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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Chandi Devi Temple, Haridwar, Uttaranchal, India

Deity: Chandi Devi
Location: At the top of Neel Parvat, Haridwar
Built in: 1929 A.D
Significance: One of the Siddha Peethas
Best time to visit: October to March
STD Code: 0133

Located atop Neel Parvat, Chandidevi temple is one of the most ancient temples of north India. This is a Siddhapeeth (holy places where one’s wishes are fulfilled). Chandidevi along with Mansadevi and Mayadevi temple form a Siddhapeeth triangle in the holy city of Haridwar.

The main deity is said to have been installed in the 8th century by Adishankaracharya.Goddess Chandidevi has been fulfilling wishes of millions of devotees for thousands of years. In the earlier days, people used to reach the shrine by trekking through the steep path, which incorporates bit difficulties. With the passage of time, a ropeway has been made for the convenience of the pilgrims. This ropeway takes around 20-25 minutes to reach the temple complex. In this manner, people can also enjoy the panoramic view of the natural beauty. Every year, this temple receives millions of people from far and near. Pilgrims come to this holy shrine to seek blessings from the Goddess.

Legend:
Demon kings Shumbh and Nishumbh had captured the kingdom of Lord Indra and thrown out gods from heaven. After intense prayers to gods, incarnation of power and strength, Chandika Devi appeared from the cells of the body of Goddess Parvati. She assumed the form of an exceptionally beautiful woman and Shumbh desired to marry her. On being refused, Shumbh sent his demon chief Chanda and Munda to kill her. Kalika Devi born out of Chandika Devi’s anger killed them. Shumbh and Nishumbh then tried to kill Chandika Devi but were slain by the Goddess. Thereafter Chandika Devi is said to have rested for a short while at the temple location. Surprisingly, the two peaks near the Neelkanth mahadev temple in this mountain range are called shumbha and nishumbha. 200 metres from Goddess Chandidevi temple, the temple of Anjanadevi, mother of Hanuman is located. The temple of Mansa Devi is exactly on the other side of the hilltop. It is said that Mansa and Chandi, the two forms of Devi Parvati always reside close to each other.

Other important places in Haridwar:
Har-ki-Pairi: The most important and sacred bathing ghat of Haridwar, is also the site of Kumbh festivals. Ganga Aarti performed every evening is worth attending.

Bhimgoda Tank: Associated with the Pandavas, of Mahabharata, the tank is said to have been created by a blow of Bhima’s knee.

Gurukul Kangri University: An old institution known for following the traditional Indian system of imparting education. The university precincts also house Ved Mandir Museum with many archaeological exhibits.

Beauty Point: 2 km. On the way to Mansa Devi Temple, it is a vantage point with wonderful views of Haridwar and its forested surroundings. Temples and Ashrams There are a large number of temples and ashrams in Haridwar.

Mansa Devi Temple: on top of Vilwa Parvat, accessible also by ropeway carriage.

Manav Kalyan Ashram: the temple here depicts all the 24 avatars with Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna in ardhnarishwar form.

Bharat Mata Mandir: 6 km, devoted to Bharat Mata or Mother India. Its eight floors are decorated with scenes and images of events and people associated with the country.
Pawan Dham: has Hanuman temple made of pieces of glass.

How to reach:
by Air: Jolly Grant Airstrip, is located at Dehradun, which is 35 kms away.
by Rail: It is connected to all the major cities of India by trains.
by Road: Haridwar on highway No. 45 is connected to all major centres in the region and other parts of the country by well-maintained roads. One can easily reach Chandi Devi Temple by taking local Buses, Rickshaws, Tongas or by hiring Taxis from Haridwar.

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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Devi Talab Mandir, Jalandhar, Punjab, India

Deities: Goddess Durga
Location: Jalandhar, Punjab
Importance: One of 51 Shakti pithas
Best time to visit: December

Devi Talab Mandir is located about one km from the railway station. It is situated in the heart of Jalandhar City. The old Devi Talab has been renovated and in its centre, a new temple has been built. Recently a model of Amarnath Yatra has been built in the premises.

An old temple of goddess Kali also stands by the side of the Devi Talab. There is temple of Shakti pith which is one of the 51 shaktipithas which is known as Tripurmalini. Sati’s right breast fell here. Lord Shiva of this temple is called Bhishan Bhairav.

