ambubachi the Goddess has the period of menses. The colour of the water also becomes red. Drinking the water acts like a cure-all medicine. The divinity and nobility of the bloodstained cloths of Devi is unending. Highest festival is performed on the eve of Ambubachi. One can view the goddess or the vaginal form of Devi covered on red cloth in candlelight. The sacrifice of buffalo is customarily a part of the grand festival.

Pilgrims gather from all over India and tourists crowd the festival. However, in the period of Ambubachi, the temple remains closed for 3 consecutive days. A marriage festival on the occasion of Devi’s marriage with Lord Kameswar is called “Paus-Bia”. The Spring festival in spring season and such other festivals are celebrated round the year in Kamakhya.

The Beliefs:
This temple is pervaded with scores of prejudices, horrors, thrills and mysteries. Legend says man becomes sheepish at the Devi Kamakhya hill. Devis anger might deprive one of one’s lines of descent. Again, the blessing of Devi may help a barren woman to bear child.

The temple remains open from 8.00 am to sunset, except for 2 hours at noon. In the front premises of the temple, there is a pool namely, “Sauvagya Kunda” and other temples of “Dasamahavidya”, “Siddhesvara” and “Kameswar” are located around the main temple of Devi Kamakhya.

How to Reach:
by Road: A fine road, which can be used for light vehicular traffic and the stone pathway, connect the foot of the hill with the top. Buses ply every 10 or 15 minutes from Guwahati to the foot of the hill from where one can go to the top by taxis that are readily available at the bus stop.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Hatimura Temple, Silghat, Assam, India

Deity: Mahisamardini Devi
Known As: Hatimura temple
Location: Silghat
Best time to Visit: Best to check with Nowgong District office, Assam

Introduction:
The present Hatimura temple, at Silghat, in Nowgong district, was probably built on the ruins of an old stone ’temple in the Saka year 1667 (1745-46 A.D.) in the reign of King Pramatt Singh of the Ahom dynasty. It is a brick temple, which still exists although in a very dilapidated condition. The presiding deity of the temple is the Mahisamardini. The goddess is represented with slender waist, broad breasts, ten hands, and holding different weapons in each hand.

She is seen placing her right foot on the lion, and pressing the shoulder of the buffalo demon with her left. She pierces the trident through the body of the demon, and has fastened his arm with a noose. To put her weight on the Asura, the goddess is slightly bent to the left. The lion is also represented attacking the demon. The whole composition of the goddess is as given in the text.

The temple was one of the important centres of Shaktism, in early Assam. At one time even human sacrifices were made at the altars of the temple. A big sword supposed to have been used for human sacrifices has been deposited in Assam Provincial Museum, Guwahati.

We are thankful to Author of above article to Mr B. K. Barua & H. V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Ramachandi Temple, Puri, Orissa, India

Deity: Goddess Ramachandi
Location: Konark, Puri
Also known as: Mayadevi Temple
Best time to visit: October to March
STD Code: 06758

Ramachandi Temple is on a beautiful spot on the banks of the Kusabhadra River where it flows into the Bay of Bengal. It is only 5 km away from Konark in the Khordha District of Orissa. Southwest of the Sun temple. About 10 km along the beach is the famous Ramachandi Temple. It is an ideal picnic spot.

Goddess Ramachandi, the deity of Konark is thought by some to be the presiding deity of this temple, while others thought it to be the temple of Mayadevi, wife of Surya (Sun god). She was the main deity or goddess of Konark. The people of this place worship the goddess with great respect and devotion. Ramachandi Temple was one of the most historical temples of Orissa.

Now the temple has collapsed leaving remains of its broken walls and the empty throne. There is no historical evidence to conclude about its presiding deity there are, however, difference of opinion about the presiding deity of this temple. It has been surmised by some. As found in Puri Jagannath temple as well as in Bhubaneswar Lingaraj temple, so also Ramachandi, the chief goddess of the kshetra was perhaps enshrined in the enclosure of the main temple of Konark.

There is also a popular story current about leaving of Konark by Ramachandi due to attack of Muslim Suleman Kalapahad in 1568.The goddess Ramachandi dressed as a Maluni (maid servant) told Kalapahad to wait at the door till she returned with water for the goddess. Kalapahad waited anxiously to get some cold water for a long time. But when it was too late he entered into the temple and found the throne empty. Then he followed the Maluni with great anger thinking that the Maluni carried away the goddess. He reached the bank of the river Kushabhadra and found the goddess Ramachandi floating in the middle of the river. The river was as in full spate, he came back without being able to cross the river. Being advised by goddess in a dream, a Panda (priest) built a temple on the bank of the river Kushabhadra, near the sea shore which is a sandy deserted place. Now the place is called Ramachandi and every year many visitors come here to enjoy the charming sight of nature and to make amusement.

The main temple along with its Mukhasala had been built on one platform of 3′.2” (965 cm) high. On the three sides of the temple walls i.e. south, west and north there were three figures of Sun god as side Gods. Now one can see these side gods in north and southern side, where as the figure of the western side has been displaced and is said to have been preserved in the National Museum at New Delhi. This image is said to have some sculptural specialization and is regarded to be one of the beautiful images of the Sun god. Though smaller in size, the side-gods of this temple are of similar type in all respet with the side-Gods in the Sun temple. Only we find today the side images of the northern side is somewhat in good condition while the image in the southern side has no head and the hands broken.

There is only one door to enter into the temple through the eastern door of the Mukhasala. The throne of the presiding deity inside the main temple has also been broken in architectural totality this temple is of high order and attracts visitors.

Other holy places:
Konark the Sun Temple
Sri Gundicha Mandir
Sri Lokannath Temple
Alaranath Temple
Sakhi Gopal

How to reach:
by Air: Nearest airport Bhubaneshwar- 64 kms is connected with Calcutta, Delhi, Hyderabad, Madras and Nagpur.
by Rail: Nearest railheads Puri- 31 kms and Bhubaneshwar- 64 kms are connected with the major places.
by Road: Konark is well-connected with Bhubaneshwar as well as the major places.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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