The anterior Devi Talab Mandir had been invaded several times by Foreign Rulers, but from the shambles has emerged a new gilded Mandir famous for influx of record number of devotees. The gilded Mandir is famous for the held every year in December at its precincts for the past 125 years. Famous classical music exponents – both instrumental and vocal come together and perform at this gathering. In Devi Talab, there is a large masonry 200 year old tank sacred to Hindus.

Festival:
Shree Baba Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan is the oldest festival of Hindustani Classical Music in the world.”

As a part of the year long drive for the promotion of Hindustani Classical Music and to keep up the tempo after the annual .Shree Baba Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan,Vasant Utsav, Malhar Utsav and Hemant Utsav are organised in the months of February, August and October every year. Two to Three Artists are invited during these functions to give their performance during a 4-5 hour programme on the scheduled evenings.During Vasant Utsav, Malhar Utsav and Hemant Utsav, preference is given to upcoming artists in the field of Hindustani Classical Music so as to give them appropriate exposure in the music circles.

Other important temples:
Tulsi Temple
Shiva Temple
Sodal Mandir
Annapurna Devi Temple
Panch Mandir

How to reach:
by Air: There is no airport in Jalandhar. The nearest airport is Raja Sansi airport in Amritsar, 80 km away. The airport is well connected by other parts of the Country by regular flights.
by Rail: Jalandhar City Railway Station is an important station on the Delhi-Amritsar Railway line. It is connected with direct trains to Major cities.
by Road: There is a vast network of bus services of Punjab, Himachal, Delhi, and Haryana.

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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Sammakka Saralamma Temple, Medaram, Andhra Pradesh, IN

Deities: Goddess Sammakka and Saralamm
Built in: 12th Century
Famous For: A major tribal pilgrimage center
Construction: World Heritage
Best time to visit: February

Andhra Pradesh is one of the states in India where various styles of temples are found. It is famous tribal Jathra in the midst of dense forest. Situated in Medaram, it is a small village in the forest, Warangal city in Andhra Pradesh. Lakhs of pilgrims pour into this spot biennially to have the blessings of mother Goddesses Sri Sammakka and Saralamma who have attained ‘Martydom’ at this sacred place in the battle held with the forces of Kakatiyas ruler Prathaparudra. Since then the Jathra is being celebrated biennially. Every two years, approximately 5 million people converge over thee.

Legend:
Legend has it that about 1,000 years ago, a group of Koya tribals passing through the region found a little girl playing with a tigress. The head of the tribe adopted and named her Sammakka. She married the headman of a neighbouring village and Sarakka was born to them.

Sammakka stood up against the Kakatiyas – who ruled Andhra from Warangal between 1000 and 1380 AD – when they tried to collect taxes from Koyas despite a severe drought. The rulers killed many tribals and Sammakka fought against them to avenge the killings.

During the fighting, Samakka and her daughter Sarakka were injured. She told the Koyas that as long as they remembered her, she would protect them. She cursed the Kakatiya dynasty that they would perish and disappeared into the forest.

Koyas searched for their queen but found only her bangles and the pugmarks of a tigress. Later, Muslim invaders destroyed the Kakatiya dynasty. Since then the tribals have been holding the fair in memory of the two women, whom they revere as goddesses. The undeterred resolve, honesty, uprightness and courage of two Girijan women, Sammakka and Saralamma.

Festival:
This is the biggest Girijan festival held here. Here Sammakka Jathara(Yatra) is celebrated once in two years on a very large – scale for three days before Magha Purnima Sammakka is a tribal goddess and the patrons and the priests are Koyas (A caste in tribals). All the tribals of Mulugu area and the thousands of other Hindus congregate there during the celebrations. There is no permanent idol of the deity.

Since then the Jathra is being celebrated biennially. The Government of Andhra Pradesh declared this holy jathra as State Festival.

The event, held once in two years, is also termed the tribal Kumbh Mela as the scenes here are similar to the religious mega-fairs held on the banks of the Gangas and the Narmada. The crowd during the four-day fair is expected to reach eight million, which began with the tribal priests bringing goddess Sarakka – also known as Saralamma.

The actual festival begins in the month of Magha, on Sudha Pournami (full moon day) evening when Sarakka (in the form of vermilion) would be traditionally brought from Kanneboyinapalle, a neighbouring village in the forest, and placed on a gadde, an earthen platform raised under a tree. By next sunset, the main goddess will be brought from Chilukalagutta. There are two goddess separately one for goddess “Sammakka” and other for goddess “Sarakka”. They are represented by bamboo sticks smeared with turmeric and vermilion (Pasupu and Kumkuma). Since time immemorial, there is a huge tree standing on Sammakka gadde. Offerings are coconuts and jaggery. They are piled at the foot of the trees.

Near By Attraction:
Thousand Pillar Temple
Jain Mandir Centenary
Baptist Church
Sri Venkateswara Temple
Keshavapuram

How to reach:
Medaram is connected to the other cities by road. The nearest airport is at Warangal.

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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Kheer Bhavani Temple, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir, India

Deities: Ragnya Devi (Hindu Goddess)
Location: At Tullamula of Srinagar
Built by: Maharana Pratap Singh
Built in: 1912
Attraction: Natural Spring
Best time to visit: Around the year

The Kheer Bhavani temple is situated at Tullamula in the Srinagar district, Jammu & Kashmir. Steams and Chinar trees surround the place where the temple stands. A revered Hindu shrine, the Kheer Bhavani temple is devoted to Ragnya Devi, a Hindu Goddess.

Representing the goddess is a sacred hexagonal spring at Tullamula village, which houses a small marble temple. The legend associated with the temple goes that Lord Rama worshipped Ragnya Devi during his exile. After the exile period got over, Rama asked Lord Hanuman to shift the seat of the goddess. The seat of the goddess was brought by Lord Hanuman first to Shadipora and later shifted to the site where the temple now stands. Various legends and stories are current among the people regarding the holy spring. One such legend is that when Ravana was killed at the hands of Bagwan Rama the Goddess Bhawani ordered Hanuman to carry her to Satisar-Kashmir along with 360 Nagas. Hanuman selected the site and installed the Goddess in the Northern part of the valley. She came to be known as Kheer Bhawani or Ragyna Bhagwati.

The temple complex is known as Kheer Bhawani because of the thousands of devotees who offer milk and kheer, a form of Indian desert, to the sacred spring, which magically turns black to warn of impending disaster. Pilgrims who have faith in the divine powers of the goddess usually undertake tours and travel to this pilgrimage.

Goddess Ragnya Devi is the form of Maa Durga Bhagvati. The Brahmins of Kashmir worship this spring and pilgrims from every comer of the country visit to have the darshan of the place.

The water of the spring changes its colour from time to time. It takes on various hues like red, pink, orange, green, blue and has often light green, red rosy and milky white shades. Any shade of black colour is supposed to be inauspicious for the inhabitants of the valley. This colour was prominent in the year 1947 when the Pakistani raiders attacked the peaceful valley. Many times rising of bubbles has been observed which form the mystic Chakra on the surface of the water.

For quite some time in the past this important Teertha remained under flood waters and it was only after a pious Brahmin Shri Krishna Pandit had a vision that the place was rediscovered. He was a great devotee of the Devi and composed the famous Rajna Stotra.

Festival:
The eighth day of the full moon in May holds great significance for the devotees of Ragnya Devi. They fast on this particular day and gather at the temple in huge numbers. It is believed that on this day, the goddess changes the colour of the spring’s waters. The Kheer Bhavani temple serves as the venue for an annual festival held in May-June, on the occasion of Jesht Ashtami. During this festival, a large number of Hindus visit the temple to seek blessings of the goddess. Another occasion on which the Kheer Bhavani temple gains special importance is Shukla Paksh Ashtami. On this day, havans/yagnas are performed to please the goddess.

How to reach:
by Air: Srinagar airport is approximately 20 km away.
by Rail: the nearest railhead for Srinagar. Trains from Delhi, Calcutta, Pune, Mumbai and other cities arrive at this station only.
by Road: One can easily reach Kheer Bhavani Temple by taking regular Buses or by hiring Taxis from Srinagar.

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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Jwala Devi, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India

Deities: Jwala Devi (a form of Shakti)
Location: At a distance of 34 kms in south of Kangra
Built by: Raja Bhumi Chand Katoch
Also known as: Flaming Goddess, Jwalamukhi Devi
Attraction: Nine flames that are burning without fuel
Significance: One of the 51 Shakti Peethas

Dedicated to the “Goddess of Light”, the Jwala Devi temple is one of the most popular Hindu temples in Northern India, the temple located on a small spur on the Dharamshala-Shimla road at a distance of about 20-kms from the Jwalamukhi Road. Railway Station attracts lakhs of pilgrims every year. In this temple there is a copper pipe through which natural gas comes out.

Recognized as one of the 51 Shaktipeeths of India, the Jwala Devi Temple, tended by the followers of Goraknath, is set against a cliff. The picturesque temple, built in the Indo-Sikh style, is a modern building whose dome is of gilt, gold and pinnacles and possesses a beautiful folding door of silver plates, presented by the Sikh Raja Kharak Singh. It is situated in the town of Jwalamukhi in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.

Ancient legends speak of a time when demons lorded over the Himalayan Mountains and harassed the gods. Led by Lord Vishnu, the gods decided to destroy them. The gods focused their strengths inane huge flame which rose from the earth. From the fire, a young girl look birth. She is regarded as Adishakti the first ‘Shakti’.

Known as Sati or Parvati, she grew up in the house of Prajapati Daksha and later became the consort of Lord Shiva. Once her father insulted Lord Shiva and unable to accept this, she killed herself. When Lord Shiva heard of his wife’s death his rage knew no bounds and holding Sati’s body he began stalking the three worlds. The other gods trembled before His wrath and appealed to Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu let fly a volley of arrows which struck Sati’s body and severed it to pieces. At the places where the pieces fell, the fifty-one sacred Shaktipeeths came into being.

Sati’s tongue fell at Jwalaji (610m) and the goddess is manifest as tiny flame that burns flawless blue through fissures in the age-old rock. Even the Pandavas are regarded to have visited this sacred place. In the early times, people tried to explore the fact behind these burning flames, but nothing substantial was made out. These flames are burning due to some natural jets of combustible gas. The temple came to be known as the Jwala Devi Mandir. In this temple, there is no idol because the Goddess is considered to be residing in the form of flames. This temple has nine ceaseless flames that are named as Mahakali, Annapurna, Chandi, Hinglaj, Vindhya Vasini, Mahalakshmi, Saraswati, Ambika and Anji Devi respectively.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh paid a visit to the temple in 1815 and the dome of the temple was gold-plated by him. Just a few feet above the Jwalamukhi temple there is a six-feet deep pit with a circumference of about three-feet. At the bottom of this pit there is another small pit about one and a half feet deep with hot water bubbling all the time. There is a small platform in front of the temple and a (check usage) big mandap where a huge brass bell presented by the King of Nepal is hung. Usually milk and water are offered and the ahutis or oblations are offered to the sacred flames in the pit, situated in the centre of the temple in between the floor pillars supporting the roof. The building is modern with a gilt dome and pinnacles and possesses a beautiful folding door of silver plates.

Main Attraction:
The main attraction of the temple is the Aarti session, which is performed five times a day that begins early morning then at sun rise, afternoon, evening and continues till bed time of the goddesses. Apart from these, the evening Aarti (Shaiyan Aarti), performed before bed time is unique and different. The bed of the Goddesses is piled up with rich dresses decorated with precious ornaments. Tourists from all over the state throng to the temple to attend the grand ‘Puja’. During the Puja ceremony the goddesses are offered Bhog (food) that comprises of milk, sweets, fruits etc.

Legend about Akbar, the Mughal Emperor:
During the ruling period of Akbar, he learned about the legends of Jwalamukhi. In a fit of anger, he tried to douse the flames with a stream of water. The great power of the Goddess, still kept the flames burning. Realizing the power of Jwala Devi, Akbar came with his army to this temple. He brought a Gold umbrella (Chatra) for the Goddess, but on offering, the umbrella turned into an unknown metal suggesting that the Goddess didn’t accept his offering.

Festival:
Being an important pilgrimage of the Hindus, devotees come to this temple in large numbers. During the days of Navaratri, the temple is thronged by countless number of devotees. Colourful fairs are also organized for the period of Navaratri in March-April and Sep-October. Earlier, this temple was administered by the descendants of Raja. After Independence, this temple was declared as the site of Cultural Heritage and that time onwards, it is under the management of the Government.

How to reach:
by Air: The nearest airport at Gaggal in Himachal Pradesh is 50 km from Jwalaji.Chandigarh Airport is about 200 Kms.National & International Airport is at the national capital Delhi is about 480 Kms.
by Rail: The nearest narrow-gauge railhead is Jawalaji road Ranital at a distance of 20 km from the shrine.
by Road: One can easily reach Jwala Devi Temple by taking regular Buses or by hiring Taxis from Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. This all is hilly area with a beautiful scenic view all along the valley.

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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Chintpurni Temple, Una, Himachal Pradesh, India

Deities: Goddess Chintpurni (form of Durga)
Location: In Chintpurni village of Una district, Himachal Pradesh
Built by: Bhagat Mai Dass
Significance: One of the 51 Shakti Peethas
Also known as: Chhinmastika Devi (Goddess without a head)
Best time to visit: April-October

Chinta Means WORRY……
Tension or worries act as a slow Poison. Maiya saves her bhakts from it, giving elixir of life, by fulfilling their desires and hence rightly known as CHINTAPURNI.

Himachal Pradesh is quite aptly called “Devabhoomi” – Abode of the Gods. There are more than 2000 temples and religious places scattered all over the state. Many of these are quite well-known and attract thousands of devotees throughout the year.

The temple dedicated to Mata Chintpurni Devi is located in a village of the same name in District Una, Himachal Pradesh. Devotees have been visiting this Shaktipeeth for centuries to pray at the lotus feet of Mata Shri Chhinnamastika Devi and Mata Shri Chintpurni Devi. They bring with them their worldly concerns and seek blessings from the Devi.It is believed that if you ask something from the Devi with a true heart, your wish will be granted.

Apart from the holy shrine, according to Manav Bhardwaj, the place is full of picturesque surroundings. Some very nice places for sight seeing, indoor and out door activities are situated in and around Chintpurni. In the center of the Temple is the temple garbha griha. The image of Mata Chintpurni Devi is installed here in the form of a pindi (a round stone). People queue up for a darshan of the Devi and make their prayers and offerings.They bring with them their worldly concerns and seek blessings from the Devi. It is believed that if you ask something from the Devi with a true heart, your wish will be granted.

Legend:
long with hundreds of mythical legends about the origin of a temple in different parts of India, the very popular temple of Chintpurni temple is of the same type. The legend is that one ‘Bhagat Mai Dass’ was a great devotee of Durga deity and worshipped her with great devotion and never bothered over mundane affairs. He was a married man and his family along with others had shifted from Patiala side to village ‘Rapoh’ in Una district of Himachal Pradesh. The legend is that one-day Bhagat Mai Dass was going to his father-in-law’s place and felt tired while by a jungle and slept under a tree. He had a dream: a young girl appeared before him and wanted him to stay there and worship her. He woke up in bewilderment.

He came back to the particular spot from his father-in-law’s place and went on praying to Durga. The girl appeared this time in human form and told him the whereabouts where he would find her in the form of a ‘pindi’ (a round stone-ball). He should install the Pindi in a temple. The Devi blessed him that he would have no fright, as it was a ‘Devasthan’ (site of Gods) though so deserted. She disappeared and Mai Dass discovered the Pindi and installed it in a temple. It is believed that the place is where the toes of ‘Gati’ goddess had fallen being cut off by the ‘Chakra’ of Vishnu Lord, when he was cutting away the pieces of Sati’s dead body carried by Lord Shiva in his ‘Tandava Nritya’. The Pindi represents Sati’s feet and is a manifestation of her. Chintpurni Devi is believed to fulfill the desires of a person who comes there and devotedly worships her.

Festival:
A major fair is held for ten days at the Chintpurni Temple between July and August. It is called the Sawan Ashtami Fair and begins on the first Sawan Navaratra. Tales about the miraculous powers of the Devi have spread far and wide. Thousand of devotees visit the temple every year and particularly so during the Navaratras in Shravan (August), Kartik (October) and Chaitra (March-April). Sankranti, Purnima and Ashtami are the other popular days. During the time of Navratras, the temple observes grand fairs and festivity. People from far and near come to visit this holy shrine to seek the blessings from the Goddess. In the past years, the temple has been repaired and modified to hold the huge crowd during festivals.

Other attraction near by:
Sheetla Devi Temple
Chamunda Devi Temple
Jwalamukhi Devi Temple
Vajreshwari Devi Temple
Dharamsala and McLeodganj
Masroor Temples
Maharana Pratap Sagar on Pong Dam
Pragpur-Garli heritage village
Sujanpur-Tira and Nadaun
Naina Devi Temple
Baba Balak Nath Sidhpeeth
Kaleshwar.

How to reach:
by Road: One can easily reach Chintpurni Temple by taking regular Buses or by hiring Taxis from anywhere in Himachal.
by Air: Gaggal Airport (60km) in Kangra is the nearest airport.
by Rail: Hoshiarpur (42km) is the nearest railhead.

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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